Cerro Castillo, Carretera Austral, Chile

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Unlike our previous attempts, we successfully found a ride as soon as we tried on our first attempt. A Dutch elderly couple stopped their rental car as we waved at them that morning. They told us they had never picked up anyone else before us. We felt so lucky as we passed by countless hitchhikers on our way – including the Israeli couple got picked up earlier than us in Chile Chico – to Villa Cerro Castillo. Apparently there were no official public transportation among the villages so many tourists were left to hitchhike like us.

A benefit of riding with the Dutch couple -they were also tourists, so we stopped by numerous beautiful places to take pictures…

After getting ourselves settled in Villa Cerro Castillo, me and Pavel had our first big fight. We could not agree on how to trek Cerro Castillo.  I took the tourist information lady’s suggestion and would want to stay up in the mountains for at least one night – if not trek all 4-days on the 50 kilometers trail.  He wanted to rush to top and walk the 30kilometers trek in one day.  He got so mad that he walked off on our way to see the cave hand paintings.  Later I got picked up by a nice Chilean couple and they also managed to pick up him.  However, he did not wait for me when leaving the caves.  As I could not find him on my way back, the Chilean couple found me and gave me a lift again.  “I figured there was a problem between you two.” The husband said, “just like she and me.” He pointed at his wife and we all laughed.  We found Pavel in front of us, he gave him a beep on his horn, and we passed him.

After being dropped back to the village, I stopped at the tourist information again.  I looked at the only available trekking map hanging on the wall carefully, calculating exactly how many kilometers are we going to walk and figured out that we are going to walk around 20-25 kilometers according to Pavel’s plan instead of 30kilometers.  So If we wake up super early we could barely make it back by the evening before dark.  With this impression I went back to the hotel to try to discuss with Pavel again.

I found him laying in a sofa with a couple beers.  “I met an American girl living here, she said she could rent us her tent if you want to stay up in the mountains.”

We met up with Melissa, the American girl whom Pavel met earlier.  She worked as an English tour guide and married a local horse ranch owner and tour guide here.  Her husband was out on a horse tour today.  We had some pleasant chat and figured that horse trek might be a bit more expensive and less challenging than what we wanted.  So we decided to wake up at 4 and start our one day super long trek at 5 the next morning.

From Cerro Castillo, Carretera Austral, Chile, posted by Jenny Zheng on 6/24/2012 (122 items)

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