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20.10.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail northern part- summary and conclusions



The most important question regarding this trek is, did I enjoy it and would recommend the GPT to others: The first part of the question is easy to answer, I enjoyed walking the northern Part of the GPT very much! The diversity of the landscape from dry cacti country to high mountains, lush forests, colourful mountain deserts, towering volcanoes and beautiful lakes is fantastic, especially since the weather was very good, for most of the time. And one aspect I liked very much, might be not so welcome for others. The GPT is not only one trail, but a huge network, so everybody can create his own route, and there is still a lot of room for exploration! While the current "main trail" has a length of 3000 kilometres, there are about 12000 kilometers of route options!
Before I get into more detail, here come some pictures which illustrate the variety I found on the trail!
But I must emphasize, that for a huge part of the trek I didn't follow the main route but explored more remote options.

19.10.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 9 Volcan Antuco- Guallali



On this stage I climb the volcano Antuco in very difficult conditions and run next day into serious problems with the authorities...
At the end of this stage I enter again another world, Araukaria, the home of the Pehuenche and strange trees...

07.10.2017

06.10.2017

Back from Scandinavia

                                            The hike with my camps

I just finished my 4- months long trek across Scandinavia! The goal was to link most of the major Nationalparks and wilderness areas. Therefore I started in Odda at the southwest coast not too far from Bergen. From there I crossed the mountain ranges of southern Norway from Hardangervidda to Dovrefjell, mostly in snow, as I started at the beginning of June and it was a very late spring...
Next came the less known, remote areas of central Norway. A lot of the hiking there, in areas like Forollhogna and Blafjella-Skjaekjefella Nationalparks were trackless. 4 days of continuous rain had been a real test...
To the contrary just below the arctic circle around Okstindan and Saltfjellet I had a week of sunshine, something very rare in Norway...
From Sulitjelma in Norway to near Abisko in Sweden was the longest leg of the hike. In 15 days I covered 400 Kilometres, doing a long detour across the large wilderness area of Laponia, comprising such gems as Sarek and Padjelanta, but also went near the norwegian coast again, in the fascinating granite country of Hellemo.
After a 8 day break, exploring the island of Senja and other things I continued on the Nordkalottleden to Kautokeino, passing such interesting locations as Divi- and Reisadalen.
From Kautokeino I turned east into Finland, mostly trailless across the vast wilderness of Anarjokka and Lemmenjoki nationalparks.
Finally I did a loop in the fine primeval forests of Urho Kekkonnen Nationalpark towards the russian border south of Lake Inari.
After 110 walking days and about 2600 Kilometers I finished my hike at the end of September already having seen the first northern lights and beautiful autumn colours.
It was a challenging but very satisfying trip!
But as you know, before I blog on this hike, I need to finish my entries on the Greater Patagonian trail which I did earlier this year...
Soon I will start with that!

20.05.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 6 Laguna del Maule- Lago Dial



After half an hour walking I cross the tarmac road, leading to Argentina. At this early morning hour there is no traffic. I quickly cross the road and continue on the other side. A herd of cattle gives way, causing a huge dust cloud.

                                                                           Dust cloud

10.05.2017

05.05.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 4 Siete Tazas- Rio Colorado



After a cold shower I walk back to the Pizzeria, which opens just for me and where I am treated to an omelette. On TV I get to know that big forest fires are devastating Central Chile. I can only hope, that this won't have an effect on my hike...

27.04.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 3 Los Quenes-Rio Colorado



At 7:45 I catch the first Bus to Los Quenes, and an hour later, I am ready to hike again!
Behind a campground under shady pines I leave the village and walk on a dirt road up the valley of the Rio Claro de Teno. Soon the river disappears in a gorge and for some hours I won't see it again.

23.04.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 2 Coya- Los Quenes


After a good breakfast at the hotel I start rather late. To my surprise the sky is grey and some raindrops are falling. But soon enough it is warm and sunny again.

21.04.2017

Greater Patagonian Trail 1 Santiago- Coya


The longest continous hiking route in South America, running across the chilean Andes from the capital Santiago all the way south into Patagonia, just these little facts made me dreaming when I first heard about the Greater Patagonian Trail from my friend Christine, a very experienced hiker, about 3 years ago.
And when I researched a bit about that trail, I found its story very interesting as well: 
The german Jan Dudeck did a multiday horse trip with his chilean wife Meylin and tracked the route by his GPS. When he transfered the track to Google Earth, he realized, that the tiny horse trails they followed were visible on the satellite pictures. That brought the idea, to create a long distance trail running the length of Patagonia, mainly by using Google Earth. He added stretches which are located in central Chile, outside of classical Patagonia, therefore he named the trail "Greater Patagonian Trail".
Since he began that great work, he spends every summer in Chile, to scout new segments of the trail and to verify what he saw on Google Earth. The fact that he mapped a lot of alternatives, often still not groundtruthed, make the Greater Patagonian Trail even more interesting.
Originally I had planned to start at the northern Terminus in Radal, but just a month before I started, Jan told me, that now the trail is even extended to the Capital, Santiago de Chile. The last metro station of that city, what an exciting starting point!

                                                       Map of my route

14.04.2017

Switching to english language

As I realize that many of my readers would prefer that my blog is written in english language, I decided to switch.
So starting soon with my stories from the Greater Patagonian Trail will be the start of this new era...
Apart of "About" I will keep my older posts in german, but probably when I find the time, write english summaries for each trek.
Please leave a comment what you think about switching to english!

21.03.2017

Welt aus Granit- Auf dem GR 20 durch Korsika 2



Am Morgen beträgt die Temperatur lediglich 2 Grad und ein leichter Dunstschleier liegt über dem See und dem breiten Wiesental durch das ich bald laufe.

                                       Kühler Morgen hinter dem Lac de Nino

Im Tal weiden sehr viele Pferde, die offenbar zu einer nahe gelegenen Bergerie gehören. Ich steige ins Tavignano Tal ab und bin begeistert von den knorrigen Hutebuchen, die dort wachsen.
Nach dem Refuge de Manganu beginnt ein weiterer spektakulärer Abschnitt des GR 20. Die Route steigt auf zur Breche de Capitellu auf über 2000 Meter und folgt dann lange Zeit einem Grat oberhalb der Seen Lac de Capitellu und Lac de Melu. Es gibt auch einige Kletterstellen, die wie immer auf Korsika, schwieriger aussehen, als sie tatsächlich sind. An einer steilen Felsstufe die mit Drahtseil gesichert ist, lege ich meine Stöcke nicht aus der Hand, werde dafür aber von einem entgegenkommenden Wanderer ermahnt...

15.03.2017

Welt aus Granit- Auf dem GR 20 durch Korsika 1



Bereits seit vielen Jahren steht der GR 20 auf Korsika weit oben auf meiner gedachten Liste der Wanderwege, die ich gerne laufen möchte. Er soll einer der schönsten, aber auch schwierigsten Wanderwege Europas sein, und verläuft über 180 Kilometer durch das Hochgebirge im Inneren der französischen Mittelmeerinsel.