Chile: Morning drive to the Monte San Valentín National Park

Our first full day at the Lago General Carrera we wanted to fulfill a long last dream: hiking on a glacier. For that reason we started our 100 km drive to the Monte San Valentín National Park at 6 am. As the drive itself, one direction, took 3 hours. We were able to see a nice sunrise over the Lago Tranquilo. As well as  really stupid rabbits that were running in front of our car, in the middle of the road, for a couple of minutes.

Ever since leaving the road 7 (Carretera Austral) on the X728 the road got bumpier every minute. All in all the ride was really promising but also hard on the back. Even that we saw deep fog over fields and wired looking trees. We thought it will be all worth it when starting our tour.

When entering the park – no entrance fee needed to be paid – there was no park ranger yet at the station. Which was nothing to worry about, at this point. Even that we were not 100% sure where the tour will start. As we drove further we found the parking lot and the starting point of the tours. The wired thing was that nobody was there, even 15 minutes before the tour should start. No guide no other guests, which at the beginning did not worry us but as we could not ask anyone, we got the felling we are not in the right place.

As we did not want to miss the start of the tour, we drove even 15 kilometers deeper in the park until the airport. Sadly there was no sign at all of any group or guide for a Glacier Tour. With giving our hopes already up, we drove back to the park entrance. At this point in time we were able to speak with the park ranger, who ensured us that we been to the right place but that there is no tour today. He gave us the recommendation just to hike up to the Mirador Glaciar Exploradores, in order not to be too disappointed. The hike took us 45 minutes (up and down) and is a nice hike through a forest, that become really rocky at the end. We had the whole Mirador for our self and got at least a nice panoramic view on the Glacier.

At the end it turned out that the tour agency missed the date. 🙁 We got our money back and all, but it was still one of this travel moments that make it hard to stay completely positive. But it is like in life, other times will come.

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