|Along the road to the power plant|
|My designated camp site ...|
It was easy to bypass the guardstation without being seen and soon I was on a huge maintenance road leading towards the power plant. I just made it 2 kilometers in before I was discovered by another security guy in a car. He stopped immediately and asked me where I was going that late. "Have you registered at the guard station?", was his next question. I mumbled something about cross country and hoped for the best. At least it now looked like hikers were allowed here. He told me to get into his car because he wanted me to register at the guard station and promised to bring me back afterwards. There was nothing I could do about this - but I wondered how the security guy at the guard station would react when he saw me again ... It would then be very obvious that I had disobeyed his orders ....
But I was incredibly lucky: In the meantime a new work shift must have begun because a different security guard was sitting at the entrance. He copied my passport details and off we went going back. Unfortunately the driver would not let me out where he had picked me up. He told me again and again that this was too dangerous and there were pumas and so on. He would take me to a safe spot. Again there was nothing I could do. After five more kilometers he finally stopped, showed me a very nice camp spot close to the river and left. I don't want anyone to know where I was camping but it was already getting dark. I decided to trust the guy and stayed. And indeed nobody showed up while I was camped there although vehicles were coming and going to the powerplant all night long.
|I never made it down to these lakes ...|
But before I arrived back in civilisation I was in for another surprise. A lonely puesto near the trail that had been empty two days ago was now full of people, probably a family. When the father saw my clumsy efforts to climb over the gate next to the puesto he immediately invited me over. "Have a drink, have a peach, relax!", he told me and offered me a chair.
|Hugo and yours truly in front of the puesto|
When I left these friendly hosts my luck continued. When I reached the power plant and the road again I was picked up by two locals who had been cutting wood here. We passed the guard station without any problems and they took me to their village, where to only direct bus to Chillan, my next destination stopped for me within five minutes ....