So this Saturday Agnès, Petteri and I went to the Cajon del Maipo to camp somewhere for one night.
I did a bit of research where to go and which transport to choose etc., but dropped in the end nearly all the planning and we decided to improvise if anything unforseen happens. The rough plan was to go to a laguna next to a national park, at the end of the valley (80kms from the last metro station)
After we met Petteri and went to a supermarket to buy some food for the next two days, we went out and witnessed a guy, getting thrown out of the supermarket for some reason. He was swearing a lot and at some point put his hands up, pretending to have a gun in his hand. We packed our stuff and kept going, when we saw him a few minutes after on the other side of the street, this time pretending to have a rifle in his hands.
We took the metro to the last station and ask around for the bus to Cajón del Maipo. We found it quite quickly and enjoyed a rather sportive driving style of the driver. In San José de Maipo we got off and consulted the local tourist information for ideas where to go. The guy there showed us some pictures of a dam, 25km away from the main road and offered us to drop us off there for 40.000 pesos. We kindly rejected his offer, as this would have been enough money to transfer a whole school class to the end of the Cajón. Instead we had a small snack and hopped on the next bus (for 750 pesos) and got off at the end of the paved road. From here we had to walk or find a possibility to hitch-hike. We started with walking through the valley, trying to stop several cars, but they either ignored us completely or were already packed with people. After a while, a car, from the direction we were walking to, stopped and it turned out to be the car of some friends from uni, who told us that it is still 20 minutes by car to drive to the dam. Luckily during our talk another car stopped which offered us a lift to the dam. It was good to sit in the car, seeing the whole distance, which we didn’t have to walk on our own. At the lake we walked another 10 minutes until we found a quiet beach a bit away from the street. On our way we collected some fire wood, which was more difficult than expected, because at 2600m there are not many trees, just some bushes with little wood, so it took us a while to have a sufficient amount of wood for a fire that lasts long enough to prepare some chorizo. After walking to our designated camp ground, we decided to rather go back again, to find a place which is more protected from the wind, as it started to get stronger, and therefore colder. Finally we found our place, set up our tents and the campfire and spent the evening doing the chorizos, drinking wine and playing cards.
The next morning we burned the left ever wood, to warm us up a bit, packed everything and headed back to Santiago. We walked the first few kilometers along the lake and shortly before the end Petteri found a nice spot to take a bath in the freezing cold water. After that short break we kept walking, explored some old ruins (most likely some kind of bunkers) and finally found to guys that gave us a lift to San José, where half of the village was closed due to some festivity thing (we couldn’t figure out if it was related to the election at that Sunday). At the main plaza we tried to get some food and beer, but for some reason we didn’t understand at that point they wouldn’t serve alcohol, so we decided to take the bus back to Santiago.
After another hour or so in the bus and metro, we arrived back in Providencia and tried to get beer again, this time the people in the shop explained, that they were not allowed to sell any alcohol on the election weekend…strange rule, but apparently not unique because it’s the same in Mexico as our housemate told us.