Friday, January 18, 2013

Parque Pumalín: Río Gonzalo

Our first stop in Parque Pumalín was at Camping Río Gonzalo. We were immediately struck at how welcoming the park was for campers; the facilities are top class and the attention to detail is excellent. The path from the car park to the campground was lined with fairy lights, for example. Our high expectations were certainly exceeded.

The bridge linking the parking to the campsite

Beautiful soft grassy areas to set up camp

One of the more impressive hiking trails in the park leaves from this camping spot. It is a walk through a forest to a waterfall. Sounds sweet, right? To be honest, it was the best hike of my life! The forest we walked through was vibrant and alive and everything in it was straight out of a storybook. The trees were massive, with gnarled roots covered in moss; there were boardwalks and wooden bridges and step ladders and stepping stones; we saw birds and toadstools and ferns lining the trail; we walked past pools with crystal clear water and little streams trickling along beside us. And this continued for a good five hours!

Little bridge and steps next to a little waterfall

Boardwalks in the "fairy forest"

Stepping stones! (made from tree trunks)

Moss-covered steps through the forest

More dinky little steps

We had to climb up this ladder (using a rope), and then scramble across the boulder using ropes and chains to hang on

Then we had go down this ladder and slide along the log in the foreground

And then scramble over these slippery rocks

To see this spectacular waterfall!

What an incredible adventure! We spent most of the time with our mouths open, marvelling that the forest was actually real; it was almost too perfect to be true. This was definitely one of the top highlights of all our travels so far.

1 comment:

Kate said...

What a magical forest! I would love to visit it some day, it looks so perfect!