08.01.2012 - 10.01.2012 16 °C
Today we journeyed along the Carretera Austral. The change in scenery was very dramatic. The other side of the Andes where we had just been only has an average rainfall of 300 mm a year. This side has an average of 4000 mm. I think we got most of it within a few days. It rained most of the day as we shook along yet another dirt road to then Queulat National Park. We parked the truck and ate lunch in the truck before heading off for a hike through the “Enchanted Forest”. Due to the rainfall the forest was very wet and had “old man’s beard” hanging from all of the trees. It was a lovely hike despite the rain.
Some of the plants are massive; it was like being in the “land of the lost”.
Later that afternoon we continued on to our home for the night. It was the Queulat Fjord Lodge. This is a fishing lodge. It was lovely and quiet and our room had a fire burning for us upon arrival. It was a great opportunity to dry off all our clothes. This lodge was in the middle of nowhere.
Today we continued on our bouncy track through the national park to the hike to the lake to see the Queulat Hanging Glacier. It hadn’t stopped raining since yesterday. To get to the lake we needed to cross a swing bridge.
The amount of water flowing under the bridge was extraordinary. The sound was deafening.
From the lake you could see the hanging glacier. It had 4 waterfalls around it and at one stage it made a really loud thundering sound and we thougth that part may fall off, but it didn't do it while we were watching it unfortunately.
Once we completed the hike we were pretty wet and still had quite a way to go to get to our home for the night. Luckily the truck has a heater so it didn’t take too long to warm up. The whole day was on dirt road today. Due to the wet conditions the truck was sliding around a bit. We completed our journey along then Carretera Austral and by late afternoon we arrived at the estancia Cara del Indio just outside Futaleufu. It is a working farm. There is a rock face behind the estancia and there is an Indians face naturally carved in the rock, thus the name of the estancia.
We settled in to our cozy cabin.
In the evening we sat around whilst a lamb was cooking on the open file in their traditional way of cooking. It was lovely to eat. As there was not much to do here in the evening we had arranged a wine tasting competition. At our last stop we were all asked to buy a bottle of wine between each couple. The bottle was then put into a plastic bag and we each had a taste and needed to guess what type of grape it was, which country it was from, the year it was made and 3 characteristics that described the wine that would be on the label when you read it. Shane and I knew we didn’t have a chance as we just drink the stuff we are not wine connoisseurs. However we didn’t come last so we were pretty pleased. Of course the remnants of the bottles then had to be drunk.
Today was a rest day at the estancia. Shane decided to go white water rafting. It was a grade 4 rafting trip. I went along with the vehicle to take some photos. Five of the group went and I am pleased to say that they all came home safely thanks to rescue kayaker Santiago and the guide in the raft Julio. At one stage of the rafting trip they asked who wanted to jump off a big rock into the water. Shane volunteered. When they got to the last rapid they could also ride the rapid out of the raft on their backs. Once again Shane wanted to have a go at that. He had a great time and really enjoyed it.
For the rest of the day we stayed in our cabin as it was still pouring with rain for the third day in a row.