Monday 5 November 2012
Highlights: Hike up the French Valley, Avalanche spectacular, boat crossing
No problems waking up early today, well except for Ben who went back to sleep and who would have missed breakfast if I hadn’t gone and woken him. It rained during the night but the tent didn’t leak. The sleeping bag was next to I possible to turn in and turning the night I took of some layers due to the heat.
A 90 minute van transfer and we undertook a very short hike to see a fast running waterfall and then it was a 20 minute transfer by boat to our new public campsite. Around 1 pm it was off to hike the French Valley. Along the way we came across a guanaco (like a deer) with is very rare apparently.
Now this hike was very muddy, after a while you give up on trying to stay clean. Luckily I have water proof pants which should be easy to climb. There as on bridge that only allowed two people at a time, others allowed more but you could feel lots of movements. At other points you jumped from rocks to embankments.
Just before reaching the Italian Camp we got to witness a massive avalanche which occur at a point we were going to hike too so we were lucky to see it but not experience it fist hand! Our guide Alvaro stated in all his years he had never seen an avalanche this big in this area. At our new end point we got to sit and take in the majestic scenery, soul enriching really.
The hike also gave me to see the effects of a devastating fire from 2 years back. This was caused by sone tourist who didn’t follow the no open flame policy. Unlike most forests this area does not re grow easily and fire is not a method to allow regrowth. Both Lynn and Alvaro were extremely sad about the destruction of their home.
The campsite shower was most welcome but the water pressure was almost non existent. After another full day I was very happy for dinner. I even bought way overpriced soft drink from the mini mart. Despite turning in early and being extremely tired from another full day hiking sleep wasn’t easy until the generator for the nearby building stopped which I learned later was around 12.30 am.