So here was the plan:– just over 100 years ago my great grandfather, aged seven, arrived by steamer in Buenos Aries and then travelled by train, horse and cart AND on foot over the Andes to Coquimbo on the Pacific coast of Chile; his dad was trying to earn his fortune smelting copper, but the house burnt down and the business failed and they had to come back. My family was trying to follow in his footsteps, kitesurfing anywhere we could along the way.
Dad hired a twincab 4X4 pickup and we left BA (and a whole lot of fantastic people) behind and headed south for our dose of kiting on the Atlantic side (the first coastline in our coast-to-coast trip). We tried to kite at Punta Rasa but got eaten alive by the most vicious swarm of mosquitos and ended up on the empty beach at San Clemente del Tuyo. It was a funny experience; which due to the light wind and a pesky dog, involved a lot running as Mum and Jemima desperately tried to record the historic event on camera. Just as the sun was setting though, the wind came and I got a special sunset session with the 11m Chaos.
After dark we headed inland, and drove overnight across the Pampas. We stopped for a brief roadside sleep in the pickup and then soldiered on, eventually arriving in the foothills of the Andes. We took some time out to ride horses in the wild landscape of ravines and waterfalls.
We drove east and found this spectacular canyon, in the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, surrounded by mountains. After a super windy (70 mph) sleepless night in the tent we awoke completely covered in a brown dust. We walked at sunrise along the dry river bed to some amazing cliff sides, feeling tiny in the huge canyon.
We picked up my oldest sister Lucy at San Juan airport and with the family reunited we headed higher up into the Andes.