Isla Riesco

Cre­ated on Fri­day, 13 Janu­ary 2012 Writ­ten by Franz

Dur­ing the last two days we had to recover from all the stress of preper­a­tion. Hence, we decided to rent a car and pay our friends, the pen­guins a visit. We also planned a little hik­ing trip on the island Isla Riesco, north­w­est of Punta Arenas.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing Rokos was the first one up and went to get the rental car. Due to some lucky cir­cum­stances we did not get the ordered car of cat­egory ‘mini’ as a coupe but instead a little big­ger one with four doors. Nev­er­thelees, we had some prob­lems to squeeze all the back­packs and the cam­era equip­ment into the car. First we drove north­wards and missed the turn towards the “Pingüi­nos”. After 38 km of gravel road we reached our feathered friends, which looke pretty sat­is­fied even without snow and ice. The major­ity of them has been busy and was not wait­ing the whole day for the bus as they do at our lcale soo­lo­gical garden at home ;-). Back to gravel road and fur­ther north to catch the ferry to Isla Riesco. The road felt a hun­dred kilo­met­ers long and went through down­right desert. How­ever, we have seen one or the other animal, such as flamin­gos and some flight­less birds.

At Isla Riesco we drove the road along the north coast as long as our rental car was able to bear it. After­wards, we went on with our back­packs. On the way towards the last est­an­cia we heard some curi­ous sounds com­ing to us over some hills. Every team mem­ber had dif­fer­ent thoughts about the ori­gin of these sounds. Noise of a chain­saw was maybe the most exotic. instead of all that the noise was pro­duced by a flock of pent-​up cattle, sep­ar­ated from their calfs and newly branded.

When we passed the est­an­cia we got to appre­ci­ate our four-​legged friends for the second time on this trip. This time not bee­ing served as steaks on the plate but as trail­blazer through knee-​high thorny under­growth. Aim of our little adven­ture was a pen­in­sula with a geor­geous bay and a camp ground that deserved at least three stars. After hav­ing a nother test meal in the even­ing and when all the photo exper­i­ments came to an end we went into our sleep­ing­bags to be fit for another hik­ing trip the next morn­ing. The wind was quite strong that even­ing. The hike took about one and a half hour through lawns, under­growth, over hills and at the beach to a little decayed cabin. here, we had a view over the pen­in­sula and enjoyed nature. When we came back we found Rokos, who stood behind and was tak­ing pho­to­graphs, lay­ing in his sleep­ing bag in front of the tent, where he was with some pleas­ure trink­ing wine and read­ing a book. Cur­rently we are about to check the alleged pho­to­graphic activ­it­ies! After we packed everything back together we went back to the car. Rokos drove back when there was nobody else will­ing to do so and steered with ease back to the ferry. At some points we got the impres­sion that the road belonged some­how to Rallye Dakar. Back in Punta Arenas we unloaded the equip­ment and went of to Zona France for shopping.

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