Saturday, 12 December 2015
Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay (Episode 1)
There will be more about Casa Chueca in a future posting. Suffice to say we left our little house (Rapa Nui) there after an excellent buffet breakfast, sourced a few essentials from the local supermarket, and headed off some 75 km to the Altos de Lircay National Reserve, where after a 2 km walk from the parking area we were enthusiastically welcomed and registered by Jabriella.
Jabriella was amazed to hear that European national parks are free to enter. Here we are paying about £5 entry fee and a further £3 per person per night to camp on a site with a tap and a toilet. Jabriella reckoned that Chileans might soon wreck their national parks without the controls that are in place.
The camping spot we had chosen was available, and we were soon heading up a rough 8 km track towards 'Point 6'. Purple flowers, Bittersweet perhaps, lined the path together with a multitude of yellow 'lady's slipper' type of plant.
We met half a dozen folk coming down, including a young guide with his client. He enthused about the wonders of his 'small' country. "Come and live here" Jabriella had said, and with all the problems in Europe that might not be as ridiculous as it sounds. We won't be moving, but others may well find a more satisfying, albeit probably not more affluent life over here.
The path rose slowly from 1200 to 1700 metres, contouring high above a deep valley, mainly in woodland but with occasional open areas with miradors (viewpoints).
The camping place is over a wide enough area to be away from the very few other residents, none of whom appear to speak English. The tents are pitched on earth (as usual - ours will need a good wash when we get home), the grass being reserved for a not so well behaved tinkerbell of cows.
Having set up camp, we set off on a short stroll to Vega Los Treiles, a path junction, and on to Mirador del Venado. From here there's a fine view to Rio Claro in the depths of Valle del Venado, and to the summits beyond, notably Volcán Descabezado Grande - standing proud at 3953 metres. We spent some time admiring and photographing the panorama before us, before returning to camp for an excellent pasta meal.
The Park entrance
The Mirador del Venado
View from the Mirador
A panorama - click to display on a wide screen for best effect!