In high mountain ranges

Our next project was to cross the “Serranías de Famatina”, the highest American mountain range outside of the Andies.
Again we left with little information but enough food to deal with some obstacles on he way. Our hike started from a walnut tree plantage close to the village Famatina, who’s owners had invited us for a short stay.
They had explained us to follow the gravel road up to a shelter which was called “Tres piedras” and was supposed to be located close to a pass to the other side of the mountain range.
We followed the road for a while until we were close to run out of water. Having seen a river more South at the beginning of the trecking we left the road, following dry ravines towards this direction. Again we found rock carvings of the indigenous tribe “Diaguitas” showing similar patterns as we found along the Río Blanco in San Juan province. I was amazed but also I felt restless and stressed as we had no water anymore in a hot, dry, pathless and unknown environment. We climbed up a slope to gain a better view and from there we finally saw the river valley not far from us. With great relief we made our way down there, directly jumping into the refreshing water when we arrived.
The next days we followed the river upstream, being rewarded with surprises like color changes of the water, beautiful canyons, hummingbirds flying around, eatable plants which added up to our diet. Amazed but worried we felt by various waterfalls. They formed serious obstacles and made us walk bigger and bigger detours until there was no way around them any more.
With all bottles filled up we left the river and headed upwards to the high mountain range. There we found another small stream which we followed until its spring. Next day we climbed slowly but steadily the rocky slopes until we arrived breathless and proud the 5000m high pass beside the Overo Negro, the second highest peak of the range.
Continuing towards the West we soon found a spring again. That stream we followed downwards for several days. Also there waterfalls formed serious obstacles and made us search long ways around them. After two weeks and a long final march through a desert like area we finally arrived to he village Vinchina. Here we spend some rest days including a very quiet night into the year 2017.
Happy new year to everybody!!!


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