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Day 73 – Torres del Paine Day 3 – A Break

December 22, 2010

Location: Trail to Campamiento Italiano

Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It’s a foolish man who doesn’t learn from his mistakes. It’s also the cowardly man who chickens out at the first sign of danger.

I don’t give a damn which I am, but I can tell you that at the first signs of rain, I said, “Screw it,” and spent the afternoon huddled in a tent sleeping away the weather.

That did not, however, happen until after a three and a half hour hike from Campamiento Pehoe to Campamiento Italiano. With the big bag.

Let’s just say I put my head down, gritted out the hills past Lago Nordenskjol, wandered around trying to find a decent campsite, and pitched the tent as fast as possible. We were supposed to hike up Valle Frances (French Valley), but it was overcast and raining intermittently, so I chickened out and convinced my hiking buddy Kassi to do likewise.

I’d like to pretend I’m some kind of tough guy, but after three days of trekking, I passed out for three hours easy. At some point hunger overwhelmed sleep, so I dragged myself out of the tent, set up the camp stove, and made some dinner.

Which brings me to camp food. When you have to carry everything you eat on your back, try to save as much weight as possible. That basically means you’re limited to foods that are either dry or can be made by adding water. As a nascent foodie, subsisting on ramen, oatmeal, and rice for five days sounds a lot like subsisting like a refugee. Throw in the nuts and dried fruit that you munch on while walking and you’re basically eating like a squirrel. A refugee squirrel.

The past two days have been instant rice, sliced salami (a luxury item, used quickly before it spoiled), and dried mushrooms. Note: if you’re forced to eat trekking food, bring dried mushrooms. They cook quick and liven up an otherwise boring meal.

On today’s menu: meat ravioli (dried, of course). Mix in some grated parmesan, some olive oil (another luxury item), and red pepper spice and you’re talking a decent meal.

Of course it helps that, after a day of hiking with a big bag, you’re starving like a famine victim, so basically anything tastes good. There’s no sense in eating like a pauper.

And if it doesn’t taste good, you can always walk around the hills for a couple more hours and come back and see how it tastes. I have a feeling that’ll do the trick.

GALLERY: No bonus pics today.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2011 3:08 pm

    Wow! I’d be in trouble – can’t eat the parmesan unless I want to put up with a migraine.

    On the other hand, it’s another reason not to go trekking in the rain!!

    • February 4, 2011 8:43 am

      I’m betting any dried cheese would work. So would staying at home and cooking a proper meal on a proper stove.

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