The bus to NP Altos de Lircay is full of young people carrying camping gear, food and alcoholic beverages. It’s weekend and vacanciones in Chile and this bus is on it’s way to a National Park: what else could I have expected?
At the park entrance the ranger wants to know all the details of my hiking trip, she speaks English so the conversation is easy without things getting lost… It turns out that I’m going to hike El Sendero del Cóndor – a trail classified as difficult. In the park camping is only allowed at the designated campsites. The next campsite, the one I’m aiming for, is full. However, El Jefe gives me permission to camp there anyway.
The camp really is full, almost as full as a festival site. While I’m talking to the manager, two other hikers invite me to share a place with them. How sweet!
They found the last flat spot under the roof over a picnic table, it’s a sort of a porch. With the warm weather setting up a tent isn’t and I decide to cowgirl-camp – a concept not known around here and it raises a lot of questions like ‘haven’t you got tent?’ and ‘isn’t that too cold?’.
It’s pleasant to be around other campers, but oh dear people are loud!
The next morning, as soon as it’s light, I leave the festival site for silencia.
Shortly after leaving the campsite there’s a steep descent to a wide river valley. And after this a warm and endless climb follows.
Because of the weather forecast, thunder and lightning is predicted this afternoon, I’m hiking as fast as possible. Near midday the sky is filled with big and dark clouds.
Somewhere on the way I have quick lunch and after this I continue my hike to today’s goal: las termas de Blanquillo. Hiking further and higher in this empty and exposed landscape seems a bit unwise with a storm building.
With a stream of lukewarm water the termas turn out to be a bit disappointing. The bivouac area is beautiful, but a bit unprotected. Luckily, the storm is no more than few lightning flashes on the other side of the volcano (3900m. alt.).
Sendero del Cóndor
El Sendero del Condor Trail
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