There is so much to see here.
I think Xander was so happy to be able to get up and put on a t-shirt, shorts and sandals rather than having to put on pants, boots, shirt, hoodie, winter coat, hat, gloves etc. You get the picture. What could be better than slipping on your running shoes and going for a hike to see 5 waterfalls.
The hike, 5 Waterfalls, is listed as one of the best hikes in Chile. It isn't that difficult and the scenery is amazing.
The important thing to remember is things are not what you expect. This is the case when we piled into our rental vehicle (VW Gol - not a Golf - a Gol) to get to the "trail head"
One would think that a trailhead of a hike in a National Park would be easy to find... Not here.
check out the directions here to understand how easy it sounded.
Generally speaking it was easy but the road (and I use that term loosely, just as loose as the river stone on the washboard "road") was rough. We started out well and the road was getting progressively narrower and narrower. Then we noticed there were not 1, but 2 cars behind us as we lurched our way spinning the rental cars tires up the steep inclines.
Figuring they new what they were doing, we let them pass and they did with side long gawks toward us.
Just as we made a sharp left hand turn 2 dogs and a motorbike came and stopped the caravan of 3 cars and opened up a 5 strand barbed wire gate that was across the road. He lifted the 5 strands that were attached to 3 posts and swung it around to allow all of us to pass.
We had no idea what was going on, where we were, if the 2 cars in front of us were friends of the motorbike person or if this was even the correct way to get to the 5 waterfalls.
We continued on. The other 2 vehicles sped away and we made our way at our own pace dodging bare rocks and vines. We reached a place where the first vehicle could not go any further. He was spinning his tires as he tried to muscle his "camionette" around a 90degree turn and up a very steep incline of loose rocks. Finally he reversed and gave it one more shot - to no avail and backed up, turned around and left. The second vehicle left following him and we were left quite honestly ... we didn't really know where.
Yay - We Found it
Then Bob spotted out on one of the fence posts a faded sign with an arrow - 5 Cascade.
Thankfully there was a house nearby and we, meaning Bob, asked in his best Spanish if this was the trail to the 5 waterfalls. Yes it was for $3000 CHP per person.
So... off we went. Norma lead us thru a locked gate and told us (in spanish) that it was approx. 4 hours depending on if we stop and take pictures or picnic. Or at least that is what my understanding of what she said was.
It was beautiful. There were many geckos warming themselves on the dark rocks,
It was a long day. The hike was longer than the 4 hours that we had anticipated. We may have taken a slightly different route and we did stop to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.