Inside the "Lago Puelo National Park" there is another beautiful footpath of no difficulty, of about 30 minutes walking and a length of 1000 meters, called "Sendero del Pitranto Grande" (Big Pitranto Path).
Between the pier and "La Playita" (Little Beach) we find the entrance to the "Bosque de las Sombras" (Forest of Shadows). To the left, we can see another gate made of wood. We enter by this portal, we can see to the right the dependences of the National Park Administration offices, and to the right a lot of trees like crab apples, plums and "murras". We arrive to a place with two another gates of trunks: one is the beginning of the path called "Antiguos Pobladores" (Old Settlers) and the trail to the Botanical Gardens; the other one is the entrance to the Pitranto Grande (Big Pitranto).
But what is a Pitranto? It is simply a forest of pitras, a strange tree known by different names: the Mapuches called it petra, but it is also known as patagua, temu, picha... Belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is relative to the myrtle. The scientific name is MYRCEUGENIA EXSUCCA (Myrceugenia is a combination of myrcia gender and eugenia, exsucca without juice). Source: http://www.florachilena.cl/
We enter into this strange and dark forest by a path that seems to have a padded, soft and swampy floor, composed of leaves and roots; some sectors are completely flooded. With its shade, the pitras protect the quality of the water in which they grow.
Unfortunately the forests of pitras are disappearing, and the "Pitranto Grande" is one of the largest remaining in the region. Under its shadows grow ferns that can be found only under these trees, they are called "beef ribs" or Quilquil.
The pitras are trees that grow between 10 to 15 meters high, their trunks are 50/60 centimeters in diameter and they can live up to 150 to 200 years. Their very twisted branches that form strange shapes and their flaky bark are really striking and give the place a fantastic and magical look. It seems to be into a forest of a Tolkien´s tale. This forest of pitras and myrtles is very dark, even more than the "Bosque de las Sombras" along which we traveled in a previous post. Link: Bosque de las Sombras
Walking along the path we find some wooden bridges built across streams of very dark but transparent waters. At the end of the trail appears another portal of trunks: we left the deepest darkness of the forest and change it for the sunshine; the path becomes a sand road surrounded by vegetation, among which we can see rosehip, brooms and murras. Following this path we came to "La Playita" on the shore of Puelo lake.
I hope you have enjoyed this Pitranto Grande Path, one of the many circuits that can be found in this beautiful "Lago Puelo National Park".
Thanks for your visit!!!!!!!!!