It’s been windy. I’m stuck in the campground at Caleto Gonzalo. The rain is back as well. Big surprise!
I’m going to Reñihué. Not because I want to visit the fjord or because it has the only visitor center in the Pumalin complex, but because the small river at the head of the fjord. Rio Reñihué is there, it is not mighty and only a few bother to visit. Those that do visit, never really see much beyond Tompkins’ ranch and summer retreat. The trail long grown over and the originally settlers long since bought out and now they are likely living a comfortable life miles from this lovely valley. This river goes up at a gradual slope until finally it is in the middle of no where. Until finally, it is in the middle of the cordillera! Several lakes, the north side of Volcano Michinmahuida, and the Argentine border are its only neighbors. Maybe it is obvious why I’m drawn.
What a place Chaitén. My opinions on the town, it’s governance, and it’s landscape has changed so much since the eruption of 2008. My opinions — they keep going back and forth, up and down on such grave issues. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and seen so much more, but the direction the community need to take still seems unclear to me. My thoughts, so petty, in comparison to those of the displaced. So… instead of thought stock, I’ll post some pics from my first visit to village the summer following the floods (Jan 2009).
Turns out these gasses are very dangerous. Ed and myself hike to the rim of the caldera the very next day!
Ed in the middle of all that destruction. We’ve just started the hike — what an eye opening experience!
I was very glade to discover the cone of the volcano (and most of the venting) was located on the very opposite edge of the caldera from where we were. Not to mention we had a favorable wind that day too. That was an experience, to say the least. One of many I’ve had in the area since. I’ll talk more about 2011 in my next posts. Cheers, Dave
With little to report in the Puelo valley, (below the lake) I’m moving on. I did spend some quality time with the Pinto family at the head of the Ventisquero. Worth while trip of course, but i’m looking to Chaiten. Expect to read some reports of Reñihué and Yelcho to come.