2015, Aisén, Avellanos, etc.

The Ice Cream Aisle

The shaggy haired blonde guy looked a bit out of place, no doubt just as I did. He was wandering around the Bigger grocery store with a stack of dulce de leche tubs. I pushed my sugary snack laden grocery cart away from the dulces and made my way toward Dave, Matt and Ting Ting who were else where in the store. I find them talking with another gringo, this one with a beard and dark hair. His attire, much like the lad I had seen making off with the dulce de leche, gave him away as a climber. I can not help cracking a smile as I read his white t-shirt. Under a bright rainbow are written the words “ganster-ish” Matt steps over to me “that’s Dave Brown”

“Ah” I say, then realize that his partner is the guy with stack of dulce de leche. It comes together. We stand and block the ice cream/cookie aisle for close to twenty minutes as Dave and Andy share beta and we get the low down on their expeditions highs and lows. Poor weather, falling rocks, almost running out of oatmeal… all the regular things. The two’s other partners had already made tracks off the continent and these two were wrapping up their time in Coyhaique and heading back to Britain, where, apparently it is hard to acquire the lovely treat of dulce de leche, hence Andy’s stack to bring back with him.

Dave Brown, Dave Anderson & Ting-ting Yi swap beta at the Bigger supermercado in Coyhaique, Chile


After giving thanks for the beta and them wishing us luck, Ting Ting, Dave, Matt and myself checked out, loaded the food into our packs and headed to the Sodimac hardware store to acquire some bencina blanca to fuel our stoves and help satiate our desire for cooked food and hot drinks.

We wrap up this day of acquiring supplies with dinner. Matt and I make plans to meet up with Dave and Ting Ting in town the following day and bid adieu and catch a cab back to the campo of NOLS Patagonia, where we find a lively crew of friendly faces shooting the shit and consuming libations. We drop our packs, crack open the proffered beer (thanks Oscar) and join in the banter.