Chaiten

We were up at 6:30am to catch our ferry, it was barely light out and we got to watch some fisherman head out among the fog and the clouds.

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We headed up to our ferry and sat around for 30 min and then boarded, we were a fully stocked boat lots of backpackers too.  The crossing took a good 4 hours between Hornopiren and Leptepu; which allowed us to get some school completed and even a few zzzz. We did enjoy some scenery but were left wondering what it all looked like if there were no clouds.  Through the clouds we did finally get a glimpse of some spectacular waterfalls.

After disembarking the boat there was a 30 minute drive to the last ferry.   We picked up one hitchhiker, Rachel a Dutch woman who was grateful to get out of the rain even though we subjected her to our screaming children and the Disney movie Frozen.  After the last ferry (a 30 minute boat ride in high winds and rough seas) we had an hour and a half drive on mostly dirt roads which ended in Chalten.  We dropped Rachel in town and went to our rented cabana for the night.

Our rented cabana for three days was a cute 2 story house with a kitchen, lots of beds, and no internet or phone service.  It was ok for the kids but it was trouble for Maddy and working and I couldn’t update the blog.  The rain was still oppressive the first day and Julie and I were recovering from the cold Caroline gave us so it worked out.  We still managed to take a hike to one of the rivers that emptied into the delta that was formed near the town.  We hiked for at least 2 miles, I think it’s a new record, there were lots of rocks and drift wood to look at which was interesting for the kids.  There were also three volcanos in close proximity to the area which made for amazing valleys and picturesque mountain scenes; just wish we could have seen it.   I am sure there is amazing geology too; it seems like it is quite unusual to have subduction type volcanos on the edge of the ocean, the normal valley (ie.. central valley) between the coastal range and the volcanoes is flooded in this area; the coastal range is an island.  The glaciers are likely to be blamed for carving the valleys so deep.

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a huge old tree we ran into on our hike

Near our house we discovered a beautiful stream and a large rushing creek with beautiful clear water running in it, it reminded me of my youth and playing in the savage river at Denali National park.  The kids and I hopped around on the rocks for a good few hours until a few scraps caused us to retreat back home.  We tried to go out for dinner and found only a few places open at 5:30 when we wanted to eat dinner, pretty typical for the kids eating schedule.

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The creek near our house.

The next day we did some writing for school and ventured out early to do a hike on the slopes of Volcan Michinmahuida, along the Fundo Rio Amarillo.  We hiked for about 2.5 miles, might have bested our new record!  We had lunch in this amazing forest covered in moss, reminded me of the temperate rain forest in Olympic national park.  As a reward for our hike we went to the Termas Rio Amarillo just up the road, there were only two pools but we could plunge into the river to cool off, the twins loved getting very cold and jumping back in the hot springs.  Caroline refused to eat her lunch and was a cranky mess the rest of the day.  We ate dinner at home and packed up our stuff for our trip to Futaleufu.


4 thoughts on “Chaiten

  1. I love reading about your adventures and all you are packing into this amazing trip. So happy to see such great photos too. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi family! Thanks again for the ride and it is great fun to read the blog about that day. 😉
    I hope you had a few days with lots of sunshine, just as I had. Enjoy the Carreterra!
    Love Rachel

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