Schlosberg and Treinish fast forward from Peru to Chile
February 24, 2007
Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg have been trekking through South America long enough to know that Mother Nature must be respected.Seven months into their hike from Quito, Ecuador to Tierra Del Fuego, the Leadville couple, which the Summit Daily News has been following since the outset of their journey last summer, decided to alter their itinerary.Treinish, who has been writing periodic blogs on http://www.roadjunky.com, explained the change of plans in a Jan. 19 web posting:
During our visit to the coast which is currently experiencing a beautiful summer, the already awful rains decided to get worse in the mountains. Realizing that we have a lot of months to go and that continuing south from the Huayhuash would mean that we would walk through the rainy season and into the snowy winter, we began looking at other options. Santiago is 48 hours south by bus and about 6-8 months on foot. The weather is perfect this time of year and walking north seems all too natural for me after the AT. In addition, arriving in Huaraz six months from now will mean that we are able to fully enjoy some of the greatest parts of our hike. The decision really made itself. So after going inward at The Way Inn, it was back to Lima and Chilebound.So as I said, we are currently in a small town in Chile. We have hiked the last four days through a dream. The treatment of the land here is vastly different than in the north, while walking through the endless valleys, I actually have felt like I am in nature. The language is extremely different, but nonetheless, we are able to tell that the people are infinitely kind. We have seen more wildlife in four days than in the previous six months (exception of the jungle of course). The weather is sunny and the days much much longer, as it stays light until close to 10 p.m. We will walk the length of the Appalachian Trail back to Huaraz and then come back to Santiago to walk six months or so through Patagonia still having Tierra Del Fuego as our ultimate goal. We are moving around 25K a day and will need to maintain this average to get north in time to beat next year’s rains. Chile is far more remote that its northern neighbors, so the updates may not be quite as frequent. This is no excuse for you to avoid writing us. Please keep the emails coming.
The following is an excerpt from Schlosberg’s Feb. 20 blog, which appears at http://www.steripen.com:We have certainly picked up the pace this last section. Every day has become more about hiking and covering distance, which I suppose is a good thing since we have several thousand miles left to walk. As of our last update, we were still without a GPS. Now, we are most definitely with one. I’m not sure what we were thinking before. That’s not true: we were enchanted with the idea of navigating through all of the Andes with a map (or 104 of them) and compass. How romantic. But alas, score another one for technology; the device has certainly sped things along and saved us many hours of aggravation. It is not fun to take a route that looks perfectly tame on the map only to find it impassible and necessitating a dreaded turn-around after the good part of a day struggling up it. This previously frequent occurrence has not happened since the acquisition of the unit. …… We began, actually, in Santiago, having returned for better maps, and though we didn’t know it yet, a GPS. I was robbed there, unfortunately. I don’t want to deter anyone from international travel or further the fear of South America as dangerous by saying so, however. In fact, the reason I was robbed is because Santiago is such a nice city that I let my guard down a little too much, I suppose. I lost my camera (friggin’ tragic), our passports, money, cards, contacts of many new Peruvian friends, a Melanzana shirt, my headlamp, and so on. We hoped the stinker who did it liked to backpack for all the little accouterments he got. I could have been more careful for sure, but it really did suck. On the upside, it was nice to have less weight hiking for the past month, and my replacement camera is digital, which means I don’t have to wait until I get home and get a job to afford printing the rest of my pictures. Moral: unfortunately, there are a few people in the world that will do mean things, and for them, you must be aware at all times. So after replacing a few essentials, it was back to the beauty and security of the hills.
Our most direct route north would take us far up into the mountains, where we would cross into Argentina over a pass and then cross back into Chile a few days later. … Our crossing of the border was refreshing. Borders are nicer when they are defined by natural features, like watersheds, but the idea of a line separating people and rules and culture is odd. Where we crossed into Argentina, the idea of a line of separation became almost absurd. Nothing changed, no one was there, no forms were filled out; we simply kept walking across the continuous land. A large, two-sided metal pylon marked the line, reading “Argentina” on the Argentina side and “Chile” on the Chile side. How and why the sign was carried there was not so unlike Chile’s other great mystery, Easter Island. Anthropologists in the future will have fun with this one, too. …… We do take a fair amount of time calculating and planning our route, but after all that, really, we just go. And it really is pretty special to look out at a view-ful of earth and valley and know that you can and will walk over the whole of it and start to get to know it on a level that most can’t conceive of. I fall more in love with our planet and what’s on it every day, and that comes from knowing it. Go for a hike if you’re able and haven’t in a while. It’s a good thing to do.As always, love to everyone. You’re with us out there.
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