I wake during the short period of darkness known as night, for biological reasons, and enjoy the southern stars. Orion is out and familiar, but the Southern Cross is not often in my view. The next time I wake we are re-treated with the huge fox, apparently quite comfortable in camp. Brian, John and I head to the lodge for our breakfast board. We explain that our fourth, Mark, will be along shortly, but that we would enjoy starting with just coffee while we wait. Heads nod in total agreement, and then immediately our toast and eggs arrive. Rather than let our only chance at hot food get cold, we shrug and try to enjoy the Mark-less meal. Mark eventually arrives for his toast and eggs. By now, we are well into multiple bowls of cereal and yogurt. At least in terms of feeling full, Brian declares this one of our better meals. John asks for more bread, which is resoundedly refused, with obvious disgust for the North American pigs that we are. We are provided sack lunches of sandwiches, nuts and bars for our journey on.
We pack up in no particular hurry, then head south down the west side of the circuit. The views of Grey Glacier and largo are impressive, but are slightly undermined by the exceedingly entertaining appearance of ridiculously large hares. This part of the circuit is amped up in population, and with the possible exception of John, we tire of the constant holas and small talk every 100 yards.
We break at a beautiful overlook, take pictures, then begin to indulge in sandwiches. A CONF (National Forest Corporation) employee appears and begins speaking in Spanish quite enthusiastically about our sandwiches. We assume he wants to know where to get one, and we begin a pantomime show which clearly disappoints our audience of one. His much more powerful and moving one-man show, however, convinces us we are NOT allowed to eat sandwiches anywhere other than at a refugio. Why are we provided a lunch at a refugio that we are only allowed to carry to the next refugio? Perhaps we could have simply carried a coupon to the next location, which we would be lighter and far less tempting to consume along the way. At any rate the whole thing is ridiculous, but provides humor for the hungry.
We arrive at Paine Grande in time to finish our sandwiches, setup camp, cook dinner, shower and play cards. Without surprise, the rain returns.