Monday, January 23, 2012

Way Down in Cochamo

Well, hello again! We're back from what might be one of the best weeks ever. Now, I realize that we use excited superlatives like that often, but really, this week was awesome. We spent 5 nights in the Cochamo Valley, camping near Refugio Cochamo, delighting in excellent hikes and scenery that is reminiscent of Yosemite.  Granite domes and towering walls surround. Lush greenery and giant trees overtake the valley. Pure, crystal clear water flows everywhere. It was heavenly. 




With all that Granite, the valley attracts rock climbers from all over the world. One climber expressed to us that he felt like he was in the Golden Age of the Cochamo Valley... it's still largely unclimbed and new routes are discovered all the time. Even though we don't climb, we felt the magic too.  

The Refugio and La Junta Campground are run by Daniel and Silvina, two warmhearted souls committed to preserving this incredible environment and making it accessible. We spent our days doing long hikes and swimming in freezing pools. We did battle the notorious giant horse flies, but it was a small price to pay to share this wondrous landscape. If I were a horse fly and this was my turf, I'd put up a good fight too. Each afternoon we'd chat Daniel up, picking his brain for information on the area that he was happy to share.  In the evening we'd venture across the river (via a hand powered cable car) to the Refugio for food and drinks. Our days were the perfect mix of challenge, fun, exertion, relaxation, and enjoyment. 

Shoo fly!

Front Porch Cochamo

Easy, breezy life

Trav crossing the river via cable car

The Cochamo River chariot

Evening light

That's where we wanna go, way down in Cochamo...

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