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21 November 2012 / leggypeggy

The adventures of Super Jong

Laguna Torre

Jong overlooks Laguna Torre with Mount Fitz Roy in the background

There’s no doubt about it, Jong is the dynamo of our trip. He treks to places and sees sights that none of the rest of us get to. He’s got the pictures to prove it and he does it all in record time.

Take this week, for example, when we were in el Chaltén in southern Argentina. Two days ago, we were given a choice of trekking for eight hours to see Laguna de los Tres and a great view of Mount Fitz Roy, or trekking for six hours to see Laguna Torre and the glacier feeding into it. The eight-hour hike could be shortened by about an hour if you paid 50 pesos ($10) and rode a bus up the steepest part at the beginning.

Enter Super Jong, who did both in less than nine hours, and looked rather sheepish when we all gaped in wonder at the tale and photos of his expedition.

Laguna Torre

Icebergs in Laguna Torre with Torre Glacier in the background

Granted, he trekked to Laguna Torre first and then came halfway back and cut across to Laguna de los Tres. Then he trekked down the steep bit that the others had travelled by bus. He admitted later that he could have done it faster, but he met a fellow Korean and they chatted and dawdled on the way back. We reckon Jong covered about 40 kilometres—perhaps more because Poor John and I did just the Laguna Torre trek, which was a 22-kilometre round trip.

Yesterday, Jong decided to take it easy. He even contemplated a complete rest day, but by noon he was getting antsy so he set out on a short trek. That covered a mere 27 kilometres and took him up through the snow to a vantage point where he could look down on Laguna Torre and its glacier.

Mount Fitz Roy

Mount Fitz Roy on a clear day

It’s not just that he treks with such gusto—he carries weights that impressed even the porters on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Sometimes he even manages to tuck in a bottle of red wine. This man knows how to trek with energy and in style.

Those of us who did the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu had packhorses to carry our gear, but the many steps of the Inca Trail meant those trekking this path must carry their own pack, or pay a porter to carry it for them. Porters are a bargain at $45 per person for three days and up to seven kilos in weight.

Everyone in our party of Inca trekkers took the carry-it-for-me option—except Jong. He carried his own pack, which weighed closer to 10 kilos, led the walk much of the way and was offered honorary membership in the Porter Hall of Fame.

In a couple of days, many in our group are doing a three-day, W-shaped trek in the Torres del Paine in the very south of Argentina. It’s called W-shaped because it’s up and down and looks like a ‘W’ on the map. The name translates as Towers of Paine, but I suppose that refers to a person and not how you’ll feel at the end of the journey. That said, we’re guessing Jong might finish the entire route in a day and a half.

We sometimes wonder if after his year of travel, which ends early in 2013, Jong will decide not to return home to Korea and take up a porter’s position in Peru.

P.S. All the photos here were taken by Jong or a fellow trekker.

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Leave a Comment
  1. lmo58 / Nov 21 2012 9:23 am

    Super Jong is right! What does this man eat for breakfast I wonder. It’s obviously the breakfast of champions with added bits for extra power. These photos are lovely. Please thank Super Jong and anyone else who participated in getting them.


    • leggypeggy / Nov 21 2012 9:35 am

      I really must watch his breakfast choices more closely. I think the only picture Jong didn’t take is the picture with him in it.


  2. John Guppy / Nov 21 2012 9:46 am

    Hi Peggy, are you going to trek the “Towers of Pain”? Torres del Paine was one of the highlights for me when I travelled through Sth America. We must compare pix when you return to Canberra. Keep posting on your Blog, I love to hear about your adventures.


    • leggypeggy / Nov 21 2012 10:11 am

      Oh John, so glad you are enjoying the blog, but must say that you overestimate my stamina. I have no intention of doing the entire three-day trek, but I will do some forays. But I promise to bring back lots of photos to compare.


  3. barkinginthedark / Nov 10 2020 9:50 am

    Inca trekker??? My gawd woman…what a wonderful life you and Poor John live. When this thing is over get back to it so we can see all the pictures and read the stories and be there with you. Stay well and continue…

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 10 2020 1:10 pm

      We’re itching to get back on some track, whenever that might be.



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