Still travelling with the Argentineans we met on our journey from Refugio Frey to Jakob we spent a couple of days dilly dallying around. A day at Lago Puelo Puelo and the nights cooking at the boys campsite. Javiar is a chef in Buenos Aires and made awesome asado chicken burgers and we smashed out the ultimate backpacker food - Pasta – gourmet mind you!
We were feeling a little worse for wear the few days after the trek, and although we were super keen to climb some more, our bodies said not to. So we decided to make all the horses do all the hard work up the mountains.
The tour company we decided to go with was a full day including transfers for AR$300ea. We walked 20 minutes and met at the agency at 9am because our hostel “wasn’t central enough” then picked up Dario & Javiar from their campsite Refugio Patagoina Camping (PS We stayed at the hostel there the first night and it sucked! We paid AR$70 each in an 8 bed dorm, didn’t get breakfast and weren’t allowed to bring our mates in when we cooked them dinner.)
We rolled in and met Eduardo – the Gaucho! He saddled up our horses for us and I was trying to think back to when I rode a horse. The last, and possibly only time was with Sian up the road from my childhood home with a couple of Clydesdales and she fell off and was pushing me back up – legend! Anyway, we both managed to meet and greet our horses successfully, they would probably speak Spanish if they spoke but they don’t so we’ll just say it was a success, and we jumped on.
All going well. Richard’s horse Tranquillo and mine later named Loco (crazy) were fairly good to us, we think, although my horse was 14 years old and was going a bit crazy. He just kept wanting to go faster and didn’t like to slow down when I told him to. Probably because I didn’t like telling him to, with his experience I was sure he would know best! Lucky Eduardo was hardly ever far behind and could control all four horses with his whistling.
We rode for mabye 2 hours and came to Refugio Hielo Azul where we stopped and had a bite to eat and drank some mate after unsaddling the horses. This is where Rich’s horse got it’s new name – Itchy.
The Itchy & Scratchy Show!
We went for a walk along Rio Azul river and saw some nice sights – including some rapids, where I slipped an fell in to luckily get only wet feet!
For lunch we prepared some awesome sangers then got back on the road again to head back. We stopped in at a nice part of Azul Rich and Javier had a swim. I had great intentions to but it was freezing!! While we were stuffing around fishing and swimming and what not, Richard’s horse got loose and went for a bit of a wander. Probably to find some trees to scratch itself on.
We were sitting at one side of this dodgy bridge where hikers were coming over from both sides, one at a time. This guy came over and his foot went through one of the planks. I shat a little. Then he makes it across, turns around, and he has his baby on his back!!! The baby was super cool, just sleeping away. When the dude’s wife came over she fixed the neck support by the way.
We rode back to the start, and this was where Loco was in his element. We ended up cantering most of the way back and then stopping because he didn’t like going slow even though it was stinking hot and he was sweating. As soon as he heard another horse getting closer he would hit the gas! What a trooper.