Rain clouds threatened but we’d already made plans to explore out to Parque La Campana. The first leg of our journey was on the Metro. These clean, modern electric trains run every fifteen minutes between Valpo and Limache and it only costs CLP$650 to go from one end of the line to the other. It’s a relaxing way to see the outskirts of Valpo and some of the more rural areas.
From Limache there are Micros (local buses) that run out to the National Park, almost. In all it only took about 90 minutes to travel out to the park. We had to walk the last kilometre to the park entrance but we’d gone there to walk so it was no big deal. Plus we got to meet some dogs that were acting tough behind their side of the fence.
Charles Darwin visited the park but we missed him by some 180 years and had to be content with plaques recounting his musings on the countryside. It’s a beautiful area with an abundance of hiking trails and streams that flow with clean water. We only saw two other families there. It seems that Chileans haven’t quite got into the groove of visiting their national parks yet. There are two main mountains there that you can walk up but they take about seven hours return trip and we just weren’t ready to piggy-back the girls that far. We did find some old mining caves but without torches we couldn’t explore them properly.
This is the sort of place that hikers look for, low crowds, good facilities and a variety of flora and fauna.