Chile - Solo Adventure in Patagonia - 8th Stop of South America

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20120120 – 20120126, 20120203 – 20120207 (13days) Chile

Chile is also a high living spending country. I did not go to Atacama Desert and Easter Island. I just went to Pucon to climb the active volcano and Patagonia. But in Chile I had a wonderful time with my couchsurfing host in the capital. They are so nice! Also the cultural of art made me think a lot.

Curreny: 1US: 490Peso (2011)
Hostel average: 12US per night
Eat average: 5.5US per meal

Santiago->Pucón->Bariloche (Argentina)
Puerto Natales->Calafate(Argentina)

Don't ever bring fruits into Chile, you will get fined. It took time to get into area of Chile, immigration staff checked thoroughly the bus and everyone's luggage. Lastly, after 2 hours, I arrived at Santiago.

Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile
You can use internet at the Tourist Information Center at the plaza, but you cannot access facebook. Quite good there, comfy and good interior design. What unexpectedly was, though Chile's living standard is high, the postage fee to Hong Kong is cheaper than that of Colombia and Bolivia. It costed HKD$8 only.

Santiago, Chile
It seemed to be martial arts, but it was actually kendokan. I went there and saw people practicing.

Santiago, Chile
Even I was far away from Easter Island, I could still see the rocks

Mote con huesillo, Santiago, Chile 1US
This was a popular drink in Chile, you could see it everywhere. You need to try this. Huesillo is peach, with wheat the sweet drink is delicious.

Santiago, Chile
This wa an artistic city. I watched an outdoor drama which came from German and was presenting titanic drama. They had a ship shaped prop which was a few meters high. There were also some museums in Santiago. I especially liked Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, the works were inspirational.
In Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, there was even free dancing performance

Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, Santiago, Chile

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile

Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile
Seafood market, there were fresh seafood and restaurants inside. People at every restaurant were shouting to ask people come to eat. The competition was quite tough.

Punch of mariscal, Mercado Central, SantiagFo, Chile
They liked to drink the seafood juice made by shellfish with lemon drop.

Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile
This was another soup, with mussels inside

Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile
Little liquor, flavors of licor de menta (mint) and icor de manzanilla (camomile)

Santiago, Chile
The person on my right was my host Ignacio, such a nice guy.Valentina was his girlfriend who was at the left hand side.

Santiago, Chile
Ignacio's father cooked curry rice for us, I felt so happy and satisfied.

San Cristobal, Santiago, Chile
Walking up to the mountain, seeing the whole view

Santiago, Chile
Took the last shot before leaving Santiago

Pucón, Chile
After arriving at here the first thing I joined was white water kayaking levrl 3@ Rio Trancura. It used rubber kayak but not the plastic one. The current of white water was stronger than others. Luckily, I did my best to control the kayak. Whenever it was not perpendicular with the direction of the current, I paddled hard to make it back to the original position. I did not capsize, even the tutor said I was good. Most other people played white water rafting. But with this strength of current, it was just the basic level.

Villarrica, Pucón, Chile (2,847m)
Beautiful active volcano

Villarrica, Pucón, Chile
The second day I went to climb the active volcano Villarrica. It was amazing. You can take a cable car at the first part. I did not want to take it. There were 3 people taking the cable car, and just me and another girl who did not. The guide asked me "are you sure?". I said SURE! (I paid to walk, right?), The scenery was so good while looking back.

Villarrica, Pucón, Chile
I liked to eat fruits when hiking.

Villarrica, Pucón, Chile
Arriving at the top crater. The smoke was spouting and a little bit hot. I took some rocks for souvenir. We went down to the bottom by sitting on a plastic plate so we could slide down but not walking down. So fun to do that!

Parque Nacional Huerquehue, Pucón, Chile
Day trip in National Park. The scenery was ok only. I opted for a longer route, where I saw only 2 people passing by.

Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales, Chile
Originally I thought there was some guide tour to hike in Patagonia. However, the tourist information told me that there was none and everyone was going by their own. So I decided to go by myself with 4 days 3 nights equipment, including food, tent, mattress, sleeping bag.
There were many camping gears renting stores. I rent a 2 people tent and a burner. I took the gas canister in hostel as many people just put the remaining canister in the hostel after hiking.
Let's go!

There were mainly 2 treks. One is called W circuit and another one is called O circuit. I chose the W, it took around 4 days. For O, it is a longer one walking around the area.

I cooked myself every night. It was freezing and I needed to put on the gloves.

The first night's camping site. There were paid camp ground and free one, this one was the free one.

Las Torres, Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales, Chile

Lookout at Refugios Los Cuernos, Torres del Paine, PuertoNatales, Chile
I took this photo outside. As I heard others saying the you could not see anything in French Valley (The weather was bad), I did not go

Refugios Los Cuernos, Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales, Chile
The weather was bad. After arriving at the camp ground, all people put the wet shoes near the heater. It was freezing outside, people just came closer to the heater to get warm.

Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales, Chile
The third day, saw a rainbow while looking back

There was a section of route with all trees burnt. You could smell it. In Bariloche I heard some backpackers saying that this route was closed and now it was reopened. Seeing the trees all burnt and were black, we really need to take care about the fire safety.

Glacier Grey, Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales, Chile
Seeing the glacier at a distance. This was a strong wind place. I almost got blown away. Here was also my last camping site.

This 4 days 3 nights camping trip was so tough. I needed to get all the needed stuff including food, clothes, mattress, sleeping bag and the heavy tent. I was so tired and it was freezing at night. I kept shivering during the night and I could not sleep well. Facing the strong wind, I was challenged by the nature. At the last day, when I arrived at the ferry wharf, I felt exhausted.
Of course I experienced some good things during the trip. If I have time, I would like to come again as the weather was not good this time.

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