Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Patagonia, Chile Day 2

A great day of hiking. I was afraid that after two days of constipation and not much walking in the few months that I wouldn’t be able to complete a five-hour hike in this rugged terrain. But we both did wonderfully. I’m so proud of H., and of me as well. We started at 9am driving to a cave where the mylodon was discovered. It was a massive cave right out of my dreams. Then the hike began. Our guide Filipe didn’t have much faith in us, but he set a fast pace going up up the mountain and we hung with him step for step. U and up and up we hiked until my shirt and vest were literally wringing wet. We had a thirty minute lunch and then continued up to the top of a cliff were we got down on our bellies and peeked over the edge to see nesting condors below us. 
The view from the top was one of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen. Well worth the three-hour climb. The walk down was quick and we got to the car rendezvous forty minutes ahead of the car, telling us we hiked much faster than they guide thought we could manage. We rock.

We capped the night off by having rabbit for dinner. My god it was soooo good.  A good day.

View of the Mylodon Cave, where European settlers discovered the skin of a Mylodon in 1895.Also discovered in the cave were remnants of the saber tooth tiger, Macrauchenia, and an ancient horse.

The Mylodon Darwini was a large mammal that lived in this area of Magallanes between 14,500 and 10,000 years ago. An ancient relative of the modern day sloth that moved on all fours and weighed about a ton. 

This large coral like plant grows a millimeter a year.

Hiking through ancient caves formed by the melting of glaciers. 

We hiked about five hours, almost straight up at times, then a very steep hike down.This is us looking over a sheer cliff at the top. The drop is about fifteen hundred feet straight down.
Sometimes you can see condors nesting on the side of the cliff.  

Don’t get too close to the edge of you have the slightest bit of vertigo.

We hiked back down to a lake to wait for our ride back to the hotel.

And a last, well deserved rest with this spectacular view.

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