Cochamo Valley, Chile
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Mounting like a pro
Umm Ben do we have to do this??
Up the start of the path … while it is still a path
Wally is the owner’s dog and follows the treks up and down the track.
A typical Chilean pack horse saddle. I love the extra padding.
Ben’s trusty steed RentAHorse
The real trekking begins.
Hmm…grass. Our horses stop at any chance to feed.
Ben can’t believe the blue skies and the view ahead for the rest of our riding.
Hooooa there. Trust my horse to take me into a bush of thorns.
The trail was very narrow and deep in places
One of the many river crossings.
Stopping for a drink prior to riding across the river
You have reached your destination
Sore knees and sore ass
The evening light looking across from the refugio.
Good morning sunshine!
Amazing to find the best pizzas and red vino at the top of a mountain with no roads in and only pack horses to carry supplies in. Rewarding after our huge climb by foot today.
Inbuilt light switch.
Not a bad view to wake up too 🙂
My favourite photo. Our room in the refugio.
The house that the caretakers of Campo Aventura live in
One of the many amazing climbing walls
A friend we met along the way
The waterfall at La Junta
Trickling streams everywhere and so fresh to drink from.
The waterfall at La Junta
A breathtaking view everywhere you look
Hugging a tree
A very old tree
The ladies of the group
Posing between a pair of big ones
Granite, granite everywhere
Reaching above the treelines to see 360 degree boulder views.
A lizard. There were loads of these and we’d kill the flies and feed them.
The scale of these boulders are hard to capture in a photo but the tress give it some sense of proportion.
Alcerce tree which are native and on the verge of extinction.
Walking up a river bed
This is one of the many fallen logs that make up the “trail”
Onwards and upwards
Oh a bit of boulder climbing to through in to the trek.
The trail was marked either by cairns like these, or by ribbons tied to the trees
This is base camp for the serious rock climbers. Some of them are based here for a summer season. It is at least a 9 hour trek for them to get here with all their gear by foot and 3 hours back to the refugio. This area is very isolated so Elsa leaves food for them.
As we got to the top of the valley, the vegetation changed
Elsa and a rock
Can you spot the climbers?
The trees were eerie, like a Lord of the RIngs forrest
A tough 4 hour climb to reach here made for a very rewarding swim.
The lagoon at the end of the track. Swimming here was a reward well deserved.
Lunch by the lagoon, after our swim
Near the top of the valley
Another swimming opportunity, the pool under the waterfall not far from the lagoon.
Couldn’t be happier!
Crossing a fallen log
Easy does it!
The kitchen of Campo Aventura. Everything you see (including the stove) was carried in on horse back
Our refugio we stayed in for 2 nights.
Another glorious morning…the fog clearing in the background.
Typical shingles made in this region for the chalets.
Ben and Kim grinning from ear to ear with shoes off and a cold cervesa in their hands.
Family pet pig loves tummy rubs.
Night draws closer in the valley (at about 9:30pm)
The caretakers house
Getting ready for another day on the horses.
This cat isn’t scared of anything
Some horses set up for carrying packs (that’s not a torture saddle)
The camping area at Refugio Cochamo. This was the busiest it’s ever been.
The waterfall near the Refugio
Watching the water fall
Heading back home
Ford every stream
The smile means she thinks she probably won’t die
Almost back to town .. this is the most northern fjord in Patagonia.
All finished. Can I get a lift?