the beginning of Patagonia Soul
Coñaripe, Chile is a one-street town set in the fertile cradle between Lago Calafquen and Lago Pellaifa. It is beginning to catch the tourist craze, with hostels & hospedajes (families which open their homes to travelers, typically more comfortable ... and slightly more expensive) popping up to the sounds of buzz saws & banging sheet metal. It is a poor town, with the hopes of growing rich from the tourism industry.
Travel Tip: When crossing lakes in Patagonia, plan to paddle across in the mornings when the wind is low. Unless, of course, it's going to be a tailwind!
Campsite of our first night of Patagonia Soul, just south of Lago Pellaifa. Reese Wells.
Tyler creeping around a dilapidated shack in Coñaripe. These structures are common, as people leave their land or build new homes elsewhere on their properties. Reese Wells.
Lago Pellaifa at sunset. Our first paddle of Patagonia Soul. Reese Wells
First night of Patagonia Soul, our Hilleberg Atko looking really awesome in the valley. Reese Wells.
Tyler cooking dinner. Made the mistake our first two weeks cooking with kerosene, having been unable to locate white gas, which is called 'bencina blanca,' for those interested. Our pot isn't black, yet, but it's going to be soon. Reese Wells.
Day one of Patagonia Soul, a dicey setup with our Alpacka Explorer 42 worked out, but just barely. Tyler's high stoke level is what got us through. Reese Wells.
Tyler trekking across a boggy flatland in approach to setting up our packraft. Reese Wells.
Tyler standing proud over a hard shelf, looking out on the clear & clean streams, glacial melt that requires no treating. Reese Wells.
Looking back across the pavement to Volcan Villarica, which is to the north. We are headed south, about to hop off the paved road. Reese Wells.
Day one - young, dumb, and full of hope. Reese and Tyler smiling before shouldering 85 lb packs and heading off onto Patagonia Soul. Reese Wells.
The big heavy Deuter taking a load off on a beautiful green mound. Note the pregnant Ursack spilling out over the top. Reese Wells.
Tyler looking out on all the shades of blue that Lago Pellaifa is throwing our way this early morning. Reese Wells.
Waking up to the sound of soft stepping and munching at our first campsite. Horses came to visit. Reese Wells.
Side of the Sun
When the winds rise and the waves crest over this once gentle lake
I look to the side of the sun and search for the calm of a single ray,
Your soft finger against my cheek.