Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Erratic Rock

Sunday 30th to Thursday 3rd
The "Erratic Rock" hostel is a dangerous place and it sucks you in. Where did the time go. I can justify some of it. I needed to do laundry - all that hiking and cycling makes a man´s clothes less bendy than when new! And I needed to rest the ankle, but 5 days! The place is like a giant magnet and I´m not the only "traveller" to not travel far from here. I have made the top 10% list of long termers though according to Bill the owner, and you know when you´ve stayed a while when the greenhorns start coming to you for information. Really cool place.

Not all wasted time though, checked out a few local restaurants including Africano - a well recommended (if strange) combination of African / South American food, plus a Pizza joint that does Pizza deserts - fantastic. The highlight was a 5am session in the local Karaoke bar with Claire, Michelle, Ian and Connor from the hostel. I don´t normally do Karaoke, but apparently Pisco Sours (Pisco - a whisky type drink from grapes, lime and egg white) has that effect. A wireless microphone really helps as you can "give it large" and strut your stuff in fine style all round the place. The bar owners tried to close the place by turning off the machine - but we just made up our own songs, playing Spanish tunes - but we just made up our own words (Pisco makes you fluent in Spanish). Eventually they gave us carry outs to get rid of us which seemed like a good deal. Ian made a 7:30 bus the next day which was impressive. Michelle slept til 2pm - less impressive.

On a more productive note, did a couple of gentle rides to mobilise the leg again, 60kms down along the Puero Natales sound where you get some great views of the mountains around the town and there´s plenty of (unidentified) birdlife including flamingos - I know that one. 25kms to Mirador (forgot the name) the rock outcrop that Erratic Rock takes it´s logo from, where there´s a nice 600m climb for panoramic views of the flat plains Puerto Natales is built on and the mountains and hanging glaciers surrounding. Fine views - sorry no camera.

Stayed long enough to see my hiking buddies Marcin come out of the park after finishing the circuit and Jeff arriving back from Punta Arenas for a steak and beer session.

Got my own back on Marcin (the machine who tried to kill me) by persuading him to cycle to some prehistoric Milodon (large pointy clawed sloth like beasty thing) caves 30kms away. He suffered the following day in a most satisfying manner. Marcin - you hike like a man but cycle like a girl.

This is Bill.... and Erratic Rock. Bill says "send all the cool people".