In Patagonia there is rest for the weary, and we were glad for it. The first real work of every day on the road – besides pulling our tired butts out of bed – is re-packing the gear bags that explode all over our rooms every night. Then we schlep them down to the truck for the day’s ride. But not today. I sleep in a bit, rise lazily, then wander down the trail from my bungalow to the breakfast table. The Hacienda Tres Lagos offers many excursions for their guests, including river running, boat tours and fishing. Three of us chose a two-hour horseback ride, and it’s the only thing on my list for whole day.
Our guide is Benjamin, an eco-tourism major from Santiago, where his family keeps horses. Nic Mentis has never been on a horse, but his sister loves them so he gives it a go. John Bettencourt looks forward to a relaxing couple of hours gazing at the scenery. I’ve ridden a lot of horses, and as much as the thrill of a good gallop appeals to me, our slow walk up the mountainside though native Patagonian forest and a panoramic view to a nearby glacier suits me just fine.
The down time gives me a chance to continue my discussion of Macna clothing design with Patrick Kant. The Oasis jacket I’m wearing has a zippered slash pocket on the chest, but not the easy-access cargo type I like for my camera. When I ask why not, Patick’s answer was simple, “Safety.” Taking spill with something hard in a chest pocket would be like landing on a rock instead of a smooth surface and could turn a slight injury into a serious one. Made sense to me, so my camera stays in one of the two waist-height pockets on my Oasis that close with hook-and-loop flaps. A better place is in the tank bag. Patrick also recommends using the hook-and-loop pockets for best security. Hmm, maybe I’m not the only one who forgets to close pocket zippers now and then.
The Hacienda put on a great feed for us that night, including Carmenere wine, delicious cheeses and a cordero al asador – a whole lamb roasted in front of an open fire. No one goes to bed hungry at this Hacienda.
Continue reading: dispatch from Day 6