Cochamó – Chile 8/16

Cochamó! The sea  becomes a sound that becomes the Reloncaví Estuary, view with the Volcán Yate.
We enjoyed the best empanada freshly made for us next to the shore in Cochamó.
What is that huge bird? A red headed vulture? Enjoying the same view in Cochamó.
The Cochamó valley is considered a local Yosemite Valley. It is being maintained as wilderness so you need to backpack in to explore it’s grandeur.
There is a history of fish farming.
The delta where the Rio Petrohue meets the sea as we leave Cochamó, and follow the river home to our cabin.

Puyehue National Park – Chile 7/16

Gorgeous Salto del Indio (waterfall) in Parque Nacional Puyehue.
Black lava rock is worn smooth by the water. We enjoyed the waterfall all by ourselves!
It rained hard all last night so we waited until after lunch and were rewarded with some blue sky.
The location is in the ancient Valdivian temperate rain forest. Parque Nacional Puyehue.
The ranger said this is a Mañio tree with a vine that does not harm the tree.
So unusual. We were not expecting such dense vegetation.
We hiked upstream to the next waterfall, the Salto Rapucura.
The Chilean ‘Smokey Bear’ is called Forestín.  He was rescued from a fire in 1976 to become an ambassador.
He is a coypu, a mouse/beaver type rodent native to Chile. (probably not his real size!)

Chiloé – Chile 6/16

We flew north, took a ferry, and drove new rental car to Dalcahue on the island of Chiloé – the second largest island in South America (after Tierra del Fuego, of course!)
Very excited to see a seal in the harbor…. and to actually get a photo.
Singing for our supper. We learned Dalcahue is quite a food destination.
Hauling the catch for our lunch.
Yum – A cazuela with fresh sopapilla. Also tried the papas relleno in this huge food mall market with multiple chefs. Difficult decision as there are a lot of choices.
A day trip to the Pacific west coast and the tropical vegetation of Parque Nacional de Chiloé.
These Arrayan Trees were very interesting.
The smooth bark the same color as my hair!
A mirador to the Pacific Ocean. Apparently you can hear stories being told in the wind. Maybe Alexander von Humboldt talking about the current.
A river flows in front to the beach area but you can walk for over 10 miles on the sand. Parque Nacional de Chiloé
The cliffs start heading south and the coast reminded us of Oregon. Parque Nacional de Chiloé
Nearby we hiked to Meulle de las Almas. An art installation of a dock to nowhere with a white boat that sails to infinity and beyond. To contemplate the meaning of life…or just get a photo.
Further north is the Monumento Natural Islotes de Puñihuil. A dock on wheels: What a unique method of loading the passengers!
We gave it a try to go on this tour of the sea to see…
Penguins!!! South American Magellanic penguins
Fun to watch. There are also Humboldt Penguins here but we relied on our guide to know the difference. If the penguins leave, they will paint a chin stripe on the gulls…ha ha ha.
The navigator has once again taken us on a fun exploration.
Home at Casa Pasqual in Dalcahue, we enjoy Carménère Chilean wine with our view of the harbor. The owners, our hosts, of the house were so friendly and helpful – really caring about us having a good visit. They moved here to this peaceful location from Santiago, during the pandemic for a better quality of life for their family.
A beautiful morning view with coffee and a wood stove taking the chill off. A special part of the world is Dalcahue on Isla Chiloé.

Torres Del Paine National Park – Chile 5/16

WOW! Impressive: Lago Pohoe in Torres del Paine National Park
We hiked a mile up to get fabulous views and enjoy a leisurely lunch. No condors…
…but saw this interesting falcon; a crested Caracara (Caracara plancus).
The reflections were magnificent at this unnamed pond further east!
Lago Azul…enjoyed a fresh brewed cup of coffee here with this view of the Torres.
Zoom detail of the Torres del Paine. The oldest rock is on top as magma has pushed it up.
Gorgeous. Zoom detail of the glacier on top the Paine Grande, at the end of summer.
The waterfall on the Paine River was wonderful to experience with the early morning light.
The twisty roads in the park are well maintained gravel. We are ready to explore!
It was not as crowded as we expected–we enjoyed chatting with fellow travelers from around the world. Notice the Salto Grande waterfall on the left…
…Yesterday we hiked there and it was a tad bit windier.
We followed the channel to the lake Nordenskjold and the clouds played peek-a-boo on the mountain peaks.
We are prepared for 4 seasons in one day but it stays dry!
The wind is in the “safe to hike” zone of less than 50kmh. Ranger told us the trail was closed yesterday–because of high winds–so we are feeling very lucky to be here today.
The sun is teasing us but it is still pleasant enough to enjoy a picnic lunch with this view, at Mirador Cuernos.
We were thrilled to explore Torres del Paine NP on 2 different days as each was special.

Puerto Natales – Chile 4/16

Road to Rio Verde: Beautiful day to take the back roads of Patagonia!
Puerto Natales on Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound)  with Torres del Paine National Park in the distance towards the North.
Black swans on the Seno Última Esperanza – This a Sound not a Fjord and turns out they are geologically different not just south of the equator.
The flamingos are enjoying this calm day!
This is our Cabana Arte Brisas which we are finding very comfortable.
Our view of the neighbors! From Cabana Arte Brisas.
And a few resident Queltehue – Vanellus chilensis were fun to watch and listen to.
Overlooking the Sena from Cuevo de Milodon.
A giant sloth among other artifacts was found at the Cuevo de Milodon, This is the largest cave and we also hiked to two other caves in the park.
And were able to enjoy a picnic lunch on such a nice day! Cuevo de Milodon.

Tierra del Fuego – Chile 3/16

We took the ferry to Tierra de Fuego – the 2-hour crossing from Punta Arenas to Porvenir.
We drove along west shore of Tierra del Fuego and return to mainland by ferry at the narrow northern crossing.
Ferry we road to navigate the Strait of Magellan to Tierra de Fuego
The crossing was a bit windy and moist. We saw some black and white porpoises.
And these were our fellow passengers. There are many large acreage Estancias of sheep in this part of the world.
Watch for what? These don’t look like sheep…
Our first Guanaco on the Strait of Magellan in Tierra del Fuego. This is the real world!
Or maybe this is the End of the World. The Aonikenk were the nomadic peoples that lived in Patagonia. Back on the mainland we have one more stop to make…
…Wait. More than one stop! A herd of Guanacos! A bit shy of us. So interesting – and graceful.
Guanacos on the steppes of Patagonia.
Maybe this Guanaco will be my new screen saver!
At Pali Aike National Park, we also saw these rheas, locally known as Nandus
Pali Aike National Park preserves ancient volcanic landscape.
This cave was discovered in the early 1930s by Junius Bouton Bird, an American archeologist, who excavated and found human presence dating back 11,000 years.
We were the first visitors of the day to the park at 4 PM! Maybe that is why we saw so much wildlife.
These Guanacos, at Mirador Nau, were a bit territorial. They chased each other and screamed Nau Nau Nau – guess that is how they got their local name.

Punta Arenas – Chile 2/16

Direct 10 hour flight from North America to South America : Dallas to Santiago. A tad easier than sailing for months or years!
The southern most town on the American mainland: Punta Arenas a great destination.
The Mirador De La Cruz overlooking the town and the straits. Great place to view across to Tierra del Fuego.
We drove to the End of the World and saw this monument to the British Hydrographical Expedition 1826-30
We stopped for coffee and cookies. We watched dolphins play in the water!!!
We also saw these caiquen, or “goose of magellan”. This particular species is a bit endangered.
Route 9 ends at Punta Arbol. We hike the shore even further south.
Gorgeous day! Wow!
Farro San Isidro  is the farthest south lighthouse on mainland America.  Latitude 53° 47′ 7″ South.
Maybe this is the Punta Arbol… Definitely my new screen saver!

Strait of Magellan – Chile 1/16

Here we are!
500 years ago Ferdinand Magellan was first European to “discover” it, and the Spanish King named it for the explorer.
Noa Victoria was his ship – a replica is here, near Punta Arenas, that we can tour.
This is a map of Magellan’s expedition that was the first documented to circumnavigate the world.
Prince Henry, the navigator, started the age of exploration.
The navigator on the Noa Victoria
What other famous explores have come this way? Captain James T Cook passed this way on two of his three circumnavigation voyages in the later 1700’s.
Charles Darwin sailed in the HMS Beagle through this channel, and wrote a world changing book about evolution of plants and animals from his observations.
Then there was Sir Ernest Shackleton who sailed the Endurance through this strait in the process of successfully saving his men stranded on Antarctica’s Elephant Island.
Very important locally, is the Golet Ancud and crew who claimed these waters on May 23, 1843 for Chile.
Who else will explore these waters?