Wake Up And Pick Up
Today was our first day of hiking. Our destination was the campsite at Dickson Lake and it was the longest hiking day at 18 miles!
The Australians, and I, had to meet the van at 5:30 AM, to take us from our campsite, back to EcoCamp. We would meet the others in our group, who were staying in the edificios at EcoCamp, and then all have breakfast together.
From the night before, I had the 2 dry sacs ready, filled with what I thought I would need for the first 4 and the last 3 days of the trek.
The van pickup was a 5 minute walk from my tent. When I arrived there, it was only me and we had to wait about 20 minutes for the Australians. They didn't finish separating their dry packs the night before, so it took them longer to get ready (rookie mistake...haha...j/k).
Once all together, the van took us up a hill back to EcoCamp, about a mile away. We had the option of walking the mile, but being new, I don't think they wanted us to get lost....which I probably would have.
Breakfast At The EcoDome
At EcoDome, we had a big hearty breakfast. Then we had to pack our own lunches in paper bags.
We had lots of food to choose from. From cold cuts to veges, nuts and fruit. We all made our own sandwiches, wrapped them up and put them into a paper bag.
Everything we needed for the hike, we kept in our day packs to carry. This included lunch, water and a change of clothes. Because you could experience random weather and temperatures in one day, you had to dress and pack, prepared for anything.
On Our Way
And we were off!! The porters carried our sleeping bags, sleeping pads and our dry sack for the first few days. They were fast and passed us early on in the hike, even though we started before them.
The hike was not too difficult. The terrain was mostly flat. Our main guide, Emilio, jokingly called it the Patagonia hills.
Except for the mother of the Australians, we all stayed together. The mother was close to 70 and was hiking slower than us. Yvonne held the back, so stayed with her.
Every 2 hours or so, we stopped for a break, had snacks and drank water. We also waited for the mother to catch up.
Since we were out in the wild, miles from civilization, we drank all our water from streams we came across and that Emilio approved as being safe. I drank the water straight, while some had filters. The NJ couple had an ultraviolet wand, they stirred the water with, that was supposed to kill any bacteria!
Our first meal was at the first campsite we came across.
We all sat on the ground and took our time eating. Emilio had coffee and served it to us. He also gave us all collapsable cups to borrow for the trek, and return back to him at the end.
This was our longest break, and longer, waiting for the mother.
About 2 hours from our destination, it started to rain. About an hour in, both my treking pants and Kelly's (NJ couple) became soaked. We both had rain resistant pants but not waterproof, and they both could not handle all the water. It was funny how it seemed to happen to both of us simultaneously.
The others changed into their water proof pants beforehand, something I failed to purchase and bring.
I also didn't have waterproof shoes. Back home, I treated them with a water repelent spray, which did not help at all.
Campsite At Lake Dickson
When we arrived at the campsite, it was about 9 PM and we were late for dinner. The dinning room was in a small cabin with 4 bench like tables.
There was a nice fire and I put my wet trail shoes and some other clothing, next to it.
The server/cooks were annoyed, because they were getting ready to close and had to stay to accomodate us.
They did have a nice spread of cold meats, cheese, crackers, veges and fruit out ready for us.
Also, the Australian's mother was still not there with Yvonne, and there was a debate whether to wait for her.
Like at EcoCamp, we had a selection of 3 types of 3 course meals. I forget what I ordered at this one....maybe the chicken?
After some confusion and having to wait, we finally had our meal, and the Australian mother did show up.
Shower And Sleeping
I think the Connecticut family all stayed in the edificio, which was in the same cabin as the dining room. I remember some argument/disagreement with the Australian family, that they were supposed to have an edificio too, but I forget the outcome.
The rest of us stayed in tents, and like at EcoCamp, they were already set up by the porters
I mananged to get a shower in, but for some reason, my towel was missing from my dry sac and I ended up having to use my neck buff to dry myself.
While in the tent, I hung up my wet clothes, and quickly went to bed. This time no night terrors and a restful sleep...at least for another early wakeup of 5 AM!!