We headed out of town to get to the the campground at Rió Azul to spend the night and then begin our trek in the morning. We thought the book said it was 3 km, and didn’t realize the book actually said it was three hours to hike about 11 km. A few kilometers down the dusty gravel road, we realized that in fact we had about 10 more km to hike in the hot summer sun, so we decided to hitch a ride from one of many of the families driving out to the river. We quickly got a ride, and soon thereafter the truck we were riding in slowed for another hitch-hiker. To everyone’s surprise in the back of the now full truck, the hitch-hiker was an Englishman we had met the day before on the bus ride from Puerto Montt to Bariloche. We (ok, the truck did all the work) made the long, dusty drive in the hot sun to the Rió Azul and our campground for the night.
We eventually got to the top of the long, steep climb, and had lunch on top of a ridge with excellent views of the valley and El Bolsón below (towards the east), and views up the to the Andes mountains and towards Chile (towards the west). We had some fresh bread, cheese and raspberry jam from El Bolsón below (kind of like cheesecake, when you’re really hungry) as we took in views of the rocky mountain peaks and ice fields way above. El Bolsón is well known for locally grown berries, and the raspberry jam was excellent and well worth the small amount of extra weight. As the afternoon summer sun heated up, we continued uphill in the shade of the forest after lunch, eventually coming to the cool Rió Teno (togel singapore).
We quickly hiked to our next refugio to unload our packs and get down to dip into the cool river. It’s summer down here, and it is darn hot. The cool water was a great relief and helped wash off some the trail dust and sweat from out long hike. The refugio is a nice farm, with orchards and a huge lawn for camping on, which also served as a pasture for small herd of sheep who came down from the hills to graze on the grass among the tents. That night, we enjoyed hot showers and stew (with vegetables grown at the farm), more home-brew, and plums from the orchard.
On our last day, we hiked down the trail, over two more rickety suspension bridges, and out to the main gravel road to catch a bus. We waited about three hours for the bus, and we thought we would be stranded on the lonesome road with only a few crackers left for food. Better late than never, we were delighted to eventually see the old bus rumble around the corner of the gravel road. When we got back to town, we ate 18 empenadas over the course of 4 hours