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Day 89 – I Will Hike No More Forever (Cajon de Azul)

January 7, 2011

Location: Cajon de Azul, outside El Bolson, Argentina

Date: Friday, January 7, 2011

After hiking to and from Cajon de Azul–reportedly one of the most beautiful hikes in the El Bolson area–I’ve come to one conclusion: I will never hike again. Never.

Maybe it’s the days of trudging through Ushuaia, Torres del Paine, on Perito Moreno glacier, and in Chalten all in less than three weeks. You know, too much of a “good” thing.

Maybe it’s all the buses. I’ve been running nonstop from place to place for about a month with almost no breaks. Perhaps all movement disagrees with me.

Maybe it’s my personality. That, I’m a city boy who’d rather be sitting in Hoi An or Saigon for weeks on end just eating, drinking coffee , and driving around on a motorbike.

It could be that I’ve become the George Clooney of hiking. One stunner is something to cherish. It’s memorable. It’s special. The problem is, after so much beauty– the Torres, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, El Chalten, glaciers— I’m over it. Like George, I’ve experienced so much of nature’s wonders that I’m starting to take it for granted. Cajon de Azul was like bedding my 50th supermodel this month. Enough’s enough; I just wanted to shove this hike out of bed and spend a few days alone, in peace. Pretty little Miss Trekking, please leave me alone.

Whatever it is, Cajon de Azul did not excite me.

Don’t get me wrong. This hike is beautiful. It’s through a lovely shaded forest. The path is along the striking Rio Azul which runs with glacier water that changes colors depending on the angle of the sun. Quaint rope bridges crisscross its banks. There’s even a section of rock where you have to climb installed wooden ladders. Occasionally, the trail runs through a picturesque refugio. Travelers can be found taking a dip in the crystal pools’ mountain water. Perhaps most importantly the weather’s not a psychopathic killer. It’s pleasant– friendly even. It was like going on a date with Blake Lively and finding out she’s a down to earth girl that’s totally into you, roots for your favorite team, and loves to cook. I should be falling over myself telling you how lucky I am to have found this one.

Instead, I’m going to tell you that I was filled with dread on the cab ride to the trailhead; that I was sick of walking two minutes into the five hour round-trip; that my brain was numb and my feet hurt; that when I was confronted with the surrounding natural wonders, I shrugged.

My first reaction was: “Eh.” My second: “Ugh.”

What I really needed was a Vietnamese coffee at a street side café accompanied by the pollution from a thousand motorbikes. What I wanted was a pastry and a high speed internet connection. I really could have used somemango sticky rice and a massage. Shoot, I’d have even settled for a gut wrenching walk through the hear of genocide. Better yet, I could have just stayed in bed.

Instead I was subjected to more stunning scenery.

Bleh.

From now on, if it can’t be reached by motorbike, screw it. If I have to leave the radius of a Wi-Fi connection, forget it. If I never walk along a dirt path ever again, it will be too soon.

Give me the mountains of food, the rivers of beer, and the azul of a machine made Icee. Give me the smell of diesel, the sound of rushing traffic, and the tranquility of a city bustling with millions of people.

Think I’ve been spoiled by Nature? That I’m whining about having to spend time outdoors? No problem. Just shoot me an e-mail or call me on my cell—from now on, I guarantee that I’ll be in range.

GALLERY: No bonus pics. If you want to see something pretty, just flip through some of the previous days’ galleries.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2011 9:47 am

    Mervyn,

    You are such a scream! I have lurked on your blog since the beginning, but rarely comment–you don’t need comments, as you say it all so well. 🙂

    Hope you are safely home at last and enjoying city life again.

    Hugs,
    Gail

  2. sally permalink
    April 1, 2011 2:35 pm

    Yay!!!!!!!

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