Villarrica to Cochamó, Chile

13 - 15 Feb 2006

Kayaking and hiking in fjord country


Logbook index

We had fine weather again for the one-hour flight from Villarrica to the grass runway at Cochamó with breathtaking views again on the way. Cochamó, by the Reloncaví fjord, is only a small village in itself, and it was still a half-hour drive over dirt tracks to Campo Aventura's riverside lodge. Campo Aventura used to belong to Clark Stede, our host at the Hacienda Los Andes north of Santiago, until he sold it to Lex and Christiane Fautsch from Luxembourg. Accommodation is in simple cabins with private shower, surrounding the garden. Meals were served to all the guests seated at a large table. There were generally about 8 to 10 guests of various nationalities, and we enjoyed swapping travel stories. The cook served up delicious vegetarian food using organic vegetables grown on the premises. And the homemade bread was the best we’d had so far in Chile.
The first afternoon, we went for a dip in the nearby Reloncaví river which was much cooler than Lago Panguipulli but left you with a refreshing tingling sensation.
The next day we went sea kayaking on the Reloncaví fjord with a lively Irish girl as our guide. We didn’t have to travel far from the lodge to put the kayaks in the water and head out towards the estuary. We were there more for the views than for the wildlife but we did spot a sea lion and a kingfisher as we drifted along with the current, hardly needing to paddle until it was time to turn back towards Cochamó village. It was a fun day but we were both glad we hadn’t kept to our original plan of doing a week’s kayaking trip. We’d forgotten how uncomfortable it can be for one’s back, sitting with one’s legs stretched out, and we were a few years older than the last time we’d been kayaking in New Zealand (on our world trip).
The main sporting activity at Campo Aventura is horse riding, but recalling how sore our muscles were after the last time at Hacienda Los Andes, we decided to spend the next day walking instead. We followed the same trail as the horse riders take up the Cochamó valley, stopping for lunch at a cool stream. The cook had prepared a delicious picnic for us, served in a multi-tiered metal container to avoid squashing. Excellent idea!

At Villarrica airstrip

Lakes and snow-capped volcanoes as we headed south

A close encounter of the volcanic kind

An even closer encounter...

On the approach to the landing strip at Cochamó

On final for Cochamó

In the garden at Campo Aventura's Riverside Lodge

Kayaking for the day in the Reloncaví Fiord

After the kayaking we were driven back to the Riverside Lodge in the pick-up truck

The riders returned as we picnicked by the river

Chilling out at the river

The bees are attracted to the flowers of this tree and we ate the honey at breakfast.

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN