Kayaking through the marble caves (Puerto Rio Tranquilo)

P1310324_thumb Kayaking through the marble caves (Puerto Rio Tranquilo)

After our 4-day hike in Cerro Castillo Natural Reserve we drove 120 km to Puerto Rio Tranquilo, that are located at the lake General Carrera. The lake is 2240 km2, and is shared with Argentina, where the lake is called Lake Buenos Aires (like the capital of Argentina Buenos Aires). Close to Puerto Rio Tranquilo in Lake General Carrera marble caves have been formed, and boat trip are very frequent when the water is calm. But instead of taking a boat tour, we decided to visit the marble caves by kayak (upper picture).

Lake General Carrera/Lake Buenos Aires

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Getting ready to set out in the kayaks. Our agency 99% Adventure offered both double or single kayaks, so we choose two singles, which would make it easier for us to take pictures of each other wlEmoticon-camera Kayaking through the marble caves (Puerto Rio Tranquilo)

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The group was quite big, but had two guides. Unfortunately the guides decided that we should all paddle together, instead of dividing the group into two smaller groups, which meant more waiting time on the water. Off course e used the waiting time for taking even more pictures wlEmoticon-camera Kayaking through the marble caves (Puerto Rio Tranquilo)

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This time I actually got to take more good pictures of Esben, because I had the waterproof camera. Arriving at the marble caves… in the left picture you see the marble formation called the Marble Chapel (El Capilla), and in the right picture you see the Marble Cathedral (El Catedral). The third formation is called the Marble Cave (La Cueva).  These are unique geological formations featuring a group of caverns, tunnels and pillars created in monoliths of marble and formed by water and waves erosion over a span of thousands of years. The marble stones are rich in calcium carbonate, making up approximately 94% of the formation. It is estimated that the total weight of the Marble Cavers combined is 5.5 billion tons.

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The kayak trip to the marble caves (tree different kinds of formations) gave us an unique opportunity to get really close to the formations

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The kayaks could navigate through all the tunnels in the marble formations, which was impossible for the boats

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The amazing vibrant blue and grey cave chambers all lay in mesmerizing turquoise waters of the lake as you see in the pictures the color of the marble formations changes from turquois/blue to light grey/brown. The changing colors was due to the reflections of the sunlight in the water. In the two pictures underneath you can really see the difference.

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The upside of going on the kayak trip

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The downside of going on a kayak trip – waiting in line because we were with a big group!

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We loved the kayak trip to the marble caves, though being in a group we could still explore the caves by ourselves, as long as we didn’t went too far away from the group. The kayaks and gear was good and well-maintained by the agency 99% Adventure. One of the guides spoke good English, and told more about the marble formations during the kayak trip. Back in Puerto Rio Tranquilo we went shopping in the local store to find fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. This is how the small local stores looked liked. In the right pictures there is a wooden sign saying “Supermarcado” (in English “supermarket”).

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Then we got even closer… so I knocked on the door before entering. We also found out that, you have to pull the leash to open the door

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Shopping in tree different stores we found fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. I was a great way to meet the locals, and they were really nice to us.

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Stopping by one of the churches in town, just because the big painted satellite dish caught our attention 

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We are getting further and further down south, which means that the distance between the gas stations gets bigger and bigger. The fuel gage in Lance does not work, so we decided to run Lance dry, to find out how many kilometers he could do on one full tank of gasoline, and also to find out how many liters of gasoline the tank were holding. So how far could Lace go? Read more about it in the next post.

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