Getting to Patagonia is hard.

It took each of us a double covid test, triple vaccinations, and a handful of affidavits to simply be allowed entry to Chile. After that, the regulations require a ten day online self-report on whether you show any from a very broad list of symptoms. As the trail we plan to hike only has sporadic cell phone coverage, we could either ignore the self-report in those cases (probably without consequences) or delay the thing and stay put for a while.

As we still had some sleep to catch up and plenty of preparations to make, we opted for the latter. We took the opportunity to also dutifully fulfill our role as tourist: Museo de la Memoria, Museo de Arte Precolombiana, the winding alleys of Valparaíso. Leaving out the details: Santiago is hot and crowded, Valparaíso is cool, colorful and much preferred.

Right now, we’re in Curicó, capital of the eponymous province, whose name is derived from the Mapuche for “land of black waters”. Crucially, Curicó is close to our starting point on the Greater Patagonian Trail, as tomorrow, January 10th, the Chilean government finally deems us covid-free.

It’s about time. Let’s get our feet dirty 🙂

Pictures (mostly) courtesy of Veronika:

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