Another early start packing up the tents, getting breakfast, packing the bags back on the bus. This is our routine most days on the trip and after a while we get used to it. My bag however is getting somewhat battered as its always the one at the bottom of the pile, I just hope it can withstand the pressure throughout the trip and not fall apart!! Fingers crossed.
We go for a short drive to a place called Queluat National Park and here we have the option to chill out or do the 3.3km walk one way to the glacier (so 6.6km round trip). Its about 3hrs round trip and some people decide its just not worth it as its raining, but given we have a little bit of a trek to the next place I am up for it. I head off with Krtisa and Garry and they soon charge ahead of me, I am stopping lots to take photos of the beautiful park and scenery. Its not a really tough walk, but its a lot of uphill and the rain makes it a little slippery and in places there is a little river running so I am doing all I can not to get wet as I only have walking trainers and not boots that are waterproof!!
The view of the glacier at the end is just stunning and well worth the walk up there, and as I am there alone at the time it is lovely and peaceful and you can just sit and take it all in. The glacier has waterfalls coming off it and runs into a river which in its still parts is a very bright light green, it looks amazing. On a time schedule as you are on these overland tours there’s not too much time to waste and so I head back to the truck.
With everyone back onboard we head to the ranch, our next stop on the tour. We have an initial stop to get food for the next cook group, which I am part of. We completely luck out and get one of the best supermarkets we have had since arriving in the country so that bodes well. I am shopping with Di Di to get dinner while the others are split into breakfast and lunch groups, all organised we all have a list and also have to be aware that we will be crossing a border in a couple of days so we don’t want to not use any of the fresh produce we get.
My job is to get 25 chicken breasts!! I am quite enjoying the times that I speak a little spanish, so happy to hang around at the counter and sort out this task. When my number comes up I ask for vente y cinco pollo and point to the breast. The guy looks at me confused, and some discussion and another guy puts up his hand thinking I don’t know what I am asking for and he says five. I say 25, and so the discussion goes on for a bit but I assure them I mean 25 and they get packing the mass of chicken into bags for me.
With the shopping done we head to the ranch which has a superb view of what they call the ice palace, it really is lovely and once again it is very very windy!!! The one thing you can count on here is wind. On arrival I am happy to be informed of the ability to upgrade and stay in the house for a small fee of 5000 CLP, so with that I jump at the chance of a bed and probably a good nights sleep. At least 1/2 the crew on the bus join me so I get settled in there, shower and get ready for the dinner they are serving. The lady of the house brings out a fantastic roast lamb dinner and everyone get stuck in with yet more Chilean red wine to wash down the fabulous meal.
And rounding off a great day with a night around the campfire and a few more drinks, its a late start tomorrow for a change, we get a lie in until horse riding at 10am!!! That is something I plan to make the most of as its a rare change from the 5 and 6 am starts to date.