Monday, February 18, 2008

Refuge in the Refugio

On the advice of Brett and Nicki we decided to escape the overdeveloped Pucon and head to the national park with the unpronouncable name of Huerquehue (a Mapuche name as most place names here are). We stayed at the Refugio Tinquilco just outside and surrounded by national park on the beautiful lake of the same name. The refugio was adorable and the folks who ran it super nice. We were in our own tiny bunkroom which the kids loved but wasnt great for adul sleep. The refugio had a great library with lots of kids books in english, total bonus! Dave and I traded off hiking days, on our first full day he headed up San Sebastian and the kids and I went up the waterfall. They ended up hiking almost 4 miles to get there and back, it was much longer than we expected. Chileans are definitely hikers. There were people of all ages shapes, sizes, and preparedness out on all the hikes we did (mullets included of course). Its great to see. The forest is wild, from the outside it looks like east coast temparate forest but up close the trees are totally unfamiliar, all like something out of doctor suess! The Auracaria trees, monkey puzzle trees, are the craziest with wild reaching branches and sharp spiky leaves. The San Sebastian hike goes up and up for 2 or 3 hours but rewards you with a view to the Pacific and over the Andes to Argentina, down on lots of lakes and 7 different snow covered volcanoes!!
We are back in Pucon for the night then headed by bus to Argentina tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

Darryl said...

Super cool that you are getting to see so many different places and ecosystems! About now I would love to see something other than the mud and slush of CRMS campus (yes our first thaw is in full swing). We have 15 students racing in the 24 hours of Sunlight race this weekend, it seemed like a great idea, but now we need to figure out how to support these kids through the race.

Best to you all!