W Trek Day 5: Francés to CentralDecember 15, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 9 °C
When waking up in a tent it is difficult to judge the weather. Even more so when camping in the forest. It might be sunny but you won't notice as you're in the shade. Or it's raining but you won't notice because the leaves catch the water. Additionally, mosquitos and small flies have recently evolved in a way that makes them damn good at replicating the sound of rain hitting your tent.
This morning in particular all we knew was that it definitely had rained through the night, plus that it was windy, because with every strong gust of wind it sounded like a bucket of water was released on our tent. We packed our gear and inside tents and braved our way outside.
It turned out to actually rain. And even worse, it wouldn't stop for the next 3 hours, and only seemed to get heavier with time. So for the very first time on this multi day hike, we actually had to hike through proper rain. This turned out to be a good test for our rain gear. The feeling of water getting in and slowly soaking your underpants or shirt is just lovely. At least the path was fairly easy to walk and we reached camping Los Cuernos after just 1.5 hours. We thankfully took the opportunity to shelter from the rain and inspect how wet we were . Daniel's 7-year old rain jacket was more of a rain-through-jacket and the same was true for Susanne's and partially also Machiel's rain pants. Through unlucky river crossings or very soaked pants Franzi, Susanne and Daniel also ended up with (partially) wet shoes. Machiel's 6 year old rain jacket (which has been falling apart lately, including the duct tape on it) held on surprisingly well.
Nonetheless, we had to continue at some point and when we did after an hour, we were lucky the worst seemed to have passed. The last 4 hours of the trail the weather changed between raindrops and sunshine or both at the same time and by the time we arrived at camping Central, most of our clothes had dried. Due to the bad weather we took less breaks and probably arrived earlier than we otherwise would've. Of course, we also couldn't enjoy the nature as much. Though the cyan lake on our right looked beautiful.
The region of camping Central was a bit different than the rest, given that you don't need a ferry to reach this side of the national park. On the way to the camping we walked by a big hotel and a parking lot, and we had to cross actual roads. There was also a herd of horses running right at us when we crossed. The horses were used in the park to transport food, trash, and for horse riding tours.
The camping at Central was thankfully better than Francés, with a slightly larger cooking area. Regardless, we had learned our lesson and used our early arrival time to cook a warm lunch when it wasn't busy, and then later had a cold wraps dinner before sleeping early.Read more