Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chiloe and the camping adventures

So after the previously written days near castro, it was time to get away from all civilisation and get in touch with mother nature. Chiloe has several national parks and along with 2 new Israeli friends, we headed to the park along the Pacific Ocean two hours west.

Now I've been on some bumpy bus rides, but this one might just have taken the cake. Forget putting 25 cents into a motel bed, this thing will make your rattle itself out through your ears. Bounce bounce! Passed an awesome lake on the way and left all trace of pavement behind. At the coast we turned south to save us a little hike and bounce along a further 30 min. Up and down hills with great ocean views.

We were dropped off at the entrance to the Muelle de las Almas, one of the highlights of the Parque  (park).  It turned out that we were not quite there. A 40 minute hike was on the menu,through wetlands, rolling hills and more ocean views. Some of the best scenery in Chile so far. Green all around you with isolated, windswept beaches on both sides. Saddled by our packs, it was a great hike.

The view at the end was amazing and well worth it. The Muelle de la Almas comes from an ancient belief on the island that this is where souls leave land and go to the afterlife. An artist built an amazing port going out into the great blue yonder. Epically done, this is what people come here for.

Unfortunately, people do not know how to line up to take a picture. No one was standing at the base of the port, rather they were scattered all over the ground, not assembling a line at all. Rather disorganized chaos, especially for all the new hikers every few minutes, who would try to take a picture and get yelled at. What made matters even more comical was that each group that went out for pictures took at least 5 minutes. A family of 5 took several family shots, then solo ones,  then siblings, and then for some reason, the dad separate with each of the kids. We just laughed at how long it was taking. Our turn came after over an hour and we sped through the photos. It was an applause worthy length of time, compared to the others.

Then back to a new part of the park to hike in and set up tents and get our feast on. We didn't find our ideal spot as they want campers to be at camping facilities around the park. We ended up on the property of 80+ year old Doña Carmen, nearby a lake. She was a spunky lady who in the middle of making bread, showed us around the area with flour all over her hands. The rain that night dampened the trip a bit,  but I got to use my new tent for the first time and didn't get soaked overnight, just a couple of wet spots inside without a rain cover. And I live to ride again!

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