Sunday, March 3, 2019

An adventure to Lago Rupanco and the hot spring beach


It was July and the middle of the winter but fairly mild and no rain. A good day for an adventure! 
We had heard about the mysterious and elusive hot spring beach which could only be reached by boat. A beach where if you dug up the sand, the hot springs would come bubbling up. My first thought was "Is it safe?"
I hadn't heard any stories in the news of anyone being boiled alive on any beaches. Our elderly friends had gone and they came back alive and healthy. Then our favorite NZ family came back with all of their kiddos and tales of their magical experience. We had to go but where was the boat? "Well, you just drive out there until you find a boat and then the guy takes you over!" Ok! well that sounds simple enough so we loaded up the car with towels and drinks and snacks and bathing suits and shovels and our 2 workawayers and warm clothes (just in case) after all it was winter.
And so we drove out on the only road that goes along the lake. The lake is 40 km long from west to east and the road is a pretty poor dirt road with lots of curves and lots of pot holes. After a half an hour of bouncing around we found a boat! And it was a ferry boat but it looked suspiciously deserted. We knocked on the door across the street but they were not going out! Not easily deterred we continued our journey. We were rewarded after 10-15 minutes more of driving with a small sign that said
"fletes a las termas" translated  "charter to the hot springs" With a big cheer, we turned in  and went to find the boat.
We found the boat!
For 30,000 CLP or around $45-50 USD we could, all 5 of us, take the boat over. They provide the shovels. So we set off across the lake for a 30 minute ride, our goal in sight. We were dropped off on the black sand beach with a few instructions and the promise that the boat would be back in an hour or two. Everyone started digging and were quickly rewarded. The eastern end was hotter than the western end. And you'd better dig as close to the lake water as you could get because the spring water was HOT!


digging, digging, digging


Letting in some cold water

Yes, I'm burning my feet off and the rest of me is freezing!

Ah, just perfect .... for a minute or two



The end to a magical day

Sunset over Rupanco


For those who may want to visit, here is a link to places to stay with locals. It's a great cultural experience and supports the local economy in Las Gaviotas. (the seagulls) Stays also include fishing and horseback riding.

http://www.chileturismorural.cl/sitio/

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