Queulat National Park - The eighth step ... Patagonia etc once more. - CycleBlaze

January 30, 2020

Queulat National Park

Today was much cooler to start off with than the preceding days with almost total cloud cover by the time we left Camping Rio del Mar soon after ten o'clock. This seems to be the best time to get going. The morning chill has been blunted and the supermercados are more likely to be open.

The German influence in Patagonia is visible in many different ways.
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Water - the essence of Chilean Patagonia.
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There are a few very short climbs for the first ten kilometers out of Putuhuapi which is where the asfalto runs out and the ripio starts. Last time round we we directed onto a ferry at this point to take us past a rockfall that unfortunately claimed the lives of two tourists. This time it was just over three kilometers of ripio before the asfalto resumed until the turnoff to Queulat National Park and the Veintisquiro Glacier.

Gash left by the rockslide.
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Once again, it was a day full of cyclists, if not met on the road then in the campsite or on the walk to view the glacier. It seems that we are stuck in a bubble of the same group of fifteen heading southwards. Some are changing route tomorrow so things will change soon.

The Veintisquiro Glacier was the first I had ever seen, albeit from a distance, and we regretted not stopping off at the park last time and getting closer looks at it. The entrance fees to the park and camping in the park are quite stiff at a total of 14,000CLP per person but are worth it. After setting up camp and scoffing some lunch we headed up the three and a half kilometer steep hike to the viewpoint. It was quite a bit more strenuous than either of of expected so that put paid to hopes of a“rest” day in anticipation of tomorrow's big climb over to Rio Cisnes. The glacier itself is not that impressive from up close but we would have regretted not climbing up to the view point.

Muddy path on the way up.
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The glacier.
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The obligatory photo at the viewpoint.
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Still rough coming down.
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Viewing done it was back down to the campsite which is nice and private with a shelter and a fireplace –although fires are not allowed ! It's an early night for us. Hopefully a good sleep will allow us to recover sufficiently for tomorrow's big hill.

Great campsite.
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Today's ride: 26 km (16 miles)
Total: 419 km (260 miles)

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