Saturday morning, Villa Cerro Castillo. Park service is warning hikers to delay entry into the park for a day because of high winds so I’m hanging out at my new favorite cafe, converted from two busses in a really cool way. It’s sunny here but super windy, and there is dust in this wind, kind of reminds me of crossing highway 50 in Nevada in a windstorm that could sandblast the paint off your car. Had to change a flat tire in it once, a thing you never forget. That wind was blowing when I got here yesterday, intimidating at first but after waking in the middle of the night covered in dust I’m used to it. It blows up under the tents rain fly and in through the screens, like wind blowing up a skirt. Welcome to Patagonia. Weather is supposed to get much better for five days starting tomorrow so I’ll begin the hike then. Right now I’m looking at rain in the high peaks where I’m headed so I’m happy to be here at this cafe. I’ll shake the dust out of my tent later today. The view of the peaks (Cerro Castillo, named such because they look like a big dark castle) from my tent is astounding, I’m super blessed. I went down to the Hostal cabin this morning and mentioned the dust to the gauchos. Once we got the word translated we all sang the song ‘Dust in the Wind’ together. They love that song. They were headed outside to rig up horses for a trail ride that they outfit for tourists. I showed them my bears tooth necklace and described life with bears, they were fascinated. They speak pretty good English, I think because they work with tourists.
I watch backpackers from the cafe window, getting off a bus and looking around in the gusting wind and wondering, like I did yesterday, “what and where in the name of middle of nowhere hells backyard planet did I just land on?” But you get used to it and the raw beauty of the place once you get over the shock of wondering if there is even a bus out of here.
May the Wind always be at your back, and the sunshine on your path, friends.
—Hombre sin Nombre