Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
289Trip End Sep 06, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
I was picked up from the hostel around 10 am and jumped into the 4WD where I met my other fellow travellers for the day. They were all Argentinian. Thank goodness some of them spoke English. Our guide for the day was Frederico.
We were driven along Route 3 through the mountains until we got to a dirt track on the side of the road, which was the start of our trek. Oh, I thought we were driving most of the way, but I was wrong, it was another hike. Just like I need a bit more hiking as I haven't't done any for weeks! I wonder how my leg is going to hold out.
They had asked if we would like to borrow some willies as we were told we would be walking on a lot of peat moss
Frederico had told us that it was an easy walk and it should take approx. 1 ½ hours to get to the lake. We walked through some forest and over a few streams. There would little wooden bridges built so you didn’t have to walk in the water, but as it has been so cold and wet, they were extremely slippery. Luckily, no one fell and got wet!
We reached a part of the forest where it became slightly open. A lot of the trees were dead or broke and this is due to the beavers that live here. They have caused so much devastation here,however, they are not endemic to Tierra Del Fuego. They were brought here from Canada (not sure of the reason) and now they have become such a huge problem as they are ruining the area, but no one is doing anything about it. I asked Frederico why and he said that the money doesn’t pay well for dead beavers. There is no reward for it. I said that the reward would be that Tierra Del Fuego would be able to grow back and become a beautiful nature reserve again, but that doesn’t pay money!!! So again, humans bring this on themselves and then they don’t want to do anything about it because there is no money in it
As we were walking further along the tracks, you could see where the river used to flow and where it has been changed due to the amount of beaver dams in the area. I was gobsmacked as I have never seen a beaver dam before and they are amazing little creatures to be able to build structures like this. There was one dam that I could not believe how big it was. To a beaver, I would say it must look like the Niagara Falls. It was huge. God knows how long it took to build, but the structure was awesome! We didn’t see any beavers unfortunately. I know they are nocturnal, however, Frederico said that he has seen them at all times of the day.
We then walked back into the forest which was very slippery and wet. There were lots of tree roots,rocks and leaves on the ground which made it difficult to walk on. At one part it got quite steep so I was not looking forward to coming back down due to my leg.
When we got back out of the forest, we had to walk on more peat bog. There were several occasions where I thought my wellies were gonna be sucked off!
We finally got there after about 2 hours due to stops and photo shots. It was beautiful. It was a milky green colour set in front of the mountains and the Albino Glacier. Frederico had a little surprise for us. He pulled out of his bag a bottle of red Patagonian wine. Hmmm, I don’t normal like or drink wine, let alone red wine, but this went down a treat!
We walked down by the lake and found somewhere to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch that had been provided, along with a cup of fresh homemade vegetable soup and another glass or two of red wine.
We had beautiful sunshine whilst we were sat there eating and just as we were packing up to go, the clouds came over and it started to snow.
The walk back was slow as my leg was hurting. I thought I was going to hold the group up,however, I wasn’t the slowest! Earlier on in the trek up here, Frederico found me a walking stick from a broken branch on the floor. It did actually help, but walking back down the hill was really painful
It became really cold and windy so I was trying to hurry a little as I couldn’t wait to get back into the 4WD to warm up. It took us about 1 ½ hours to get back and I was so happy to climb into the warm van.
I finally got back to the hostel around 5 pm and then got an icepack for my leg to see if that helped and took some ibuprofen. To be honest, the only thing the ice did was completely freeze my leg like a joint of meat. Maybe I could eat it for my dinner and make use of it!!!
Emma, the girl working in the hostel, told me that they have a free medical service here and she could call a doctor to come and see me. I said I would wait until tomorrow to see if it gets any better as I am only out in the afternoon tomorrow on a boat trip so not much walking. Hopefully the rest will help.
Aiden – where are you when I need you!!!!