Day 11: Walk along the Rio Arrayanes

Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
Trip End Dec 26, 2008

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Lago Verde Wilderness Resort

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 11:  Walk along the Rio Arrayanes, Lago Verde Wilderness Resort
Saturday, December 13th

Each day, the weather is a carbon copy of the previous day - sunny, warm, no wind in the early morning, developing into a light breeze in the afternoon.  In the early morning, the lake is as calm as a mirror and the snow peaks are reflected on its still surface. By afternoon, there are light waves, small whitecaps and the sound of water lapping on the shore.  There is a natural rhythm that we are just beginning to recognize and feel.

Our personal rhythm is to slowly wake up without any particular time schedule in mind, but it seems by 8:30 or 9:00 AM, we are at the breakfast table.  Over breakfast, we have our materials out and choose our activity for the day.  We order our sandwich, return to the cabana to get our stuff together - then back to pick up our sandwiches - and off we go.  We do our activity until we are ready to come back - the time, guided by whatever feels natural - walking, resting, looking at whatever - have one sandwich in a pretty spot - then make our way back to El Aura.  Here we have our 2nd sandwich with a beer.  Then back to the cabana to lounge around, go down and sit by the lake, then shower and lounge some more before dinner.  The day passes without a concern for time, our pace guided by the spontaneous feeling of what we want to do and what catches our interest.  I am really enjoying the pace - enjoying the combination of trees, water and mountains.

Today, we are going to walk a path along the Rio Arrayanes that has an abundance of arrayanes trees and some long-lived alerces.  It is rated as easy and flat and about 1 hour return, so it is short.  Our other idea is to return to the path along Rio Menendez which we walked on the way to the El Abuelo boat trip on our first day; we want to take a leisurely walk near the section with the rapids.  So, off we go!

The path for the walk along the Rio Arrayanes is found by driving to the campground on the Rio Arrayanes, marked in our guidebook previously mentioned; I have a photo in the gallery of this map.  Off the main park gravel road there is a small sign for the ranger for seccion Rio Arrayanes; when driving south from El Aura, it is the next right turn after the lower parking area for the pasarela del rio Arrayanes.  Once we turn right, we follow a dirt road for probably about 1 km and see some new buildings that may be for the campground and then the ranger's home.  Then, there is a sign for parking (estacionmente).  Two horses are standing together in the grassy area of the parking lot and we just pull in and park.  They don't move!  Now we continue walking to the river on the dirt road and walk through the camping area to our left.  We cross a small wood bridge and we see the National Park trail entrance sign.   I am providing so much detail because this walk is really worth doing and I did not find information about it on the internet.  It is in the guidebook of the park that I have previously mentioned.

The path is visually interesting with the thin graceful cinnamon colored bark-peeling arrayanes trees and the large solid trunk alerces trees.  We follow the contours of the land, always with the river in sight.  We are entranced by the calm feel of the path, the colors of the trees and the water.  We are so glad to be here!  This is probably the most beautiful path we have seen so far on this trip.  I comment that there isn't much bamboo but some other bush with small green leaves, which has a bushy feel to it.  I think that by its soft shape and texture it is more relaxing to walk through than the bamboo canes (take a look at the photos).  We stop to look for trucha (trout) and watch one for quite some time as it goes into the shade and sun and floats in the water.  We point out the trout to three fishermen in a boat that floats by.  We have a conversation with them, and they say they don't know how to fish - they are from Mendoza, San Martin de los Andes and Buenos Aires - just having fun together.  As they are almost past us, they shout out "ciao" and "see you later alligator!"  We laugh.  Today, the horse flies are tolerable.  We follow the path to the end, and with all of our stops for looking, taking photos and whatever, it takes us 1 hours in one direction!  It takes 45 minutes to return.  The reason I mention this is that although the guidebook says 1 hour return, depending on your interest, and ours was keen, it may take considerable longer

When we get back to the car, we get out our lunch and return to the beginning of the trail that is right next to a small stream.  We sit on a tree trunk and share a sandwich and a bit of a sweet brownie that Harvey took from the breakfast table. 

And now we return to the rapids of Rio Menendez, by walking across the suspension bridge or the pasarela del rio Arrayanes.  As we walk, I listen to the water and reflect on the vibrancy of life and energy.  Harvey listens to the water and hears the music of Bach.  We are both quite happy.  As we are returning on the suspension bridge, a young couple are also crossing and say "hola".  Based on the accent, we know immediately that they are American.  We say "hi" and we learn that they are so relieved to be able to speak English in a normal conversational way!  We all talk about where we've been and where we're going and enjoy meeting one another - but then, it is time to move on.

So relaxed are we, that after returning to El Aura and enjoying a beer and our second sandwich and a fruit cup, we go to our cabana and take a nap!  So luscious!

When we wake up, the sun still seems bright and warm, so we carry our deck chairs to the lake edge under the big tree.  There are some backpackers also under the tree and we hope that they are not going to spend the night here, rather than in the campground section of the Lago Verde Wilderness Resort. It's funny how we feel that this was "our space"!  It is weird that when you are in an area of big wide open spaces, that just a few people can make an area feel crowded.  But in a city, you would not even think about it because there would likely be many more people in the same area.  Anyway, we read, listen to the waves, look at the view, and generally just "be".  Harvey walks into the water to get his feet wet and I join him.  It's cool at first and then refreshing!  So good.

We are back at the cabana now.  I take a shower and wash some clothes.  Harvey is on the internet, reading the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and is full of the latest news of financial fraud.  The real world creeps in!

Tomorrow, we leave for Villa Angostura.  For our comments on Hosteria El Aura at Lago Verde Wilderness Resort, please read the hotels entry at the end of the Lake District Journal.

Our photos from today!

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