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21 September 2011: Cerro La Campana, 1880m Walk Chile, September 2011

OK, i'll admit it, this one isn't a volcano.  We had done so well with the volcanoes, we decided to call it a day and head north to the Santiago area.  Approaching Santiago at rush hour isn't a good idea, and we got spat out on the north side, so we headed for the Parque Nacional La Campana.  The following morning, we set off for the 1400m walk up Cerro La Campana.  It was really damp and mistly low down, but I was confident - the sun hat and shorts were packed, and when we climbed out of the mist, they were both put to good use!  The landscape around here is similar to southern Spain / Mallorca, for example.  Quite different to what we had been used to.

This fine mountain has 2 claims to fame; 1. the view from the top of the Pacific to Aconcagua, and 2. that Charles Darwin has been to the top.  There's even a plaque cemented to the rock to celebrate his ascent.  We couldn't see the Pacific today due to the cloud layer, but seeing it spill over the ridges was enough compensation.  Aconcagua was clear though, a mere 5100m higher than we were at the top of the hill.  We saw plenty of wildlife.  Lots of birds, lizards scuttling everywhere, and a huge, thick hairy legged spider walking across the path.  I was too slow with the camera to get a good picture of it, but it was almost certainly a Chilean Rose Tarantula.

The following day, our last full day in Chile, was spent driving to the beach to see pelicans and penguins - Humbolt penguins to be specific.  We somehow managed to time it when an American researcher was at a viewing point with his spotting scope, so we got to see the penguins on the the Isla de Cachagua close up.  A good way to end a fantastic holiday.  Wish I was still there :o(

Lots of zig-zags up through the forest.
There were lizards everywhere, and many of them were happy to pose for photos.
Ever seen a multi-coloured lizard having a poo?  No?  Well you have now.
This is a rubbish photo, but I was 2 expletives too late in getting the camera out to take a picture of this when it was on the path.  It is indeed, a Chilean Rose Tarantula, and it was big!
The red signs made it easy to find the way.
The plaque celebrating the ascent by Darwin.  Essentially it says 'Darwin woz ere, and it was a cracking view'.  It is amazing how many people set off up a mountain these days, having packed essentials such as Tippex...
Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America, over 5000m higher than we were.
Mist in the valley.
We met Mike, an American working in Paraguay with the Peace Corps, who was in Chile for a 2 week holiday.
Isla de Cachagua.  The penguins are on the right.
The view through a spotting scope of a couple of Humbolt penguins (one is having a snooze / is camera shy).
19 September 2011: Llaima, 3125m Skiing Chile, September 2011
17 September 2011: Villarrica, 2847m Skiing Chile, September 2011
14 September 2011: Volcan Osorno, 2662m Skiing Chile, September 2011
12 September 2011: Lonquimay, 2865m Skiing Chile, September 2011
10 September 2011: Volcan Antuco, 2985m Skiing Chile, September 2011
07 September 2011: Nevados de Chillan, 3212m Skiing Chile, September 2011
06 September 2011: Volcan Chillan Nuevo, 3186m Skiing Chile, September 2011
05 September 2011: Termas de Chillan, Chile Skiing Chile, September 2011
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