Here are my favorite top 3 pics of ranch life at the family ranch in the Huequecura area:
1. place: the cowboy and his dog
2. place: the family ranch house, where Dan’s mother live
3. place: the cattle up in the mountains
We found a campsite at the campground at the ranch. The campground has family size sites with tables, free firewood, portable water and clean bathrooms with hot showers. All the sites a lined up next a river, which runs through the valley, where all the property are family owned. The ranch also have a really nice picnic area with everything (restrooms, tables, fire pits, playground) and is close to a swimming hole created by the river. The campground and picnic area is run by Dan’s mother and one of her grandchildren. To get to the campground Lance had to make it through a water crossing, it was his first water crossing on this trip, and he made it without any problem – he enjoyed it!
Earlier that day we had bought pork ribs, which was slow cooked (2 hours) over the fire. Amazing dinner with a cold glass of “Late Harvest”
Meet the ranch dog, who we named in Danish “Tonser”, because h ewas pretty much impossible to stop, except when there was food!
We hiked on both mountain sides in the valley. One day going for an easy 7 km hike to a viewpoint of the valley
Viewpoint of the valley and the ranch
There is a lot of farming in Chile, but instead of only farming grains, they have found out that a pine tree from California and the eucalyptus tree grows really well here. They grow these two types of trees, which can be harvest after 13-15 years. The trees are cut down and used for all kinds of papers from posters to toilet paper. Farming of trees helps to preserve the natural forest. In the right picture you see farmed eucalyptus trees.
It is easy to smell the strong odor from the eucalyptus trees. In the right picture you can see the year rings on a eucalyptus tree, that has been harvested. Compare the rings to Esbens boot, and you really get the idea of how fast these trees grows. The eucalyptus tree are primarily used for paper, and the pine trees are also used for timber. Dan are in the forest business, and his company harvest the farmed trees.
The day after we hike 12-13 km up into the mountains on the other side of the valley. On our way we passed the bees, who produces the ranch honey
This is where they raise the cattle, and where we meet the cowboys working on the ranch. We are just in the beginning of the first summer month (December) here in Chile, and up in the mountains it is still spring.
Back on the campground we went for the cold/chilly water in the river. During the summer the water level in the river gets lower, and the water heats up, but at this time of year the water is really refreshing! Even the dog “Tonser”, his really name is “Mono” which means monkey in English, jumped in to cool off.
There is so much water in the river and current, that is was possible to go for a swim against the current and still stay at the same place
When I got up the next morning, the dog was laying outside Lance while the sheep’s were grassing at the campground – ranch/camping life
A little bit sort on fresh food, and the family was invited for Danish “hygge” the next day, we drove into the nearest town Santa Barbara to get some groceries. Esben got really hungry, and that to try the Chilean hotdog called a “Completo”. It was huge, so I also got the change to taste it. I really like the guacamole, diced tomatoes and mayo on top. The sausage hidden underneath is a different story, not any texture at all, and I didn’t have a clue of what it was made off. The white bread was a little bit dry. All in all not bad for 1300 pesos (2 USD or 13 DDK).
We had a great time at the ranch, but it was time to leave. I would like to finish this post with two pictures of the small wildlife at the ranch
See you when we are further south. In the next post we are on our way to the seventh lake district…at a police check point, we got pulled over, so did we make it all the way? Check out the next post.