Patagonia!!… Parque National Queulat

Wow, we’re in Patagonia…a place so beautiful it literally brought tears to our eyes.

The boat ride from Chiloe was quite the experience. We got all our warm clothes out of our bags, checked our bags in on the bottom floor of the boat, and went to find our seats. The boat was set to depart at 2:00 in the morning. We snuggled into our seats and while Heather fell asleep quite quickly, Jason had a much harder time with this. There were kids running up and down the aisles playing tag and the man next to Jason was snoring and was a bit bigger than what the seat allowed so he had taken some of Jason’s seat too making it very hard for Jason to fall asleep. He eventually gave up trying to sleep and went to the top deck of the boat where the Lord revealed himself to Jason in new ways.

This is the boat we sailed on from Chiloe!!

This is the boat we sailed on from Chiloe!!

Looking back on Quellon, Chiloe.

Looking back on Quellon, Chiloe.

The inside of our ship!

The inside of our ship!

The rest of the ride was great. We sat and watched the beautiful landscape float by, watched the color in the water change to all different shades of blue, and chatted with another American about her time traveling through South America. Before we knew it, we were at our stop and it was time for us to disembark the boat.

Watching the sunrise on our ferry trip!

Watching the sunrise on our ferry trip!

Breakfast time!!

Breakfast time!!

Enjoying the beauty on the excursion.

Enjoying the beauty on the excursion.

{Traveler’s Tip… Take the NavieAustral ferry south from Chiloe or to Chaiten. It’s a really cheap way to get to lots of places in Patagonia, and the ride is beautiful!!}

We decided to get the ferry to a town called Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda thinking that there was a main road that we could hitchhike from to get us down to Parque National Queulat. The road that was on our map proved to be just a dirt road, which we thought meant that it was a really remote place. And while this was true, we later found out that most of the roads in the Chilean side of Patagonia are dirt roads. We walked for nearly an hour before we realized we just needed to start praying for a ride or for an opening in the road where we could set up our tent to sleep for the night. Heather prayed out loud first, then it was Jason’s turn and the second he was praying about an opening in all the brush we looked to the right and there it was, a huge opening that was gorgeous- a perfect place for us to set up our tent and get fresh water.

The absolutely gorgeous river that we almost camped by.

The absolutely gorgeous river that we almost camped by.

A backpacker's paradise.

A backpacker’s paradise.

We still can't tell you what makes the water this color.. but we are loving every second of it!

We still can’t tell you what makes the water this color.. but we are loving every second of it!

We hung out at this place for a bit, and decided the Lord showed us that so we could sleep there if need be, but we also prayed for a car to go by with someone that would pick us up, so we sat out on the road and waited for a car. Within five minutes a car drove by and stopped to pick us up. The Lord certainly answers prayers and He answers them fast. We just have to knock and seek Him! This lady ended up driving us for over three hours and dropping us off right in the entrance of the main hike in Parque National Queulat.

How can a river be so beautiful?!

How can a river be so beautiful?!

On of so many ferry rides making our way through Patagonia.

On of so many ferry rides making our way through Patagonia.

National parks down here are so much different than the national parks we visited on our road trip! We stayed just outside the entrance to one of the two hikes within the park in someone’s yard. This was a very popular area for backpackers to camp for the night and we met really awesome people.

The first night we quickly set up our tent, and left the campground around 6:00 to get into the park to see the hanging glacier. On our walk up to the glacier, Heather looked up and freaked out, she didn’t really know what to expect and what she saw amazed her! We ran up to the viewpoint of the hanging glacier and then made our way up the rest of the trail. We knew we were on a time crunch with the sun going down, so we were going pretty fast asking everyone how much further it was to the top. The responses we received were great. Some people said ten minutes, while the next person said 45 minutes, then one family even said there was no way we were going to make it to the top. We were determined to get there though, so we hiked and hiked fast!

Check out this beetle!! We almost crushed it on our hike!

Check out this beetle!! We almost crushed it on our hike!

Glacier Serano

Glacier Serano

Getting to the top with dead legs was completely worth it! The beauty that is held within a glacier is outstanding. We hung around at the top admiring the beauty for a bit and even got to watch some of the glacier break off before decided we needed to head back down the trail since it was getting dark.

The hanging blue glacier!!

The hanging blue glacier!!

Going down was so much fun. We decided to run whenever we could, and we got back in record time!! After getting back to the campsite we made a fire, a quick dinner, and were off to bed.

No editing needed for this gorgeous sunset!!

No editing needed for this gorgeous sunset!!

Our first night in Patagonia!!!

Our first night in Patagonia!!!

We were planning on leaving the next morning, but ran into another American who explained the road was closed everyday for dynamite explosions from 1:00-5:00, so instead we hung around camp for a day. Hanging around camp for one extra night was exactly what the Lord wanted us to do. That night was so much fun; we made a big fire and everyone that was camping in our little area just sat around and talked the night away. One couple was making a film for a wedding gift and wanted a congratulatory clip/marriage advice, so we thought it would be appropriate to give them marriage advice having to do with fire since we were all sitting around one. We told them “Congratulation! Remember, marriage is like fire, you need to keep giving it wood.” Only half the group got the saying and laughed, while the other half thought it was so sincere and sweet! We love teaching non-native English speakers fun English phrases!

Cooking over the fire.. no better way when camping!

Cooking over the fire.. no better way when camping!

In the morning, we made a nice fire had some coffee and breakfast, broke down camp, and caught a ride with Ignacio and Antonio (two of the boys we hung out with at the campfire the night before) to a hike at the other end of the national park. This hike is called Bosque Encantada, and is a beautiful hike through a forest with an end like nothing we have ever seen before. Once we got to the end of the hike there was water pouring from the hanging glacier above into a gorgeous blue pool beneath…again just completely breathtaking.

Enjoying Bosque Encantada!!

Enjoying Bosque Encantada!!

Getting closer to the end of the Bosque Encantada trek!!

Getting closer to the end of the Bosque Encantada trek!!

This lake is made from the hanging glaciers above melting!!

This lake is made from the hanging glaciers above melting!!

One amazing group of hikers!!

One amazing group of hikers!!

No filter needed when getting water in Patagonia!!

No filter needed when getting water in Patagonia!!

The beginning of seven days with two of the boys.. and our first and last hike with one of them!

The beginning of seven days with two of the boys.. and our first and last hike with one of them!

{Traveler’s Tip… If the pictures don’t convince you, take our words for it…Do the Bosque Encantada hike. Lonely Planet does not call the hike this, but instead, Rio de las Cascadas, but all the other travelers refer to it as Bosque Encantada or Enchanted Forest. Keep in mind that while the road work is going on Ruta 7 is closed from around 1:00-5:00 for the dynamite explosions.}

Talking with Ignacio and Antonio we found out that they were stopping at the exact same places that we wanted to go heading south in Patagonia. They were kind enough to invite us on their road trip with them, so for the next seven days their road trip of two became of road trip of four.


…Where We Have Been And Where We Are Heading…

As we said in our previous post.. we are extremely far behind in our blog posting! It has now been a month since we have been in this national park and we have been to and seen so many things in the meantime! We are currently at the end of the world in Ushuaia, Argentina and are flying out tomorrow morning to get to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We really didn’t want to fly at all during our trip down here, but we decided to in this case because it was cheaper than busing and it’s only 3 hours verses three days of buses!! From Buenos Aires, we aren’t quite sure where we are heading…Possibly into Uruguay or maybe up to Iguazu Falls.


…Prayer Requests…

*Praise the Lord for Jason getting an interview for grad school in Scotland!!! Woo hoo!! We are beyond excited for this!!

*At the same time, pray for Jason that he has the right words in his interview, and for the interviewers that they will see what Jason has to offer their program!

*Pray for guidance and direction for our travels!

*Pray for Jason’s health… continued healing of his on again off again symptoms, and wisdom for what we need to do to make them be off again all the time!

 *Praise God for the beauty that He has created for us to enjoy!!

*Pray for our patience while we are in Argentina! It has been the hardest country for us to travel in so far, and if we are being completely honest we need prayer that we can enjoy the things around us and be slow to anger or get upset!

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