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Tours in Expeditions Ltd, UK based adventure tour operator is organizing a Horseback expedition from Argentina to Mexico with an aim to set a new world record for the longest Horseback journey by the length of 25,000 + miles over the course of 5+ years. This expedition is set to begin in front of Perrito Moreno Glacier near the town of El Calafate, Patagonia-Argentina on 11th November 2018. The public can participate in this expedition and write the part of this World Record from 5 to 18 days as tour package inclusive of accommodation, gear, meals and training.
Your accommodation will be in a four-season tent that is sized for up to three individuals if you have chosen not to participate in wilderness Survival theme. Each group will be provided with individual tents. The tent includes an air mattress and sleeping bags/duvets. Tours in Expeditions' trailer has a camper style heated shower and western toilet. Pop-up toilet tent can be provided if requested.
You can also bring your favorite sleeping bags/mat or tents to the expedition, however, please be mindful of how heavy and spacious they are as they may be not allowed by the expedition leaders if they feel that equipment will compromise safety. You can always email Tours in Expeditions prior to bringing it. In case the clients are unable to find food or make shelter, the support crew will always be on hand to bring food/shelter to the clients on dirt bike. The riding crew accompanying the clients will have radio devices to communicate with the support crew.
The length of the tour is called as half-leg for a 5-day trip. To participate in our expeditions there are minimum riding skills required which can be arranged by partnered Riding schools & centers around the World for a reduced price as well as additional days of training provided by Tours in Expeditions as well.
The crew picks up clients from nearest publicly accessible town/ city/ village to the base camp. Clients meet the crew members, mount on our horses and practice for an hour to get comfortable, introduction – to staff members and their roles, health & Safety practices in place, operation of communication devices, emergency signalling, map reading, identification of wild edible and poisonous plants in the region, the challenges in the tour and guidance to tackle them etc. Day 1 will be concluded with traditional food bought from local residents.
The clients will set off on their journey towards their destination along with a staff member on a horse. Riding group will be followed by the paramedic on a dirt bike at a distance. Clients will follow the map and in case they veer off the designed track, the riding staff will advise. The paramedic will arrive only if radioed, otherwise will be taking pictures and videos of the expedition from a distance. The riding staff will also take pictures & Videos of the clients if requested.
If clients have chosen an additional activity, this day would be ideally used for the chosen activity. Depending on geographical location if the chosen activity was climbing or canoeing, it may be exercised in any of the other days. As for these 2 activities, clients will be dropped off in waterfront or base of the cliff with the equipment required for the activity and Tours in Expeditions staff will take the horses to the meeting point which usually will be the camping spot for the night giving enough time to catch up. The paramedic will keep an eye on you whilst you are exercising your additional activity.
Mid-leg break. This day serves as a rest day for the horses and the staff to ensure they are well rested and physically fit for the expedition. This day also serves clients to depart as well as the new clients to join the expedition. The expedition's 4X4 ambulance will come to collect the participants and take them to the nearest town.
As you are already aware this adventure tour is led by clients; thus unlike other tour operators, Tours in Expeditions are unable to provide exact details of the pick-up or drop off place, what is best about the location or the difficulty rating. Each leg is led by different groups of individuals who ride or cycle at their convenient pace. Experienced riders may do the leg faster than expected and vice versa. The other factors disabling Tours in Expeditions to provide exact factors are political, geological factors as natural disasters changing the topography from the time of mapping the area to the time of the expedition. The following information is for general guidance and may change.
A member of the Tours in Expeditions staff will contact you to understand more about what you are seeking, your experience, your availability to match one of the legs of the expedition. This is a crucial way to understand and match the rides for health and safety reasons. 45 days prior to your adventure, you will be emailed a detailed description of your route and the map of the route to your email. A sample of the description is as follows for the 1st 5 legs.
Description: The leg begins in front of the Perito Moreno glacier about 50 kilometers from the town of El Calafate. You will ride along the Lake Argentina (Lago Argentina) and in parts by the roads, upon reaching the end of the ford, you will ride diagonally towards EL Calafate, through open terrain by the foothills of Frias (1,095 metres). Then you will cross the river Centinela at a suitable crossing to head towards the town of Bahia Redonda but by the mountain Huyliches.
Description: “Arroyo Calafate” divides the Mount Huyliches and Mount Calafate. In this second half of the leg, you will have to get across this stream and head to the southern face of the hill “Cerro Gualicho” - 297 metres where the northern face is Lago Argentino. From this point, you will be riding direct east towards “Santa Cruz” river at the end of “Lago Argentino” crossing a small unnamed stream along your way. On the shoreline of the river “Santa Cruz” is where this leg concludes.
Description: From the river Santa Cruz’s bank, you will head north-west towards the mount Cerro La Meseta - 811 meters crossing Rio La Leona to its western bank. Then following this Rio La Leona you will head directly north then east on this hilly route to La Leona, then heading towards the “Lago Videma” where you rest for the mid-leg break along this lake. this route is around 80 kilometres for three days, so there is a lot of places to go off the track and challenge yourselves such as using the alternative route 17 which is on the valley between Cerro Colorado (1,235 metres) and Cerro Fortaleza (720 metres).
Description: For the second part of this leg, you will head east towards the town of “Tres Lagos”. On your first day, you will ride alongside the Lake “Videma” then steering through a windy canyon and low hills onto the northern side of town Tres Lagos where you will cross “Rio Chalia”. Continuing forwards to Estancia La Lucia where the leg concludes. The route after the river Chalia takes a scenic mountain view.
Description: From “Estancia La Lucia” you will ride north following the National route 40 on a windy canyon of hills with small water bodies along the way. The tallest hill along the way is Cerro Cordon 740 metres, from where you will see “Lago Cardiel” where you will take the mid-leg break. To get to Lake Cardiel, you will be traveling along a zig-zag mountain track and through its valleys.
Description: From the Lake Cardiel you will head north alongside national route 40 with steep cliffs to one side and several streams on the other side towards the mountain “Cerro Negro” then east to Mount “Cerro Las Horquetas” where the leg concludes. This area is full of rivers and streams providing a rich source of food and scenic locations. Alternatively, for experienced riders, there is the option of choosing a more difficult track to “Lake Stobel” which is home to giant fishes by climbing steep mountains and getting down on the steeper side to Mount “Cerro Las Horquetas”
Description: This leg starts as easy where mostly you will be riding through the open countryside with hills on each end. Possibilities to trot, canter, and gallop if sufficiently experienced. Despite being flat, you will be riding at a steady altitude of 700 to 900 metres. On the second day, you can expect to ride along the narrow valleys which are flat but with sudden steep uphill and downhill rides. More towards Bajo Caracoles, the route gets pretty wild with several summits hiding your view. Baja Caracoles will be your mid-leg break.
Description: From Baja Caracoles, you will head to the town of Perito Moreno through scenic mountain landscapes with several summits on each side. There are several steep cliffs and valley mouths along this way, thus orienteering skills are highly necessary for this part of the leg. This route is generally on altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 1,700 metres with a strong deep river crossing, for which it is advised to use the road bridges. In the valley between “Cerro Volcan Negro” and “Cerro del Vasco”, the leg concludes.
Description: From the valley “Cerro Volcan Negro” and “Cerro del Vasco”, you will ride to the town of “Perito Moreno” and head northwest on a small road parallel to National Route 40. The urban side provides additional challenges such as traffic, noise pollution which can be dangerous for the riders and the animals. After passing the city, you will again take open landscapes to cut through to ride along Route 40. The mid-leg breaks will be on an unnamed river that well could be a lake depending on the weather.
Description: From this unnamed river / lake, you will head north towards the town of “Rio Mayo” in the Chubut Province of Argentina through a very open landscape, only 100-meter elevation over 10 kilometres; just to give you an idea how wide the landscape is. This place is good easy long trots and occasional galloping is possible.
The riding crew will consist of up to 7 horses, a chariot, a paramedic and a veterinarian. The support crew will consist of volunteers from various disciplines including cinematographers, photographers, childminders, local doctors, etc. The support crew will aid the expedition with a support vehicle - a four-wheel drive ambulance, a dirt bike, and a tent with sufficient sleeping beds, western toilet, and a hot-water shower.
Wilderness Survival theme: Tours in Expeditions hope that every client gets to learn and experience wilderness survival skills so this course is included in the tour free of charge. This includes finding orientation, fire making, shelter building, finding food, SOS signaling, basic outdoor medical skills etc.
Back to Basis: The true challenge in the modern digital world is to survive without any gadgets, this includes mobile-phones, GPS, torch, lighter etc. We offer you such a chance to challenge yourself with no modern equipment and under our guidance, you can try your luck out.
Hiking: If the client would prefer to take a hike to a summit or a lakeside, you can do so by leaving the horses behind with our staff. If this option is selected upon booking,Tours in Expeditions will try to provide you with a map of the area to navigate yourself.
The location for the tour varies from day to day and so is the Pick-up and drop-off places. We have put together a GPX map on our website, where you will be able to see where we are passing through. The highlighted route is for our support vehicle but as a rider, depending on your skills you will riding on open terrains.
Food is sourced from local farmers, markets, foraging, small animal gaming, and fishing. Usually, the foods are prepared and pre-packed into vacuum sealed bags ready to be consumed with minimal cooking. However, with our optional themes and additional activities, Tours in Expeditions also source foods then and there depending on the geographical location. ours in Expeditions aim to offer luxury level food at our camp, by making sure they are well cooked with thermometer heat ranging over 65 C and following the food processing standards of HACCP in the UK. This is a big challenge and follows our social media to see how we make this happen.
You will be provided with the location of the pick-up point which would be a non-confusing landmark in the town as well as our expedition crew's mobile number. our 4X4 ambulance will be marked with logo of Tours in Expeditions as stickers.