Parque Nacional Puyehue: April 2007

Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator

Country: Chile Tour / Mountain: Puyehue
Start: Just befor the border to Bariloche (Argentina) End:  
Route: Baños de Caulle, Ruta de los Americanos
Distance:   Time: 5 days
Supply: self sufficient, tent    

orientation on Ruta de los Americanos only without snow

Rating: Beautifull tour through a dessert wit volcanoe, a hot spring, tremal fields and cold lava rivers
Trekking tour to Baños de Caulle (Chile).: Already in the last year we wanted to make on our trip southwards a trekking tour to the Baños de Caulle, but there was still too much snow from the last winter here in November that one could not find the way. According to guidebook not only a thermal springs but also a volcano, a wild scenery and a Geysire expect us on this trekking tour!
Volcano Puyehue (Chile). : In the morning of the second day we come along to the 2236-m-high volcano Puyehue. The way leads above open lava fields and because it has become windy overnight a little bit now fresh wind blows us in the face. With increasing height the wind becomes stronger and stronger and short below the summit he has already reached storm strength. We must brace ourselves with all strength against the wind to make progress. Nevertheless, much more unpleasantly are the small stones which now fly around. Although the stones are very light in principle, nevertheless, the hits and in particular the head hits hurt very much (some stones fly 100 m through the air). Shortly before the summit we hide behind a small stone wall. The storm howls so loud that we can only come to an agreement while shouting. We consider, whether we rather should not turn back only 5 minutes before the summit . Suddenly the storm stops enough so thaat we race to the summit. Though on top on the crater of the volcano it still windy but by far not so badly as briefly below. We do not want to risk of course that the wind will get even stronger and after a few photos we descent.
Volcano desert (Chile).: After the volcano ascent it goes by a dessert-like scenery to the Baños. Thanks to several volcano eruptions the whole northwest side of the Puyehue is covered with lava rock as well with a sandy desert.
Old Furmaroles (Chile).: Shortly before the Baños we still go past to old Furmarolen. Furmaroles are sulphuric steams from columns from the ground.
Los Baños de Caulle (Chile).: Then in the late afternoon we arrive at the Baños de Caulle and allow us of course an extensive bath in the really hot springs. The springs are so hot that I hardly can stay inside for a longer period of time.
Los Geisers (Cl.): On our third travelling day we undertake a hike to a thermal field. Nevertheless, March was too dry and thus there isat the moment not enough water for the Geysire. However, as for the rest the thermal field is quite impress: everywhere it steams and bubbles!

Sulfur (Chile).: The colourful sulfur in the thermal field is everywhere to see.
Lava river I (Chile).: We make on the way back of the thermal field an excursion to a cooled off lava river. As the glaciers in the south of Patagonia the black lava mass rolls here by the valleys. In particular from the distance the lava river looks similar to a glacier if it wouldnt be black. Below the small point is on the right, by the way, Nadine!
Lava river II (Chiles).: In particular with the desster behind the pitch-black lava masses form an amusing contrast. From the distance it looked in such a way as if the lava river as well as a glacier was coherent measures of lava, however, from closer up we could see that it existed from nothing but rocks in the most different dimensions, Astonishing we also found that it is not a uniformly kind of rock. Every stone is completely different: pitch-black, grey, weakly, brilliantly, extremely porous, compactly, light, heavy, hard.
Snowy fields (Chile).: The winter, 2006/07 was very rich in snow and so we still find the last snowy fields. The light volcano rock above the snowy fields was blown over the snow and so this strange shapes grew.
Ruta de los Americanos (Cl.): For the way back we have planned for the Ruta de los Americanos. According to all information we had here the way should be marked very badly to at all and thus many do not try at all this alternative way back. We had received from Ulla, an Austrian, a description of the Ruta de los Americanos which was made by 2 Dutchmen who had gone the trip in February, 2007. Equipped with this description and a map we venture in the adventure. The first day the track goes mostly over the open lava fields and thus we have no problems to find the way. Also from the bamboopoles the Dutch have hardly seen some we discover several which have been blown away from the wind. We are in principle well in the time and thus we put, actually, almost all Bambusstecken we discover again (if we are sure to be by hundred percent on the right route) what is sometimes very hard in the compact lava fields. Above lava fields it goes thus over a pass and from there over old snow fields down to a wonderful idyllic valley with a small brook. In the small oasis in the midst of the lava desert we make our lunch break. Fortunately, we remain always anyhow on the right route and thus we make headway, actually, very well. Merely on the last kilometre when it is a matter to cross some deep and precipitous canyon no track is to be seen by the way and by the bamboo sticks. Nevertheless, thanks to the road description of the Dutchmen we find the camping site. In the second day the routenfinding should become more difficult, actually, still much, however, we have luck again and trip several times over the bamboo sticks lying on the ground, so that we remain again on the way. Thus we also find the place in that the way from the lava fields again descends in the woods. Then below in the valley we must only even follow an old car track. Very kindly exactly a free Campameto lies at the end of the trail, so that we spend here our last night in Chile.



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