An adventure of my life time!

Posts tagged ‘mountain’

430. SA Trip (the end): Huerquehue National Park

Huerquehue National Park is located in the foothills of the Andes, about an hour east of Pucon, Chile. The park has a number of lakes and surrounded by several volcanos. I spent a whole day hiking there. It is very quiet and peaceful. The view didn’t take my breath away, but the tranquility did.

Well, this is a great ending to an incredible trip.

(The monkey puzzle tree or monkey tail tree–Araucaria araucana)



429. SA Trip (29): Bariloche to Pucon

(Fire-eyed diucon)


SA Trip (26): Local Experience in Futaleufu

I heard that there is a daily ferry from one end of Lake Espolon to the other near Futaleufu. Surrounded by mountains with glaciers, the lake is supposedly very beautiful. The ferry would leave in the late afternoon (5pm), sail about 1.5 hours, and come back. There is a bus to the ferry, but I decided to hike along a river. It’s only 10km.

Although it was cloudy, it was a pleasant day for walking. I was quite relaxed since I had plenty of time.

Relaxed until a dog followed me for more than half an hour (he was harmless) and another chased me and tried to bite me. I had to fight him with a stick. I’ve heard that in Chile and Argentina there are dogs everywhere, wandering freely. I was concerned about it before the trip. Growing up in China where dogs were used to guard properties and supposed to be mean, I’m not comfortable with them.

There are dogs everywhere, but until this day, none of them bothered me. They only fight with each other and rarely attack people. I was very grateful and became relaxed. Then I met this really mean dog. It scared me so much that I picked up the pace, hoping I could hide in a small restaurant before the ferry.

There is no restaurant or any commercial buildings, only a few private properties. And another dirty dog was so eager to play with me. He jumped up and down on me, which made me feel very uncomfortable. I tried to walk away, but he followed me.  

Great. It was only 3pm. I was stuck with a dog for two hours with nowhere to hide. The two hours felt longer than two days.

Finally, the boat was there. Dozens and dozens of local people got on. With them came all kinds of luggage, bags, boxes, and even furniture. I was on a boat full of people speaking only Spanish. A couple of them tried to talk to me, but I had no idea what they were saying.

Half an hour later a young lady came to me. She asked me whether I spoke in English. “Yes! Yes!” I was so eager and happy. She said they just wanted to know where to drop me off—there are stops along the lake to drop people off. “No! No! I don’t want to be dropped off.” She was surprised that I just wanted to take the ferry back and forth.

The scenery wasn’t too impressive because of the dark sky. Certainly, the ferry wasn’t the “sunset cruise” I imagined. But the experience was interesting.


424. SA Trip (24): Peaceful Little Village—Puyuhuapi

423. SA Trip (23): Pleasant Surprise to visit Cave of Hands

I joined a tour group for the last two weeks of my trip. We were traveling from El Chalten to Perito Moreno, but the bus refused to start in the morning. The driver and the tour guide had to find another vehicle to jump start ours. It was almost three hours later when we took off. A big bus for 30 people carries only 8 of for the next two weeks—very comfortable.

It was a long drive with mostly flat and yellow/brown landscape. I was surprised in the late afternoon that we stopped to visit a place called Cueva de las Manos—Cave of Hands. It wasn’t listed on my itinerary, although other people received the info. I was pleasantly surprised.

Cueva de las Manos is a series of caves located about 100 miles south of Perito Moreno, Argentina. The paintings of hands date from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago. The site was last inhabited around 700 AD. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Six fingers)

422. SA Trip (22): Magellanic Woodpecker

The Magellanic woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus) is a very large woodpecker found along the Andes of Chile and Argentina. It is mainly pure black, with a white wing patch and a chisel-like beak. Males have a crimson head. Females have a mainly black head, but there is an area of red coloration near the base of the bill.

They made me a very happy camper.


(He was upside down!)


420. SA Trip (20): Lama del Pliegue Tumbado


This is my last day in Los Glaciares National Park. I debated whether I should hike to Lama del Pliegue Timbado or not since I was leaving late afternoon to go back to El Calafate. The trail is 20km (about 12 miles) with 3000 feet elevation gain.

Well, I got up early. It was still dark when I left the hotel and it paid off. I saw beautiful mountain peaks in early sunlight. The trail isn’t as impressive as the other two Laguna trails, and when I reached the end, it was cloudy and dark. I found some interesting flowers/plants along the way, though. Most of them are succulent plants, which grow in dry, barren environment. It’s hard to imagine that the hill near a glacier is so dry. 

(Topa Topa-Lady’s Slipper)

(Capachito-Lady’s Slipper)

(Box-leafed barberry)

(Liao Liao mushroom)

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