Journey America Part 2
Windy Generosity 01.24.17
From Tres Arroyos I rode south towards the town of Coronel Dorrego. A 102 kilometre stretch with nothing in sight. Every night I was forced to camp on the side of the road with the ponies and fend for myself.
With the wind still blowing forcefully and the heat rising, everyday became a mental and physical battle. On our first day out, after 40 kilometres I finally found a windmill to give the horses water. I untacked the boys and tied them to the fence line. As always, the gate was locked, so I jumped it and walked 500 metres to the windmill with my foldable bucket. When I arrived I took a long drink from the fresh water being pumped out of the pipe – I was dying of thirst. After filling the bucket I trekked back. When I arrived at the ponies with the first bucket of water, I realized my GoPro, which I always carried in my shirt chest pocket, was gone. I panicked. I looked all over my tack. the ground, the way to the windmill… nothing. I knew where it was. But I didn’t want to face it.
I took off my clothes and went into the tank that held the water from the windmill. It was freezing. I walked to where the pipe pumped the water into the tank and began feeling around with my foot.
“%#%#” I yelled out as my foot touched the little square camera.
I cliched it with my toes and brought it up. The GoPro I had carried from Brazil to Argentina was done. Soaked. Broken. When I bent over to drink the water, tired and thirsty, I didn’t notice it slip out of my pocked and plunge into the water. I wanted to cry. I used it several times a day to document my journey. It’s one of the most important tools I carry. And now it was gone.
I did the same trip with the full water bucket 3 more times for the horses to drink and let them graze while I put up the tent. I was tired, sore, sad and frustrated. Life on the road is not easy.
The next morning I awoke with the rising sun and continued south. We trekked until noon when I rode into a small village. I found water for the boys and sat next to a home to shelter myself from the wind for 15 minutes. It felt heavenly to escape that beast blowing me into insanity for a few minutes. A gigantic relief. The wind down here is so strong, it’s hard to think. Never mind ride…
While I rested a man stopped his truck and came to talk to me. He had seen me trekking and wanted to know where I was going. After I explained the journey to him, he told me that I would have no water for the horses that night.
“I will bring you some jugs of water for the horses in the afternoon,” the Gaucho offered.
I thanked him immensely and continued on. Just after 4pm I arrived at a small gathering of trees where he told me to camp and waited for the water to arrive while the ponies filled their bellies. I waited for two hours wondering if the man would actually show up. Just when I was about to lose faith, the truck pulled up. I wanted to kiss him.
We filled up the bucket and Sapo and Picasso drank ferociously – they were thirsty. I thanked my new friend and he left. After a few minutes another truck pulled up and a man from Coronel Dorrego jumped out with a smile on his face.
“I brought Alfalfa for your horses and food for you,” he said shaking my hand.
I couldn’t believe it. We went from having nothing to having everything we needed in a few minutes! I can’t say it enough, people are amazing! Generous! Kind! I have felt the love of humanity first hand through my adventures. I have regained my trust in my fellow man. This is probably the greatest lesson I will take with me from my journeys.
The ponies and I filled our bellies as the sun went down and by 9pm I was snoring in my tent. The following day, my new friends drove to Tres Arroyos to pick up the van for me before I arrived and welcomed me into their town with open arms. I was tired and in need of a real bed and a shower. I got both.