I was cycling southwards on the Chilian side of Fireland and have seldom seen remote areas like this. It was almost winter so there was even less traffic going on. One day there passed 3 cars, another day not even one.
I had a weird, exited feeling when I crossed the last pass to Lago Fagnano. When I finally had a view over the Cordillera Darwin (Darwin mountain range), the enormous Lago Fagnano, (lake Fagnano), the untouched forests, only crossed by a slim white line – the frost covered road – I was speachless.
35km further I reached the end of the road, where its gravel unite with the limpets of the beach. I was standing in a bay, surrounded by glaciar covered peaks . North of me “Los dientes de dragones” (dragon touth mountain range), south the Cordillera Darwin.
In front of me I saw the Pazific ocean, full of island. To my back side the wide valley of the Azopardo river, which connects the Lago Fagnano with the sea.
I could not think anything else then:
“This is the place for me to be!”
And so I stayed there.
The place is called Caleta Maria, an historic saw mill, now in renovation. The owners are ambitious about conserving the history, nature and spirit of the place.
They use it as a platform for ecotourism, arts and other projects.
In my six weeks there I explored the surroundings, hiking valleys and the coast, studied about plants, animals and history. I learned to chop wood and to use a magallanic oven.
I experianced that keeping the laundry in a bucket outdoor over night is a bad idea at -5°C.
I went ot to collect the last calafate berries of the saison, having deep blue coloured hands for 3 days afterwards. With a wheelbarrel I helped the men to carry water from the river. I cooked lentils and beans, bread and potatos over and over again.
I just absolutely fell in love with this place.
When I finally left, everything was a bit different. Plans had collapsed and have not been replaced yet.
I got the invitation to come back after the winter, after the visit of my mother which will stay with me in South America for 6 weeks.
The future is open, I have now idea, what will come.
Life is exiting!