Published: January 5th 2006January 1st 2006
Forget Godzilla vs King Kong
Now we've got Christie vs the Milidon thingy ... go the Milodon
Before I came to South America, Michael Wood loaned me one of those 'classic' books titled In Patagonia
by Bruce Chatwin. By classic I mean that it was written ages ago and I didn't understand every fiftieth word because it had more than four syllables in it.
It was the author's story of travelling through Patagonia on the trail of outlaws and other mysteries. The bit I remembered the most was a tale about going in search of an extinct giant Sloth remains of which were reputedly found in a cave alongside signs of human habitation, thus it was rumoured that perhaps man had bred or used these sloths in recent times.
I spent the last day of 2005 completing my own quest for Le Cueva de Milodon ... the cave of the sloth. Admittedly I did it a bit easier as we set off from nearby Puerta Natales on some pretty good hire bikes, we had a map showing us where to go, and most the way there was on bitumen roads.
To be completely honest we even got to sit down and enjoy chilled drinks and giant hamburgers at the restaurant next to the cave, and
Back on the bikes
Not much further, promise ...
I'm not sure the interpretive signs were there when Bruce came through fifty or sixty years ago, but with those minor differences aside. I made it!!! Me and Bruce are fellow adventurers.
In defence of my adventurers title, I did manage to steer us off course on our return as we had a very dodgy map which indicated we should keep on cycling along the road we were on and eventually we'd come to a turn off to the left which would take us back to Puerto Natales. Many hills later, and with Torres del Paine looming closer and closer we figured something wasn't right, turned around, and eventually found the turn off on the other side of the Cave (we'd passed it on the way in but it wasn't signed).
We also got some really cool headwinds on the way back. I think I heard Christie emit a beast like 'YAWP' that would have made the Dead Poets Society proud a few kilometers out of town ... or it could have been an "Aaahhhhh" as in "Aaahhhhh if I ever catch John I'll kill him for coming up with this stupid idea¨. I'm sure it was a
La Cueva de Milodon
See it up there in the left hand corner?
Yawp, because fancy adventuring authors like Bruce and me don't use Aahhhh's in our Prose.
I shan't mention New Years Eve other than to say we caught up with the others from our group for a fantastic dinner buffet provided by Antares, then after New Years went to a dance party that Antares had also put on for it's guides and guests. Christie made a New Years Resolution not to drink. I'd like to say that this was following the high ideals of Chris, who was celebrating going cold turkey on the drink for one year, but I think it had more to do with her waking up in the morning with vomit all over her bed and not quite remembering where she was.
Sometime over these few days Christie also came up with a brilliant scheme for when she returns to Australia. It basically revolved around her parents paying her an allowance to stay at home and look after the dog. It seemed a great idea when we were lying in bed feeling sorry for ourselves, but I'm not quite so sure how we're going to market it now that I'm a tad more sober. Oh well.
Lost (but only slightly)
So if that is the Torres del Paine behind you ... I figure we're lost, very lost. Nowhere near where we should be to be precise.
Also discovered that I'm down to one pair of trousers as my second pair disintegrated somewhere in Torres del Paine. I wonder if Bruce had to put up with these hardships when he travlled through these parts? I'll have to borrow that book again and find out.