A short excursion to Chile

Being a few days (or rather few weeks behind) I try to catch up on the blog with another adventure in Patagonia.

When I first started looking into my trip and Patagonia, I found some wonderful pictures of those Capillas de Marmol (Marble caves) which I wanted to go ever since. The town where you leave to see them on a boat is called Rio Tranquilo (Quiet River) and is in Chile right across the boarder from Los Antiguos. We took a bus down there from Bariloche and after some serious hitchhiking experience (I am going to do a blog post with all the stories on hitchhiking), we arrived to Rio Tranquilo.

Before we got there, we talked to some other people that the glacier Exploradores is very nice to see and hike on, so I also wanted to do the glacier hike. In Rio Tranquilo we found a good offer for only a bit over one hundred Euros for the glacier hike and the boat ride to the marble caves, with the glacier hike starting the next day at 7:30 am.

At 7:30 am, the adventure started with an hour and a half car ride to the starting point of the trek. The whole group got the equipment for the hike with crampons, gloves, helmets, cuffs and a snack box and started the first part which went over rocks and through the forest. The hike was nice but It rained quite a bit and I was very afraid of not being able to see anything up on the glacier with all the rain. But we were lucky, right when we started to walk on the glacier, the sun came out and it stopped raining. We had some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the entire glacier field. Walking on the ice with the crampons was a lot of fun and we went up and down those hills and in and out ice caves. You can see on the pictures, we enjoyed ourselves ;-) It’s amazing to see nature this way. The caves that were formed out of ice, the river running on and under the glacier and just this immense force nature has.

After around 3 hours on the glacier, including a cold and windy lunch on it, we started to go back all the way we came. It was a magical day and totally worth the money. I would do it again whenever I would get the chance to do it. Obviously we were very lucky with the weather, as the guide said, he sees more rainy days on the glacier than sunny ones.

The next morning we had an early boat ride to the Marble Caves, the original reason for coming to Rio Tranquilo. We got equipped with life saving vests and got onto the boat. The ride to the caves was pretty relaxed and we could look at the beautiful mountain setting across this huge lake.

The caves were nice but I didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would. This was one of the places I really wanted to go to and experience but it just wasn’t as magical as I though I would. The other thing was, that on the way back to the town, we had some very rough waves and I had the worst seat on the boat and got soaking wet from the water splashing over the boat rim. I saw the waves hitting the boat and I would be drenched in water. It was freezing cold, my whole body would shake but I could not do anything than waiting until this rough boat ride finished.

We went back to our Couchsurfer host, me freezing cold and not in a very good mood. #grumpyme After taking a long warm shower, I felt a lot better so we took off to get back to Los Antiguos the same day so we could catch the bus to El Chaltén for more mountain experience.

Rio Tranquilo was worth the experience especially as the ride there was very beautiful and enjoyable but, I have to say, it is very out of the way, so you have to think, if it is worth the detour for you. If you have the time, I would definetly would recommend going to this quiet and tranquil town.

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