Words running out of our mouths
Words are important to Maria and I. When we both lived in the same city and ran together each week, we would talk the whole way. Talking, laughing, discussing, telling, complaining, marvelling, joking and questioning meant that we didn’t have to think about the running. That just happened and by the time we’d been round Puerto Madero we had caught up on the office and student gossip, family life, plans and boyfriend endeavours. Which, run done, of course left more talking.
I haven’t run and talked in a while as I now run by myself. Martín doesn’t like to run with me as I “go too fast up the hills” (remember, these are no longer hills in a post-Cruce world). So that’s why being with Maria again for our Andes 3-day running/hiking challenge was fabulous: I had a partner in crime that talked!
Now, I’m not going to bore you with the intimate details of our never-ending conversations. That would be honestly foolish. No, what I am going to do here is celebrate the funny and the ridiculous of what came out of our and others’ mouths during Cruce de los Andes.
When all is said and done, the sublime and the preposterous stand out. And, as words, here they are.
“I was going to say… this must be the Columbia store.” Laura using all her observational powers walking round San Martín de los Andes.
“What do they do about people who want to go out at night?” Laura.
“Maybe they just don’t promote going out.” Maria, on why we can’t get into our hostel at some unearthly hour of the morning.
“Is 3km per hour even possible?” Laura, before 3km per hour.
“Y EQUIPO 90?” José, always concerned about us girls.
“LLamando equipo 90!” José and Gonzalo, calling across the very narrow space to our tent at night.
“DURISIMO!” Everyone, revealing how bloody hard Day 1 was.
“That’s when I’ll put on deodorant.” Maria, Night 1 planning her armpit stops.
“OTRA subida?” Everyone, wondering when the climbs would stop.
“Is this where we get choripan?” Maria. Obviously.
“Is this still lunch?” Laura to a kitchen helper on Day 1, 6.38pm.
“I mean, SERIOUSLY?” Laura and Maria every time they talked about Reyes and Ortega (the winners).
“Oh look, there’s your mate.” Laura to Maria every time we saw an American.
“I suck at math.” Maria, not being able to count how far we still had to go.
“Tienen GPS?” Various women who were always wearing pink and confusing us. And no, we didn’t have GPS.
“This is BRILLIANT!” Laura, reminding everyone they had chosen this and to enjoy it.
“You had me fooled for a while, at least 30 seconds. I’m the Argentine-American.” The mostly American Argentine-American. Maria clocked him a mile off with this thumbs-up photo poses.
“Como están las piernas?” Everyone, all of the time, concerned about the legs of others.
“Let me talk to your boss.” Man at the lake to the boy with a walkie-talkie who was telling us the race had been abandoned.
“When we get back we’re going to go to the tent. You’re going to go to your side, I’m going to go to my side and we’re going to have a long, hard word with ourselves.” Laura, Day 2 still on the downhill; still over 2 hours from home; still unaware there would be no tent that night.
“The tissues are migrating.” Maria, with tissue issues.