In search of Hot springs and Gyzers

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Flag of Chile  , Los Lagos,
Friday, April 16, 2010

The heavens opened up, granting us 3 days to uncover Parque National Peyuhue.

Planning your hikes around the weather can be frustrating at times. Often I find myself in small exciting...... towns waiting for it to change. This time is was in Orsono, Chile. Where everybody stares at your blue-ish eyes. One time a girl pushed her child's pram into a pole whilst looking. It was pretty funny.

"Do you speak English?" A familiar voice echoed from the entrance of the Internet cafe. Peeping over a cubical, I saw James, a guy I met 2 months ago in Ushuaia. He wanted to do the same trek as I, so we diced to do it together.

An expensive bus ride and an expensive park entrance fee. I was wondering why I don't see many Chileans hiking. It saddens me that I only see tourist on the treks. Ive only met one Chilean hiking thus far. Maybe because it expensive? or do they lack the passion? strange.

We advance causesly, 1 step at a time. Kicking into the snow to create a stable foot hold. A stick in my right hand for stability, a stone in my left to stop from sliping down. We were climbing Volcano Peyuhue, aprx 2200m.

A grand white crater welcomed us as we arrived at the top. The clear blue sky creating a frenzie of Volcano's in the distance. Volcano's Tronador, Orsono, Puntiagudo , Mocho Choshuenco , Villarrica, Quetrupillan and Lanin towering at 3700m. This "lake district" is so unique, never have I seen such dense numbers of volcanoes in a single area. Descending down the volcano was much easier than ascending. inclusive of me, my bum and a stick for a brake. I was down in no time.

There are allot of deep conversations whilst trekking. Nature just brings it out of you. Deep topics like the type of food everyone eats.....In the army, I never had to think about what type of food I had to take, or if I had the right amount etc. They tell you how many days you'll be in the field for and give you so many days ration packs, Simple!

Hiking Patagonia has been somewhat interesting for me when it comes to food. After many failed attempts at cooking and successful ones, times where I have had more energy from food the night before and times where I'm completely shit. I think I have come up with a solid meal plan for success.

Note: if you not interested in camping/hiking then ignore below.

1. Breakfast 
- A mix of 1kg Oats, 400g milk powder, 200g Vanilla powder and dried raisins. 1 Cup of this mixture per breakfast. You just add water and eat. advantage, no cooking so you use less water and its fast.
-Or if I have allot of water and time I cook this mixture with a hard Condensed processed fruit thing. its fantastic.
2. Whilst hiking during the day
 -Peanuts/raisin mix, 50g per day
-Cheese and crackers/bread
-A few carrots
3. Tea
-Pasta, 50g per day plus a soup mix. Add sausages for protein and cheese and milk powder to thicken.
4. Pudding
Hot drink......

"What the" dispersed from my lips. A flowing black mass had occupied a distance valley. Its sharp edges stopping suddenly, as if by some magic force. An impressive old Lava flow, stopped dead in its tracks. At its edge, streamlined, smoothed, grayish, brown rolling terrain. You can imagine how this terrain once had life, before it was completely desolated in 1960. This place didn't feel like earth. I was on another planet!

I sat in the river. Sulfuric Steam rising into the atmosphere. Boiling hot water to my right, freezing cold to my left. I was trying to enjoy a natural hot spring. But found myself lifting my right bum check to keep it from burning and rubbing my left to keep it form freezing.....This our camping spot the 2nd night.

The smell engulfed my nostrils. The unmistakable sent of rotten eggs. Dark gray mud boiled uncontrollably. Heat waves dispersed over the area in the form of hot steam, under control of the ever changing wind. The terrain around the mud, a soft gray, rustic red, green and yellow with rugged white sulfur at its edge, we had arrived to the Gyzers. I had seen gyzers before in NZ, but never so close and so wild.

Another amazing hike in the lake districts of Patagonia.
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