Karukinka - Patagonia.... / by Mark Boyd

The roads and the skies went on forever.... unsurfaced roads.... and freezing cloud blanketed skies... forever!  Guanacos stood on the verges, ran across the roads, jumped the fences, they were everywhere.  I guess that's what happens when you hunt out all the top predators, there are no pumas on Tierra del Fuego, now the guanaco population is managed by the Guachos, the cowboys of the South.  The guanacos are used for their meat, fleece and skin.... An all organic beast!  And a handsome one at that.

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We drove and drove....

 Past beaver dams, with crystal clear water and icy surfaces....

Past beaver dams, with crystal clear water and icy surfaces....

 Past stunning lakes and mountains....

Past stunning lakes and mountains....

The road went higher and higher.... until there was snow.  Would this little car cope?  I wondered.  The views were magnificent.... Too big to transfer in to a picture, so I just looked.... Drank it all in....

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We went higher... and higher...

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The road was becoming 'sketchy' with patches of ice.  We stopped at the pinnacle and took in the view to where we were supposed to be heading.  I walked around the car, stretching my legs, looking to the road below.  It look impassable.... snow and ice.  It simple wasn't worth the risk for another 5 miles.  We could see the lake in the distance and that's as far as I was willing to take the car.  We hadn't seen another vehicle in over 3 hours.  Get stuck, stay stuck, freeze to death.... Nah.  Not today.

We turned around and took the road back in the other direction.... There was another lake that would be perfect for camping.... Not sure how long it would take, but we'd get there....

 Karakara....

Karakara....

And at around 4pm we did.  A little off roading to provide a windbreak for my tent, near a nice area for lighting a fire and we were set.  I collected dry wood; plenty of it!  With the tent pitched, fire going and dinner on we spotted another car approaching in the distance.... Strange.... and every such a tiny bit disappointing.... My wilderness had been compromised!