The team took turns reporting from the end of today’s 8 mile hike up the Vacas Valley. They made good time, on a beautiful day in the desert. The hike began in a fairly narrow river valley, hiking along a good trail, with little in the way of elevation gain.
Everyone is doing great and they arrived at the site of their first camp in great spirits. Our guide team worked in conjunction with our team of mule drivers to prepare a traditional Argentine “asado,” or dinner of grilled meats. Argentina is world renowned for the high quality of their steaks and tonight’s meal lived up to that reputation. Reference to a nice dessert has left my mouth watering..!
Tomorrow, they will have a similar day of hiking. Leaving camp, they will walk about a half mile up along the west (left) bank of the Rio Vacas, before crossing a bridge. For the rest of the day, they will be on the right bank, climbing up and over alluvial fans that have built up from tributary drainages and hiking along the cobble covered river bottom. It is not uncommon to see guanacos running along the grassy slopes above the river. Guanacos are wild animals in the same family as llamas and alpacas, although they are smaller than their more well known cousins. Reddish orange in color, they are indigenous to this part of the Andes.