I just can´t resist, it is chilly in Chile. At least down south. The bro and I are in a town called Pucon. It´s kind of the epicenter for outdoor pursuits. Almost every business in town is a combination Internet cafe and guide service. Most of the guided trips are for fishing, climbing, rafting, hot springs, biking, caving, and my personal favorite the ¨hidrospeed.¨ The hidrospeed is described as a ¨water sleigh¨that you ride down churning rivers. Basically it is a foam board of sorts three or four feet long and a couple wide that you lay on with your upper body. Your lower body hangs off the back and you wear fins. You then ride this thing down rapids. We are actively looking into going on this guided trip if for no other reason that it sounds so random and I want to say that I´ve been on a ¨water sleigh.¨ We are also planning on ascending to the top of the local volcano Villarico with Klaus the German. We´ve heard that there may be liquid hot magma at the top. Fishing may also be on the docket.
The first 10 days here have been good. The main event was our 8 day trek in Torres del Paine national park. We attempted to do a trail called the ¨Circuit.¨ The trail was officially closed, but that doesn´t really mean much around here. We got three days into it but were then unable to make it over the pass to the other part of the trail. The snow was waist deep, it was raining, and our progress was so slow that we had to turn back. Fortunately we found a shack at one of the closed campground with a fireplace in it made out of an old 55 gallon drum. We managed to put the chimney back together and light a fire so that we could dry out in relative comfort rather than be in the tent. We then headed the 2 days back toward the trailhead and did a great day hike on day 7 to the Towers, or Torres. There was apparently a flash flood in the lower part of the park while we were attempting to cross the pass. So, we had to cross lots of engorged streams that had washed out their small foot bridges. We made if over these with little problem outside of wet boots. Overall we accomlished our goal of getting out for a good backpacking trip and having a true Patagonian experience (meaning intense weather of all sorts...lots of rain, snow, sleet, really strong winds, and a little sun)