Loc: Playa Sirena Ranger Station
Acc: Hilleberg Allak tent
Dist: 42,7 km
Start: 6:00 End: 13:30
The way to the beach from my lovely cabinas is much shorter this time than on my arrival. My hosts are happy to carry my kayak about three hundred meters down to the beach, and my bags go in a wheelbarrow. Thanks! It was a lovely place to stay, to get rest, and to wait out the seas to go down. My three men watch in amazement how bag after bag disappears into my kaya, and I launch quickly through a low breaker.
My trip today goes around a peninsula, and the first part is as dead calm as possible. Lot of touris shuttles either go out to Isla del Cano, or head to one of the next beaches to drop or pick people. A beautiful rock garden invites to play, and I squeeze behind a few boulders. Many small beaches lurk to land, but I do not feel like it yet. A landing is always effort, and nothing is usually as easy as it looks. I am just happy to be back on the water after those two rest days, and thoroughly enjoy the paddling. But I know things do not stay as calm and easy as they start. Before Punta San Pedrillo, it is the worst with quite some lumpy waters. I am happy I waited those two days for the seas going down. I finally squeeze behind some rocky islands, but need to wait at one connecting line for the seas calming down to cross it safely.
After Punta Llorona, the sea calms a bit out, and the coast looks landable to me. But do not fool yourself, Freya… I have marked five options to land around Playa Sirena and Punta Salsipuede. The first one at Playa Sirena before the aerodrome looks so tempting to camp that I approach the beach pretty close before I realize the tide is still too high to have a calm enough landing. The beach is steep and hides the dumper. And sure enough, when I am already pretty close, the big stuff rolls in. I backpaddle three times over a roller which breaks not only right on the steep beach, but already before. Phewww, I am glad I can go backwards over those steep crests! As soon as I can, I face out to the seas again and better try the next option. It will also take almost an hour to get there, an the tide will be even lower.
I spot a tourist shuttle boat in a corner close to the beach, bobbing up and down in front of my landing option number two. If the boat can stay there on the spot and does not get caught by unexpected breakers, I might be able to land there? It is one of those tourist shuttles, waiting to pick up hikers from the national park coastal path. I approach the boat very carefully, the sea is still lumpy here. But nothing is breaking. I see the boat is not anchoring, but moving around on the spot according to the waves. They try to talk to me, tell me here is a national park, but they drive in as they see the tourists they expect to pick up on the beach. I see the boat disappearing behind a sand bank, and know there is a calm landing! Maybe it is a small river mouth. I wait for them to come back out, and my way to a safe landing is free. We talk again, and I explain my plans while paying a lot of attention to the waves and where the boat is. It seems like they radio the rangers, thanks! It will save me a lot of effort.
I move closer to that bar. I see it is breaking only moderate. I can time it right, surf a little with seventeen kilometers per hour, but land straight in a calm soup area. A perfect landing! Just watch the boats. I am barely undressed when a tractor with three men comes up to me. I greet two armed rangers and a station worker, and explain my case. As always, a lot of phone calls are done and bureaucracy goes slow, but at least I can stay here. ‘Here’ means unfortunately only at the station one and a half kilometers inland behind the runway. No way they would let me camp at the nice facility site just across my landing. Okay, thanks, we can also make it complicated, but I appreciate your hospitality.
My four gear bags travel safely on the tractor, but for my kayak, the setting is impossible. A young ranger and myself carry it all the way on the shoulder, and later just drag it on the grassy runway. What an effort, but also no way I would have left my baby unattended at the facility site, or just at the beach. Oh well, as long as I also get a hand tomorrow early morning. They promise me to do so.
The ranger station is set up like a bush hotel, similar to the one at Punta Pinuela, but well-used and much larger. Up to sevety hiking tourists and a bunch of guides, rangers and staff can stay here. Rooms are pretty old, and I chose to stay in my tent which I am only allowed to put up inside a vestibule. Okay, also good, as long as I have my bug- and critter free privacy. But I can put my tent only up after dinner. Most of the tourists stay in box-shaped bug nets over stock beds.