Archive for Marzo 2015

Away from the masses – hiking in “El Cañi”

I’m a nature loving person. I love to observe birds, discover beautiful plants and to feel the beauty and the energy of nature. Now I’m here in in Pucón, located in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, and of course I’m trying to see as much of the surrounding nature as possible! There is only one problem: Pucón is a very touristy city and in the high season it’s full of people who want to do exactly the same as I do. And as always, when you meet many people out in nature it loses something of its’ magic. This is why hiking in El Cañi was recommended to me.

I didn’t go because there are two beautiful lakes high above surrounded by ancient Araucarias. Or because of the huge rock you can climb and enjoy a 360° panoramic view of the whole region with its’ volcanoes, mountains and lakes. No, my main purpose to come here was to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to go hiking in a place which is less visited than all the other national parks close to Pucón.

After a 40 minute drive on the public bus I reached the entrance of the national park. There I had to pay a small entrance fee and was given a little map where I could see the description of the route.

The first part of the path went past some small houses and then after 15 minutes I reached a farm. Here I stopped to pick some plums, blackberries and other typical Chilean fruits to prepare myself for the next hours. Because directly after this farm, the ascent began…

In the beginning you have to walk a long 2-3 hours uphill. And the way is not only very steep, in addition the ground is slippery and the path is covered with big rocks. It’s recommended to be there very early in the morning, because a big part of the track leads you over an exposed old logging road with a burning sun above you.

But after 2 or 3 hours I made it and here in the upper part of the open terrain I had a fantastic view of the Villarrica volcano, Villarrica Lake and other mountains and lakes which are typical for this region.

The first stop marked on the map was the Refugio. This is a shelter where you can sit down and relax or prepare a barbecue. A great place for those who decide to camp here! The Refugio was the place for my lunch break too. Well, I didn’t have grilled beef, but a really tasty sandwich – and this was really necessary after this endless ascent! After a long break in which I recovered and collected new energy I continued my way to the lagoons. Now the beautiful part of the hike started. Indeed, it was a long way up to the summit, but now that we were in the temperate rain forest, the treks became easier and the variety of the flora and fauna increased. I could see lots of colourful lizards lying in the sun or running into the brush. I could hear different birds singing or just admire the flowers. On the soft ground it was easy to walk and by the minute my energy and passion to explore the area increased. After 20 minutes this last section of the ascent was done and from now on the path was easy-going. Until now I had only met two other people. Great!

Upon arrival at the “Lago Secco”, which by the way really deserves this name, I had to accept that it would not be possible to go swimming here. It was really dry (I should add that this year had been particularly dry in the region and hadn’t had rain in over a month) and only in one small part we could find water, well, mud is the better description for it. But anyway, it was a beautiful place. There I had the feeling of being in the savannah. Very close to us there was a bird that wasn’t scared so we could observe it from only 3 meters of distance – that was an amazing experience.

After exploring the area we continued along the trail to the “Lago Negro” (black lake), approximately a half-hour-hike. In this part, the trail went straight ahead without many ups and downs and all the way I was able to enjoy the silence and the beautiful nature. I really loved that part and I felt that the hard work was now worth it.

We arrived at the “Lago Negro” and determined that the name did not give the lake credit. The lake had wonderful sparkling blue water with a backdrop of the typical monkey puzzle trees.

In the background were amazing big rocks and there was a little beach and if you wanted you could walk around the whole lagoon.

Also at this breathtaking place we only had to share with a few other people. But that didn’t disturb me in any way, because they had the same intentions as me – just enjoying the amazing area and the silence of nature.

Unfortunately we didn’t reach the observation point due the long time we spent before with exploring the area. So the “Lago Negro” was the last station for us – anyway I will come back to visit the “El Cani” national park to reach the real top!