Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reserva Nacional Magallanes

Getting There
In Punta Arenas, we heard from a local tourist agency that there is a national park near by. Nobody else knew anything about this park, so we had to check it by ourselves. After climbing for an hour, we finally entered the park (1500 CH$ per person). We still had time to see the mirrador at the top of the camp site. We camped there for the night (5000 CH$ per tent). They don´t have any showers (though the brochure claimed they had ones, with hot water...), and the drinking water is simply the river´s water.

1st Day
We left the bicycles with the forest rangers, and asked them about the trekking possiblities. They were very surprised there was anyone interested in hiking in the park, but they kindly showed us the best trail, which is called ¨Sendero de Chile¨. The full circuit of 3 days is still not completely marked, but you could do it anyway, if you wish to navigate using the map without the marking. While climbing to the top of the ski lift, we encountered a few people, but from there on, we were by ourselves. From the comfortably marked trail, we soon arrived to the less well marked trail, where we took the wrong way, and had to walk back for 2 hours.

After passing the small swamps, we continued to the windy mountain cap. From there, there are no marks at all, except piles of stones and sticks coming out of the ground, which were left behind by other hikers. We as well added a few marks, where it was hard to find the next one. Going down from this mountain is throug the bushes, and from there we had to walk through an endless swamp for 2 hours. The land there is spongy, and is fun to walk on for a few minutes, but more than that is too tiring, especially with a heavy backpack.

The camp site was completely destroyed, so we enjoyed camping inside the forest.

2nd Day
We woke up by the angry tiny birds that where screaming around our tent. We decided to leave all our stuff in the tent and travel light for the day.

We tried to follow a few marks we found on the way, but ended up losing them and walking in the wrong direction. Fortunately, we could walk down the stream and get back to the tent. All this way was full of different animals.

3rd Day
On our way back to the rangers, we walked quickly through the huge swamps, climbed the mountain through a bad way closed by bushes.

The way back was much shorter than we expected, and we reached the rangers after a few hours.

To avoid paying for another night at the shower-less camp site, we camped right outside the park, next to the river.

For more photos of this post click here


                       Shoham & Amit
                     South America by Bicycle

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