I had the chance to explore Parque Nacional Chiloe, my first of hopefully many Parque Nacionales during my travels down here. I walked along the main road, enjoying small loop trails to dunes and lookouts on either side. I eventually found a GIANT secluded beach for lunch; about 200-300 yards wide, and miles long in either direction. Nobody within sight, I saw a truck a ways down, but it turned the other direction. Otherwordly almost, to be that alone on such a big beach.
That night, I made my way down Chiloe Island to get to Quellon, the takeoff point of my ferry to the mainland. The ferry left at midnight, and arrived in Chaiten at 7am. In between, I got to watch a terrible States movie, picnic, sleep, and have a sunrise over the mountains that flanked us as we traveled through the volcanic spires in this area.
Chaiten is a very small town, with little to offer since the volcanic explosions in back to back years recently. The place where I had breakfast didn’t have electricity. I read as I waited for the bus to Cara del Indio, a campground where the Rafting Festival I had heard about was being held.
The Futaleufu is world renowned for kayaking, rafting, etc. and this festival draws the best kayakers from around the world to enjoy the FU. Here I am, never seriously kayaked before in my life, random backpacker, heard about it a few days before. Needless to say, I had a great time. I swam and watched the kayakers go by during the day (my campground was above “Magic Carpet,” one of the more trecherous stretches on the FU), and partied with the best of them at night.
The second night, I figured out the sauna in the campground and took it easy in preparation of my border crossing the next day. I am now in Argentina, with little confusion at the border concerning my shore pass and letter given to me by the Melville. I plan on spending tomorrow in PN Los Alerces which contains the South American equivalent of the Sequioa, and then to head south.
--It is good to enjoy, but not exploit the “free food” bin at hostels, etc. Never use it to create your meal, simply to enhance it (i.e. a potatoe for hashbrowns with your eggs, pasta for your salad) . In return, leave anything that you can´t take with you.
--The term “American” for somebody from the States is considered insulting for those not from there. It is another way us United Statesers assume we are the only important people around, in this case more important than the rest of North and South America.
-- The self-help book I found turned out to be a Christian self-help book. While it was certainly thought provoking, I definitely enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five more. So it goes. I also found No Country for Old Men and am halfway through a John Grisham.