Patagonia – verano está aquí

The Patagonian steppe landscape at the bus window finally gives way to undulating hills and snowcapped peaks at the horizon. X-Mass parties back home followed by a 14 hour flight and 24 hour busride south has left us weary and lazy. But now my heart accelateres and a big smile appears. My face sticks against the bus window with all the colours and shapes around us. A deepblue river snakes its way through a golden, arid landscape while huge lenticulars clad the sky. For the next 4 months we’ll continue our exploration of Patagonia where we left our dreams 3 years ago.

Bahia Lopez beach - Lago Nahuel Huapi - Patagonia, Argentina

Bahia Lopez beach – Lago Nahuel Huapi – Patagonia, Argentina

After a rainy day going through details for custom made maps with our partner geographer Macarena, an unusual heatwave flew into the region and off we were for a week of playing in one of our favorite conservation areas in the world: the Nahuel Huapi National Park.

Looking back towards Rincon Grande canyon, a PR3 white water passage, along the formidable Rio Limay, Patagonia, Argentina

Looking back towards Rincon Grande canyon, a PR3 white water passage, along the formidable Rio Limay, Patagonia, Argentina

We scramble and hike our way through the Lopez-range, where condors soar ahead and the views towards the volcanos on the border with Chile defy all imagination. We enjoy a terrific, 55km packrafting float down the Rio Limay from its source towards Confluencia, roughly a fifth of the river’s total length. A mostly PR2 rated river, it has some very nice PR3 challenges, especially for the 2 in 1 packraft theme 🙂

Climbing up towards Cerro Lopez with terrific view down Brazo Tristeza, a western inlet of the fjord-like Nahuel Huapi Lake

Climbing up towards Cerro Lopez with terrific view down Brazo Tristeza, a western inlet of the fjord-like Nahuel Huapi Lake

View towards Chile-Argentina border from the Cerro Lopz ridge. With extinct volcanos above the deep blue Brazo Tristeza: glaciated Cerro Tronador (left), the conical Osorno across the border in Chile, and the volcan Puntigiado (with blown-off crater).  Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia, Argentina.

View towards Chile-Argentina border from the Cerro Lopz ridge. With extinct volcanos above the deep blue Brazo Tristeza: glaciated Cerro Tronador (left), the conical Osorno across the border in Chile, and the volcan Puntigiado (with blown-off crater). Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia, Argentina.

The milky way on a Patagonian summer's night. Bivaouc along Rio Limay. Patagonia, Argentina

The milky way on a Patagonian summer’s night. Bivaouc along Rio Limay. Patagonia, Argentina

Packrafting the Rio Limay. We had the river for ourselves the whole stretch. Not a single soul in this beautiful, trans-steppe landscape.

Packrafting the Rio Limay. We had the river for ourselves the whole stretch. Not a single soul in this beautiful, trans-steppe landscape.

A thick layer of volcaninc ashes cover the borders of Rio Limay, which is in the wind shadow of the Chilean Puyehue volcano, which has been erupting since june 2011.

A thick layer of volcaninc ashes cover the borders of Rio Limay, which is in the wind shadow of the Chilean Puyehue volcano, which has been erupting since june 2011.

Climbing to overview spot at “El Amfiteatro”, scouting for a put-in after the nightly bivaouc. Rio Limay. Patagonia, Argentina.

The current completely dies out at fary-tale alike Valle Encentado, close to our put-out at Confluencia. Rio Limay. Patagonia. Argentina.

The current completely dies out at fary-tale alike Valle Encentado, close to our put-out at Confluencia. Rio Limay. Patagonia. Argentina.

We’re off for a remote trek along the ancient Ruta de los Jesuitas and the Cochamo-valley, which will take us over the Andes 2 times, into Chile and back into Argentina. It will probably take a small 3 weeks.

Ciao!

More pictures from our first 10 days in Patagonia.

Oh yes, if you fancy packrafting, please join the American Packrafting Association by clicking on the logo below. You can join, even if you’re not American 😉

Join the American Packrafting Association

Join the American Packrafting Association

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