25-Mar-2015 -- Coming from the new and amazing hiking trail "Huella Andina" in Argentina, I entered into Chile on 23 March. Coming from El Bolsón/Lago Puelo. I crossed the border walking using the border station "Paso Río Puelo/Los Hitos". It's one of the last border stations between Argentina and Chile that is only accessible by walking (or taking a horse/or taking a boat).
After a short stop at the "Carabineros de Chile", I started my trip in a westward direction to Lago Las Rocas. But after some meters I met some nice and friendly Chileans having their lunch/dinner at one of the beaches of Lago Las Rocas. They invited me to join, so I stayed - with some nice lamb chops, organic salads, homemade bread and some beers - until sunset. What a really warm welcome for me! I put my mat and my sleeping bag on the beach and tried to sleep. I woke up with the smell of smoke and my sleeping bag covered with ashes. Due to a massive drought in the last weeks Argentina and Chile are struggling with huge forest fires. In this night there were some fires in the Lago Puelo National Park and the winds were bringing the ashes from Argentina to Chile.
On 24 March I entered to the Valley of the Río Ventisquero, one of the most beautiful Andean valleys I ever have seen. Coming from the south side I had to cross the river to reach the Confluence. Although the water level was low, the current was still strong. So I spent some time to find a good place for river crossing. Water was pure and cold; the river was wide and strong... but I did it, but one of my flip-flops couldn't make it. (I hope, the Poseidon of the Pacific will forgive me!?). This night I spent on the riverbanks of Río Ventisquero at about 4 km from the Confluence.
On 25 March I started early in the morning to reach the Confluence as soon as possible. I was walking one hour on the north shore of Río Ventisquero till a big, open Pampa. From here I started the real ascent to the Confluence. I was at 900 meters air-line distance from the Confluence, but about 400 meters of altitude difference - and ahead was deep and dense natural forests. So, it was a real fight and I spent more than 2 hours to reach the Confluence (and the same time back) - climbing up rocks and crossing fallen trees. The Confluence is in the middle of a thick forest, in the middle of nothing and I hope it will last like this - without country roads entering the valley and without the sound of motor saws.
To leave the Valley Ventisquero and the Valley Puelo, you have to take the ferry on Lake Tagua-Tagua. It brought me back to civilization and to Puerto Varas on 27 March. On 28 March I left to the Valley Cochamó - the jewel of the region: receding glaciers conspired in a symphony of sea and stone, creating dramatic walls of granite carpeted by 30,000 sq. hectares of towering old-growth ulmo, manio, cöigue, and millennial Alerce trees.