Propelled by the high of a lifetime, we decide to pack it up, pack it out, and power on to another campsite, De Agostini, as we anticipate a change in weather and feel Lady Luck telling us to take advantage of today’s bluebird for a double-decker sight day.
Because, from here, Fitz Roy imposes tall, our camp in his shadow, but Cerro Torre hides behind the bend, invisible from this vantage point.
It is only two hours, per our calculation, and frankly, other than walk, there isn’t terribly much to do in these parts. Off we go accompanied by a pleasant afternoon tailwind to temper sunshine, shortcut route longing river lake, where we dawdle and daze as birds bathe on the beach, tickled to pieces by the fact that for now, our engagement is ours and ours alone, for no one in the outside world knows our news.
That is, no one save the Asian Australian dude from our hostel whom we encounter on the way downhill earlier.
And, Eric, our California friend rushing opposite us on the shortcut, no peanut butter in sight, although, a warning bell sounds that we might bite off than we want to chew in an afternoon, for pack-less, he trucks almost three hours between there and here, fuzzy math, if you ask us.
Oh, yes, and our three French friends from Ushuaia, officially the most frequent random encounter, as we run into them everywhere we go in Patagonia, and for the life of me, I simply cannot remember their names and refer to them as the short, grumpy one, the tall one, and the spokesperson, the one with good hair.
So, right, no one knows, and we still manage to calculate that this easy, breezy 9 km will run us barely two hours, cresting the initial excitement of wedding planning, until it becomes unavoidably obvious that it’s long been two hours, Agostini nowhere in sight.
And, I am a cranky pants.
Screw this campsite bullshit, I just want to set up our tent anywhere flat and sleep, the morning’s activities creeping in my muscle memory, legs suddenly dead weight of immobility.
Grumble, grumble, grumble, my fiancé–yeah, sounds weird, right? Give it a few, we say–keeps our spirits high, and before I count a fourth hour, we cross into camp threshold and plop down riverside, white water drowning camp chatter and port-a-john stench, rough by any standards.
Thank god, my body groans, and tent pitched, we prepare a meal to defy all engagement dinners ever–packet of carne ravioli and boxed vino tinto.