M&MRC Cruce Story #10: Welcome back to Argentina
I peeped one eye open to see what was going on in the kitchen. Before the sun had peaked over the horizon, the woman that had so kindly let us sleep on her floor was up and working the dough. She hadn’t slept more than 3 hours, but she and her children we’re making dozens and dozens of bread for the runners. We slept a couple hours more until the alarm sounded at 7 am.
We stretched our legs and were pleased to not feel every inch of muscle as we had the previous day. We gathered the few things we had and made our way back to camp. People were already bustling about. There were bags everywhere; ones that still needed to be claimed and others that had been returned to pass customs and enter Argentina again.
We hunted ours down and made our way to the tent. We changed, reunited with Equipo 86 and made our signature peanut butter on toast for breakfast. The best part of not having our bags the night before was there was no need to repack. Our sleeping bags were still tightly wrapped and we just needed to pull a few things out to prepare ourselves, including our passports.
We turned back in our bags and headed to the port-a-pots one last time. This was the last day and we were getting a real starting line with a staggered start on the beach. As we neared the sand, we saw Reyes and Ortega (the winners that floated across the rocks) on their way. We cheered as Equipo 86 passed us and watched the 100s of men pass before we made it to the beach. The mixed groups were up next and then it was us, the female groups.
We waited patiently for our turn and danced as the DJ on the shore played music to pump us up. We counted down as the clock neared 0:00. We were off! Day 3 was 13 miles and after what we’d been through the first couple days, this was a piece of cake. The day before Laura had said, “I wonder how long it will be until we run normal again.” Granted we weren’t running completely normal, but we were much better off than the previous day.
We worked our way along the dirt road. Up and down the hills, but these were nothing compared to where we’d been before. We used the trail to our advantage and quickly came upon the Chilean border crossing. As we approached we saw a line and thought it was going to take a while. We checked the watch to see how long it would take…in and out in 5 minutes. That has to be a record!
We went a couple more miles before reaching the Argentine border patrol. They had desks on the street to welcome us back and make our entrance that much easier. I slapped down my document and the official pulled out the last form left. No need to verify anything. They opened Laura’s passport to give her a stamp, but we were still moving again in less than a minute.
Everything we had put in over the past 2.5 days as coming to its culmination. We were that much closer to the finish.