Thursday, November 1, 2007

El Morado in the Cajon del Maipo

We just got back from a long weekend in El Morado park.  Thursday the first was the ‘dia de muerte’ for most Latin American countries.  It’s a holiday for families to visit cemeteries and celebrate the lives of people past.  We booked the Friday off to make a long weekend of it and went camping.
It was only a hundred kilometer trip into Cajon del Maipo, but with bus stops and unpa
ved roads it took roughly three hours.
Anyways we left early enough in the morning to start our trek before noon.  The sun was shinning and the scenery was spectacular and even though our packs were heavy our spirits were high and we enjoyed the hike in.
It is still spring here but the temperatures are consistently in the high twenties.  I think the summer is going to be much to handle.  Also the hole in the ozone down here doesn’t leave you much time in the sun before you start burning, and at the elevation we were at the exposure is even greater, so you must take care to wear plenty of sunblock and a wide brimmed hat.
There were only a dozen people at the lake 5 kms in, and only a few camped over night.  Upon arriving we set up our te
nt cooked some food and relaxed.   I was nice all day but you could feel that the temperatures would drop this high up and so early in the season.  It did ,but we were prepared with our warm sleeping bags and warm long underwear.  Early to bed and early to rise.
A cool calm morning.  Little yellow chested birds.
We hiked up towards the glacier that day getting a good 
distance up the mountain.  We had lunch below El Morado peak.  The slide down the mountain was a lot of fun(check out the video) and we followed the glacier fed stream back to the lake for another relaxing evening.  There were even less campers there the second night but we made friends with our neighbors and everyone had some wine or brandy to share.
We hiked back on Saturday, just in time, as the weekend crowd was rolling in!, and managed to hitchhike back to Santiago in one shot directly to our apartment.  
It was only two nights and it felt good to be home.  This was some early preparation for Torres del Paines where we’ll spend several days hiking and campin
g through this renowned park.  It gave us ideas for food prep/planning and pack weight and the kind of shape we have to be in come February.
A great weekend all in all.  We went for Peruvian food for fresh fish, yams, and steak to top it off and now we’re back to our regular schedule till Christmas.  Opps did I say Christmas....I guess now that Halloween has come and gone the end of the year is here.  Eeep!
Keep working and studying hard!  the new year is almost here.
Have good ones and keep in touch!

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