Monday, 11 January 2010
Friday 8th January
Long hiking day, decided we would tackle the 30 km circuit, up into the mountains in the hopes of seeing condors. Provisions are a little thin, but we pack those remaining.
2000M up through alpine deciduous wood, having nearly stood on a snake yesterday, today we find a great big hairy tarantula in the middle of the path, he's pretty slow since it's a cold morning. Onwards and still upwards through alpine meadow (some beautiful alpine iris & lilies) and the remnants of the winter snow. Above the tree line and into the remains of last winter's snow, there are some stunning views across the mountains and a small caldera with lake. On the return loop of the journey we pass a weird plain called Enladrillado, absolutely flat with hexagonal rock slabs, guess it was result of a previous volcanic eruption. There were some more great views out over the rest of the mountain range. Lots more wildlife, crickets and lizards and a huge woodpecker - black bodied with a red head - making one heck of a racket and a fair mess of the tree he was attacking.
Finish in about 8 hrs, ready for some food and a comfy seat. Sadly churrascos and a sleeping bag are all we can muster. Off further South tomorrow... (still in search of condors)!