Kayaking the Comau Fjord – Leptepu and Porcelana

Day 5

Out in the kayaks early today for a paddle to explore the southern end of the Comau Fjord.   Glassy water, no wind, easy paddling – now THIS is what I was expecting!   THIS is what all those kayaking videos spruik – paddling lazily along taking your time and poking your nose into interesting nooks and crannies.  And it was sufficient to convince me to give kayaking another go – but perhaps on a lake, where there is no wind or waves, and maybe just for a few hours at a time 😉

Glassy water in the Comau Fjord

Glassy water (finally) in the Comau Fjord

Although the Comau Fjord has salmon farms and other seafood production along its entire length, it was particularly concentrated in this part.   So we went and checked out the salmon farms on our paddle.

Salmon Farms - Comau Fjord

Checking out the salmon farms

Given that it was a gorgeous, sunny day, the wind picked up about 1/2 way through the paddle (this wind is very typical during fine weather) so we decided to not head up the river, but return to camp and hit the hot springs.   This time we executed an “out-of-the-kayak-from-the-water” dismount – which thankfully, and once again due to my awesome coordination – delivered me to the Don Miguel nice and dry.

kayak to boat transfer

Kayak-to-boat transfer

Final piccy of us in the kayaking gear 🙂

The kayakers

The kayakers! Huw, Koreen and me

The rest of the day was spent at Porcelana, the site where we had originally intended to camp.  It is absolutely gorgeous there – and very typical of Patagonia.

Porcelana - classic patagonia

Porcelana – classic patagonia

But the key attraction are the natural hot springs that emerge directly from the forest.

Porcelana hot springs

Porcelana hot springs

There were a large number of pools to choose from, and most were at a great temperature.   There was also a “plunge pool” – otherwise known as a dip in the freezing river – just 30m away as well.  Spent a great few hours there chatting and relaxing after all the paddling.

Day 6

The next day dawned rainy and miserable.   We had no problem with this at all given we were to spend it inside the Don Miguel retracing our route back up the Comau Fjord, heading back to Hornopirén and then Puerto Varas.  

We dropped Huw off in the rain to await transportation further south, and then enjoyed tea and other goodies during the 5 hours it took to make the return journey.  Quite amazing how far we paddled!

Don Miguel

Don Miguel, ploughing through the rain

Summary

Despite the pain, this was a really wonderful trip!   Wonderful company, wonderful scenery, and definitely an initiation by fire to the world of kayaking!   We got to experience all of the moods of the fjord – calm, stormy, windy, wavey, strong tides, blue skies, overcast skies, rain – as well as reverse launches and kayak-to-boat transfers.   In fact, the key thing I didn’t get to experience (thankfully) was tipping over!

Cost:   At almost AUD$2000, this was not a cheap trip!  In fact, I almost didn’t do it because of the cost.   However, for that price, you get a support vessel (the Don Miguel “mothership”), which, in the end, was worth every cent!   I would not recommend doing a multi-day kayaking trip in Patagonia unsupported!

Time:  6 days

Recommendation:  Can definitely recommend Alsur Expeditions.  They were very responsive in the lead-up to departure, and the trip ran very smoothly.  Special shout out to Colyn who was an awesome guide and lots of fun.

 

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