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Published: September 21st 2014
Wow, what a day I have had. While it was raining constantly I also had the amazing experience to see part of the Andes in its full glory. OK, she was a bit misty and full of rain clouds, but that gives her a charm that is hard to describe. But let’s start where I finished last night.
After I finished my blog entry I decided to sit in this cold room is not for me so I grabbed my day-pack and went for a wander. When I exited the hostel I was greeted by an amazing sunset. The colors were just incredible and with the clouds moving rather fast it was a live light show that lasted for a while. I just set down and watched it, reminding myself that nature can create some amazing effects. And with being away from the smog in the cities the sky was just crystal clear. Wonderful.
A bit out of town I found one of the Independence Day celebrations and while it was not packed a good number of people were there. I went to one of the dance tents and just watched people. They performed some traditional dances and then
a pop party session. Funny to watch. But who am I to judge being shit dancer myself.
When I woke up this morning it was all misty and cold. You could see the rain clouds moving through the streets. But since I want to leave tomorrow I still wanted to go to the lake Laja (the biggest lake in Chile) and the volcano in the Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja. After discovering that the front door was shut (it was 9 am by that time) I tried to go through the back door. Here I met an Argentinean couple that had the same problem with leaving in their car. The place was a fortress…. I hope it is more difficult to get in than out.
After the owner was woken up and he left me out I started to put my finger in the air to try to hitchhike the 33 km to the national park. And who stops? The couple from Argentina that are also on their way to the park. Lucky me as I was mentally preparing myself for a multiple car trip with long sessions of standing in the wet.
So off we went
and after a short stop to get water and some comfort food we made our way to the park. After about 20 km the paved road stop and it was dirt road from then on. And with the rain it was slippery as hell. But it was so worth it. While it was still misty one can see these magnificent ice covered mountains and the lake in all its glory. And we were driving through the lava fields of the volcano. The lava fields are pitch black and in stark contrast you see the snow covering a lot of it. Unfortunately we didn't see the volcano top at all which was really a big shame. The pictures I have seen from Antuco in good weather are breath taking.
The volcano erupted last in 1869 and is nearly 3000 m above sea level It also has 2 huge glaziers but one has to hike for about 3 days to see them and it is not recommended to do it in bad weather. There is also the tragedy from 2005 where 44 soldiers died during an exercise. They were caught in a snow storm and ill equipped. So in the area
where they died you see all the memorial on the spots they fell. Not a lot of them were alone but in groups of two or three. A very chilling sight and one wonders what these poor souls must have gone through.
Stella and Walters plan, and by default mine, was to take the dirt road all the way around the volcano and drop me back in Antuco. But the best plans fail in South America, especially in the country. You see the road just stopped at a creek where there once was a bridge. But no more bridge. So we had to turn around and go back. Back the way were I thought many times that I am glad that we didn't have to go back that way. And of course there were steep parts of the road were we had to get out and put stones and sticks on the muddy road so we could conquer them. Funny stuff in hindsight but one was thinking about what if the car doesn't make it? Walk all the way back?
But we made it thanks to Walter’s good driving.
A short distance from the park entry there
was a food stall on the side of the road and we stopped there to get some lunch. Man, these BBQ sticks with meat, sausage and bread were fantastic; so fantastic that I had to have seconds. And all for $2…
So that is it. Stella and Walter dropped me of in Antuco and are currently on their way to Santiago and tomorrow all the way to Buenos Aires. Stella and Walter, if you read this I thank you so much for making this day a fantastic one. Without you I would still stand on the road. Have a save trip…..
Well, that’s it from Antuco. Tomorrow I will go back to Los Angeles and get a bus to Temuco which is my next stop for some days….
So to everybody who read the full entry, Thank you and have a fantastic day. Until next time…..
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