Archive for October 23rd, 2008

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October 23

October 23, 2008

Back in the bush and we’re having a blast.

We packed in the city this morning and headed for Parque Nacional de Chiloe, an area that runs most of the length of the northwest coast of the island. We’d originally intended to leave bright and early, but after a later than expected night shifted our departure to the twelve thirty bus instead, which provided us with a leisurely morning of late wake-ups, delayed breakfast and full advantage of the brilliant wifi connection at the guesthouse.

The bus was a distinctly sub-par little number compared to what we’ve become used to, but the ride was uneventful. Two hours later we were dropped at the entrance to the national park, where we walked up a nice little cultivated entrance to the visitors’ centre and ranger’s station. A very friendly and helpful ranger showed us the campsites which are really quite excellent- they’re arranged over a large area and each is like a mini-field, bordered to all sides with forest so you’d have to try hard to see someone else from your own site. Not that it really mattered, as the only other people around were a young English family camped on the opposite side of the grounds.

We selected a rather large site nearish the bathroom block and set to work pitching the tent. Everything was set up and in order by the time the rain started on cue (we’d earlier asked for clear skies until three and after five, and the first rain started pretty well on three), which left us only with a drizzly walk into town for a few supplies, which got us soaked but not unrecoverably so. The town here, Chanquin, is small and set on two sides of a river with a big concrete bridge. We passed many signs advertising foodie things for sale, but all seemed closed until we met up with our fellowcampers and they directed us to a place around the back of a local’s house. He didn’t quite have what we needed, but did point out another minimart, where we were let in with a bell-ringing and a small delay, and which was much more well stocked. We bought an onion, some cheese and crackers and some newspaper by the kilo.

We decided to start on a fire depite the persistent misty rain and were having little success. The rain stopped a bit later at five-thirty, which was good news for our fire, but it didn’t really get going until Zora and Rosa, the nine and twelve year old girls of the family across the way, brought over some of the dry wood they’d “collected” earlier from some apparantely disused sheds about the place. We gave them a chocolate biscuit for their efforts and they went away happy, at which point we made a start on dinner (ravioli again because it worked so well last time) and on a box of wine. Afterwards, we whiled a charming night away by the fire.

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