Back Road Walking


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We came out of the wilderness onto a muddy track. Onto our first estancia, the homefront establishments on tracts of land in the region, much like ranches in the United States. We were met by 7 dogs who trotted along with us peeing on everything. It feels back in time, out here. No power lines; log buildings, barns, horses grazing.

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Pondering the ultimate question of life.

Over the gate and onto dirt road route nine. 69 km to the main/only highway across the island. We saw all of two vehicles that first day. Farm and ranch folk out here are much like ours back home. Most drive trucks. Everyone waves. Fence lines run for many kms, always under repair.

Foxes are more frequent. The guanaco, a larger cousin of the llama, move in herds and are notably less bothered by our passing. On the second day, a large bull in a far field lowered his head and pawed at the dirt. We scuttled up the far bank of the road. He forgot us, and we discovered footpaths alongside the road. Much more forgiving on our feet.

We also observed, furthest from town, the littered bottles of choice were unlabeled wine. Then, about 40 km out, beer.  Closest to town, around 15 km, hard liquor.

Animals caught and dead on the fences. We got excited when we saw stop signs, or, really anything. The kilometers clicked by at about 12 minutes per. Road walking is a mental challenge more than anything.

Arriving in Rio Grande, we scarf a pizza. Marcelo welcomes us into his home and we all enjoy an evening of looking at Google Earth and what is yet to come.

De vuelta al camino

Traducción por Henry Tovar

Hemos salido de la tierra salvaje a un camino fangoso. En nuestra primera estancia, los establecimientos con frente interno en las extensiones de tierra en la región, al igual que los ranchos en Estados Unidos. Nos encontramos con 7 perros que trotaban junto con nosotras orinandose en todo. Se siente como volver en el tiempo aquí afuera. No hay líneas de alta tensión; armazones de madera, graneros, caballos pastando.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASobre la puerta y en la sucia ruta nueve. 69 km a la principial y única carretera en toda la isla. Vimos los únicos dos vehículos ese primer día. Las granjas y los ranchos son muy parecidos a los nuestros en casa. La mayoría son camioneros, todo el mundo nos saluda. La lineas de la cerca se extienden por kilómetros, siempre en reparación.

Los zorros son más frecuentes. El Guanaco, una especie de primo más grande de la Llama, se mueven en manadas y son notablemente menos molestos por nuestro paso. En el segundo día , un gran toro en un campo lejano bajó la cabeza y pateó la tierra. Nos hechamos a pique hasta la otra orilla de la carretera. Se olvidó de nosotros, hemos descubierto senderos junto a la carretera mucho mas tolerantes a nuestros pies.

También observamos, más alejado de la ciudad, las botellas de vino sin etiqueta. Luego, a unos 40 km hacia afuera, cerveza. Y más cercano a la ciudad, a unos 15 km, licor fuerte.

animales atrapados y muertos en las vallas. Llegamos emocionadas cuando vimos las señales de alto, o realmente nada. Los kilometros hacían click cerca de cada 12 minutos. El camino a pie es un reto mental mas que nada.

Al llegar a Rio Grande, nos comimos una pizza. Marcelo nos recibió en su casa y todos disfrutamos de una noche de mirar el Google Earth y lo que esta por venir.

10 thoughts on “Back Road Walking

  1. Clifford B. Rawley says:

    Hi Bethany, We appreciated reading your post. You write about your journey in such a descriptive way. You are a good writer. We are happy to hear you are spending the night with friendly people and even found a pizza to get refreshed!
    We pray for your safety and enjoyment of the journey,
    Cliff and Martha Rawley

  2. Mary Shideler says:

    Your observations regarding discarded liquor ( containers) of choice by km from town made me have a silly smile. Wonder how that works in northern mn. I must pay closer attention…. Sending a fresh batch of pixie dust. Although you two are doing just fine on your own…..

    • Fidgit says:

      Mostly guanaco who didn’t clear it. Looked like the dried skin of one dog. It was super cool and creepy.
      I spent the next 20 km wishing I’d taken a picture.

  3. Kathy says:

    Bethany, You were here with us at Christmas. We talked about you and read about your journey with such excitement. The dogs were just trying to make you one of their own. Keep having fun.

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