trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Camping Chinay picnic area > Upper Estero Mocho
We debated whether or not to sidetrip to the Palguín hotsprings. Lonely Planet claimed it was 3.5km by road one way. That would mean 7km total IF we couldn’t find a ride with a vehicle.
The walk was actually about 8km one way. AND the one hotspring we paid for was not particularly hot. I did enjoy the menu of the day, however.
A first for me – burnt sugar cubes.
Happily we were able to get a ride back from the hotsprings to the trail, paying a staff person a few dollars for the lift.
Our first hassle on this trip. Burrs. 😦 It’s difficult to avoid them at lower altitude.
In fact, the Traverse is two hikes separated by the road walk we took yesterday. Theres no real reason to walk them connected. The start of the second half is here.
It was a steep climb to get back up to the Traverse.
The Monkey Puzzles kept me moving.
We were steadily leaving Villarrica behind.
Here’s one of the highlights – Mirador los Volcanes. We could see at least 6 from one spot.
What you don’t see in the photos are hordes of horseflies (called tabanos here) even up at that high altitude in the wind. Later we learned that south central Chile doesn’t have many mosquitos, but they do have horseflies in January. I’ve never seen them so aggressive.
From the Mirador it’s a long, interesting ridge walk.
We walked quickly, swatting flies.
When we finally reached the Lonely Planet recommended camp all we could do was jump into our tents to hide out until dark. The flies were that bad.