15 November, 2012

Day 125, 283km: Once upon a time in Patagonia

So yeah, I'm late on the updates here. This particular entry is from 10 days ago so I will do my best to recall what happened that day, helped by the few notes I have. I might get slightly "creative" on this one.

Once upon a time, in Patagonia...

The land of the cordillera
A long time ago, in a country far far away, there was a rather peculiar party travelling the godforsaken lands of Patagonia. A young man, his motorcycle/girlfriend and their travelling companion, a silicium powered device.

Beauty around every corner
The young man originated from a far, far region of the world, unknown to the inhabitants of Patagonia. People say that he came from the icy lands of the Great North, a country where people fight moose with hockey bats to safeguard their maple syrup supplies. The elders called it "Vien Cover, Ka Neda". But on the other hand, the elders also believe that booze cures cancer and god decides of the harvests' yield, so you might want to take that with a grain of salt.

Pretty sky as the wind builds up
His name was Guillermo, or so it was believed, as the man happened to speak a long-forgotten language, foreign to the people of these lands. In his party were Bertha, a massive German lady supposedly made of steel and aluminium, rumored to weigh a quarter of a ton. There was also Garmin, a tiny, almost fragile cyborg gifted with a tremendous memory, struck by muteness by the gods of Speaker.

This improbable gathering happened to be crossing Patagonia, for reasons unknown to the writer of this story. And on that cursed day, their journey took them from San Carlos de Bariloche to Esquel, a city further south in Patagonia.

Guillermo had red in an old leather-bound book looted on the corpse of another traveler the story of the great Patagonian daemon, "El Viento". His name was not to be spoken, and only crossed generations because of monuments erected in his honours. Most were found on the roadside with these cryptic words "Viento Transversal".
The legend was that El Viento would protect the lands of Patagonia and forbid entrance to its most sacred of places. El Viento was rumored, said the book, to be an invisible behemoth, capable of sweeping away entire armies, day or night, whichever constellation was high in the sky.

Our hero dismissed the story as tales of lunatics and heartily set forth on his journey south. Unbeknownst to him, he was taking his party directly into the daemon's gaping jaws.

Cryptic signage along the way, believed to be a pre-emptive memorial to Mr. Anchorage, who will pass in 16,363AD.
The daemon's assault were subtle at first. He would surprise Guillermo, Bertha and Garmin around corners, trying to deal them a blow strong enough to put them out of the road, where they'd be at his mercy.
El Viento's invisibility made our three friends very tense as they couldn't let their guard down, for fear of his sneaky blows.

The further they progressed south, the angrier and more determined to stop their progression was the Patagonian daemon. His attacks' intensity was ever growing, now assailing them even in the quietests of plains. Guillermo's fight with El Viento lasted all the afternoon. He soon realized that the forgotten prophecies were true, and that El Viento would try everything in his (limitless) power to stop them.

Bertha's pace was greatly reduced, so as to be in a better position to react to the daemon's strikes. Our party's progress was slow and tiresome, moving merely ten leagues in an hour.

Esquel's bustling downtown
So it was with a great relief when fumes of the hamlet of Esquel appeared upon the horizon. Our party rebutted the ultimate assaults of El Viento and found shelter in a comfortable tavern held by a jovial character.
The man, himself a traveler, recounted the tales of his explorations further South. According to him, El Viento could be tricked into allowing you entrance to Patagonia, provided that you went during his sleep. He was rumored to sleep when the wheat is ripe and the sun high in the sky. Guillermo inquired Bertha on the idea of waiting for this more favorable time to come. They quickly dismissed the idea as it meant they'd stay for many moons in Esquel, a perspective that rejoiced neither of them (Garmin remained mute as always).

And so they sat in the tavern's hall, hearing the tales of Patagonia, sharing stories of the Great North and headed for rest as the sun went down, bracing themselves for the many fights with El Viento that were to come.


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