For much of this day’s travels we ran alongside the river Baker, a stunning bright blue gash of colour through the greenery.
We passed some (you guessed it) beautiful scenery, including lakes the river feeds, a beautiful blue surrounded by mountains decorated by autumnal-coloured trees. The reds, yellows and greens of a Patagonia autumn are stunning. We passed through Cochrane, where we parked up in the square to cook lunch, then started heading further north than we’d been so far – it suddenly felt like we were making progress and we could do this! Santiago, here we come (in a couple of weeks…).
An hour or so after Cochrane, we saw a signpost for a hike to the confluence of two rivers – the Baker, that we had been following, and another. We decided on a whim to ditch our plans and go have a look.
The confluence wasn’t that exciting – a small brown river somewhat diluted the startling blue of the huge Baker – but the spot was beautiful and there was a small waterfall. It was a lovely sunny day and we just enjoyed the exercise and being out of the car.
After we finished the hike we clearly couldn’t make the town we’d planned to stop the night in, so we decided to have our first ever wildcamping night, tucked off the road down a track right by the river. We slept to the sound of it rushing by, and woke to the bizarre blue colour through the trees.
I’d been reluctant to camp far from people (although the only possible risk there could be in Patagonia is from other people, and that is so minimal its barely worth considering) but it was fine – I slept soundly, no one bothered us, and it was lovely to wake in the middle of nature with no one else around. Lauren could mess about in the woods (she has a collection of sticks and stones now that she plays with more than her phone, which is never charged or asked for) while I made us porridge, and then we sat outside, watching the river and eating breakfast.
Life is good.
We are so lucky.