I checked out of my hostel at 10am after having the free breakfast offered by the hostel. That meant I had 4 pieces of bread with butter. I then headed to pick up Michael at El Refugio de los Mochileros. I took the opportunity to store some stuff in a locker there so that my bag would be lighter. We then headed to a kiosk to get me something a little heavier to eat. I picked up a sandwich and some cookies.
Michael wanted to hitchhike to save the $15 dollars we would have to pay for a cab ride. I agreed to try since I have spent a little more than I wanted to in the last couple of days. We tried hitching on the lower street by the water and did not get any results so we started walking north and toward the east edge of town. In about 20 minutes or so we got a ride to Valle Andorra. We still had a 6k walk on a dirt road to get to the trail but we secured 2 more rides to get us to the trailhead.
The trail was muddy, which seems to be the norm out here in the summer. I quickly realized Michael is a machine on the trail. He had a heavier backpack than me and was leaving me way in the dust. I think if he gave me a 20 minute head start, in 40 minutes he would be at my side. His pace is really impressive.
The views along the trail were mostly closed in but every once in a while you would have a break and would see the mountains.
A little way down the trial you leave the forest and hit a vast open expanse that displays the mountains to you in all their glory and of course a wild lama, known here as a guanaco.
After you climb a little more you see more mountains across valley and the river that feeds laguna de los caminantes.
Close to camp I took this photo of some of the vegetation. It’s incredibly complex and it’s hard to distinguish when one plant starts and another ends.
After a drop into the valley we settled into camp. These are the views afforded by the immediate area.
After settling in camp we decided to go route finding for tomorrow. We did that and then headed back to camp where we ate some food, had some tea. A few moments later some of the Israeli’s we met at the hostel arrived to camp as well. We hung out a bit with them and headed for the tents.