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  • Fly to: Santiago, Chile

  • Internal Transfer: Santiago - Cohaique

  • Visa required: Not if British

  • Currency:Chilean Peso

  • Time Zone:-3hrs GMT

  • Journal:Click here

Day 35, 07/12/07 - Patagonia Northern Icecap

Everyone was packed up ready to leave camp at 7:00am this morning; unfortunately Evans was nowhere to be seen. Turns out he had to do an 'emergency poo', whatever one of those is, therefore making both him and Dale late. I was slightly annoyed that he'd seen everyone packed, ready & waiting and didn't even apologise. Ben was also visibly annoyed but I think he's given up shouting at us for being late; after all it is a daily occurrence.

We eventually left camp at 7:45am and it wasn't long before we came across a river crossing. Ian, Nic & I sat on the beach eating flatbreads while the others scouted ahead. They were gone for ages & we kept seeing Dale wading waist deep in icy cold water, he's a 'machine!' We then had to do our own crossing; crotch deep - 'apparently'. I opted to take off my trousers as I figured if I was going to get cold I'd sooner have some dry clothes to put on afterwards. I followed Ben through and as the water rose way above my crotch I lost all ability to speak. Nic & Evans were next, Evans announcing regularly the condition of his balls, 'they're still dry guys!' ha ha not for long sunshine!

Nic then took over Evans' spot to lead with Dale; the pace was great, path good and I felt really fit; a huge part of me wanted to make it all the way down to the beach (tomorrow's target). Ian was behind me huffing and puffing, moaning; i asked the guys a couple of times to slow down, but there really wasn't anything wrong with the pace. He then began moaning about the frequency of the breaks, by now I'd given up trying to slow the guys up front.

When we stopped for a break he asked if we had any Zuko for his water, so I gave him & Nic mine to share. On the next break I asked him if he had his Zuko handy, 'give me a minute will you' he snapped, jeez I only asked cos you've just used mine, touchy, touchy. Nic & Dale found an ideal camp spot right next to a big river, Ian came over and gave Nic & me a hug; hmm it felt a little contrived. He kept asking what was up with Nic, and then went off to cook dinner.

Nic got the water & then gave me a hand pitching the tent. It's a strange feeling when you're leading and someone in the group keeps moaning about the pace, breaks etc, it's like they're personally blaming you for them having a hard day; I think that was what was grating Nic a bit; mind you I'd never seen her this dissociated before, she was clearly pissed off. I did my best to make her smile, and probably did that patronising pat on the back thingy; ha I'm trying, very trying!

Dale & Evans were sleeping in their bivvy bags tonight, I don't think they wanted to be last up again.