Ok, maybe broken is just a little bit melodramatic. My legs do really hurt though, and Marc says that he is sore too, though I suspect that he is just saying that to make me feel better about my sore muscles.
4 days ago we headed out to hike the circuito Chico just a short way away from Bariloche. We started at the base of a mountain where people ski in the winter, and made our way up 12km to our first camp site (named Frey). We made it all the way up that day, but the path was very easy with a gravel or dirt path gently sloping up the whole way. A little huffing and puffing considering the big 35 pound packs we were carrying, but easy non the less. And for this effort we were granted the gift of a camp site on a frigid beautiful lake surrounded by massive granit towers reaching into the sky. Marc and I spent the rest of the afternoon taking a very cold dip in the lake, setting up camp, eating, and watching rock climbers make their way up and down a granite spire that faced the camp. VERY entertaining.
The next morning we lazed around camp a bit, heading out by 11am. The first stage of our journey to the next camp site would be scaling one of the granite mountains that surrounded the lake. Up we clambered huge chunks of rock until we reached a plateau and another beautiful lake. These lakes are fed by the melting snow left over from winter so are chilly to say the least. Then of course, this lake was also backed by a rock wall which we had to clamber over to get to the top. Marc figures that in all we covered a thousand feet of vertical. We (ie, Marc)took some beautiful photos at the top, then, as we all know, what goes up, must come down. So on we went with the knee pounding descent. Trekking poles would have been great at this point. I spent a lot of time sitting on my butt and reaching my legs down rather than take the giant steps necessary that should I lose my footing, send me tumbling down a mountain side that I would rather not leave in that fashion.
Down down down and finally we reached a valley bottom, a kilomet or so on, the track started to rise again . Tuckered out me hoped that this final climb would bring us to the refugio, but no. We had another rock mountain to climb up over, and ANOTHER steep and long descent before we could reach the camp ground that we would call home for 2 nights. I was very proud of me.
We rewarded ourselves by spending 2 nights in this, the jakob campground. Our free day we spent hiking (WITH NO PACKS!!) to a beautiful nearby lake. We made the trip twice in fact. Very nice to have a day to clamber around with no weight on.
This morning we hiked out of the area only to find that the road on which we were supposed to catch a bus had a landslide blocking it. No busses.... So we had to walk 6 km to a main road where we hitched a ride with a lovely lady who dropped us off just at the right place to catch a bus into town. So now we are all washed up, spik and span again and getting ready for the next leg of the adventure. Out we head tonight to book a car rental for the next 5 days. Very exciting.