21 January 2010

second beagle: just two wags


our swim was not as long as we'd expected, cut short by the unavailability of the Club de Yates and its wood-burning stove. we used the old rowboat as a clubhouse instead. this time, getting in was easy. it's amazing how just one day of training can change psychological comfort with a place. we swam out past the metal buoy, heading east with the current. there is kelp everywhere, so I make a concerted effort to get used to it. every time I see something up ahead, my heart skips a beat. it's a matter not of training my body not to react, but of understanding that the scariest factor in the equation is my psyche as it startles. nevertheless, I'm a wuss. I swim behind Cristian. I'll deal with it all tomorrow-- I suspect that the clarity of the water and the presence of kelp won't be any less where we swim, near Punta McKinley. like Antarctica, this area is really the province of international explorers, and now tourists, trekkers, and especially sailors. It always has been. as we get out of the water, the blonde, sunwashed Swiss man--around my age-- yells out to me from his terrifyingly worn sailboat. I have a wetsuit, if you want one! No thanks, I shout back. This one looks better. I gesture to my bikini.

on the way back, we finally see the source of the manure in the streets: a pack of horses, including a pregnant mare and a small colt. they are grazing up on a hill, not far from our hostel.

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