September 1, 2009
The trip to Lota started off ordinary enough and until this morning, I thought this first leg of the trip to Ushuaia might be without incident. I left Villarrica about 6:15pm last night. Once on the highway (Ruta 5 – PanAmerican) I filled the gas tank. Gas at the first Copec was 10 pesos cheaper than in Villarrica. Taking the highway north, I exited at Collipulli and followed the signs leading to Concepcion. At about 41KM from Concepcion it was 10:15pm. Finding a good spot I pulled over and setup for the evening. The dogs were walked and watered and the girls put in the crate while Levi and I shared the front of the truck. The site was a rather large area, about 2000 m2, behind a guardrail on the side of the road I was traveling.
Waking a little after 4am, I walked the dogs again and the girls were eager to get back in the front of the truck. We headed out toward Concepcion about 4:30am and after a couple of wrong turns, arrived a little after 5am. I stopped at a Copec and got coffee – strong coffee. Since the streets were empty, eariliy empty – were are all the cars – decided to take a look around. I headed back towards the sign that said centro and found the plaza and Catherdral and a small mall complex. It was about then that I realized I needed to shit and started looking for a way out of town and into the country from which I had come. The roads in Concepcion are designed not to let you out, one way streets and endless rotundas make for a maze. It was then, without warning, that Levi puked in the center section of the bench seat. Great, I have to shit, and now I have dog puke on my cloth seats at about 5:45 am. Realizeing that I was not going to get out to Concepcion anytime soon, I kept a lookout for a place to clean the truck. I settled on a strip mall style parking lot, where I tied out the dogs and watered them while I cleaned the truck seat. Guerd at the mall kept me silent company and did not seam pleased with my presence and I left after finishing the task at hand. Finally finding my way out, I stpped a park along the cove shoreline and walked the dogs again, both girls crapped. Exiting Concepcion across the over 2000 meter bridge, I headed for Lota at about 7am.
I picked Lota as a destination because of its size and location along the coast and interest in the historical park. Entering Lota, I was not disappointed. It has that old time run down feel of some town out of a Hemingway novel. The seanic road through Alto Lota on the way to the Parque is norrow and along with the two story apartment houses lining the streat give a feel that some of this was here when the streets were not paved and many more carts than cars filled the streets. The Parque was not open and wanting to find a place to relax, let the dogs out for and extended time and write, I headed out of Lota towards Aucon [sp]. Consulting my map I noticed a lookout in the hills between these towns. As I toped the hills, I noticed an unmarked packed dirt and gravel road to the right. I turned down this road and followed it till it forked. The road had been void of houses or fences and I noted several places to camp and am concidering this as a possible camp for this area. At a fork where two gravel roads came together, I took the one to the right and follow just a bit till it ended on into the backside of a neighborhood. Turning around I took the left fork and found it to lead up to the seccluded mirador with three canons overlooking the bay and out into the ocean.
So here I sit, jounaling in the morning Sun, looking out over the bay and into the Pacific Ocean. To my right is Lota and fleet of about 30 fishing boats, with there wenches and cranes, nets and traps all resting alond the coast. On the opposite point on this semicircle cove stands a small lighthouse and I believe it to be in the Parque. To my left is the coastal road to the next town south. A factory on the horizon billows smoke making it look as though it is on fire. Directly in front is a footpath that looks as though it leads down to the tiny beach below, I can see a couple of boats and rude shelters down there and hope to explore it as well later. And further on, the ocean’ steady roll.