CHILE III

2/26/2022  

The bus was northbound out of Punta Arenas and carried a dozen tourists with a dozen itineraries from all walks of life. As they drove east of the fjords that fractured the Andes into a thousand islands and peninsulas, Henry Roe was looking out of his window at the maze of waterways. Dotting the relatively flat plains of Patagonia were platoons of guanacos, 1 of the 4 camelids in Southeast America (screw political correctness and let’s go with geology correctness). Their fleece fetches a fine figure, so of course they nearly became extinct along with the other wild species, known as vicuna. Poachers need more Ed Geins to turn them into lampshades and smoking jackets to teach the bipeds a lesson. The magnificent scenery elevated up a few notches as the Torres came into view. Dropped off at an amazing hotel overlooking a glacier lake reflecting the mountains off to the west, Henry thought of the stamina and courage that alpinists have to attempt these peaks. Although much more exciting than a factory job in Tulsa, Oklahoma, some alpinists retire to an unretrievable rock crotch in a steep mountain range in their early 30’s. Their pensions are their last views as the internal injuries snuff out their highly motivated life force. Henry was content with going for a 5-mile hike on hilly terrain, less adventuresome but offered a fine meal and warm bed at the end of the day. The following day after breakfast with sugar coated scenery, Henry was picked up by an independent driver that used the family beater to get him 6 hours back to Punta Arenas. With larceny in the driver’s blood and 100 words of English, the return trip was full of apprehensions. As the beady eyed stranger kept watching his fare for weaknesses, Henry snuck a sharp pointed rock into his pocket just in case. By the end of the trip and only 1 confrontation, they were road trip buddies thanks to some cervaza purchased along the way. International Peace talks only needs a few beers to be fruitful.

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