Sunday, April 29, 2007

plateau puna






Weeks ago, young leader oscar and alejandro were waiting for me with an unpacked quatro por quatro at the Fiambala Terminal de Omnibus. It had been a long 35 hour journey, bus to bus to buses. Their two smiling faces, a fresh yellow pomegranate and love was all I needed for the journey north to the Puna Plateau.

The Puna Plateau is a gorgeous high altitude plateau of rock, volcanoes and a few animals here and there. It is also where the three of us spent the duration of our time in Argentina. It is a remarkable landscape with an exquisite palette of different whites, browns and yellows. Due to its extreme high altitude there isn't much green to be seen, unless one brings a potted plant or two along for the ride.

We were cruising 4x4, and without a vehicle of 4x4 strength the journey would have been impossible, in fact...

...the first day we headed up to the Puna we were stopped in our tracks be a road that seemed to disappear into sand dunes. Shit we thought, where should we go (see oscar and alejandro contemplating our next move along the dissapearing camino).

We were saved by young, Domingo, a boy of no more then thirteen years. One of his cows was stuck in a nearby river and only his madre and himself were around, having heaps of trouble trying to get this cow out of the river. It had spent the night in the water, freezing, hungry, scared and close to death.

Oscar, Alejandro and myself headed down the hill and after some planning, dragged the cow (thing must've weighed 800 pounds) onto dry land. It was certainly in shock and we all pray that it made it home...

Domingo told us that the road was certainly navigable and when we arrived back to the 4x4 there was a caravan of four trucks coming from the direction we were going. The trucks smiled and roared, thumbs up. We continued on our journey to the Puna. What kind of adventures would be in store at 13,000 feet, we'd soon find out.

We arrived at our first puna campsite just as night was falling. Our bright truck and brighter stars surounded us and our campsite. I couldn't pinpoint my ears onto what was different here in the Puna.

Then it dawned on me with dawn. There weren't many other living creatures up there. The silence was overwhelming tranquil. Besides, of course, the ferocious winds...

love and health to all...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the photos and story are fucking awesome. how did you guys get the cow out of the river?
love,dad

2:20 AM  
Blogger Lis said...

b - i didn't see all of the stars in that pic until now! it's a beauty! - a

8:06 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

benny- off for more adventura soon. stuff looks great, nothing but sweet memories. just sent you an e-mail - good job capturing that fox on film too.

suerte,

Oscar

10:55 PM  

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