El Cajon Azul is a popular swim and cliff jumping spot a few hours up the canyon from El Bolson. This is the Northern edge of Patagonia, it’s lower and incredibly warm. So warm in fact that it finally feels like summer. Although I had a ton of fun in the mountains of ice and glaciers and summer snow I welcomed the change - such a stark difference after just a 26-hour bus ride.
In such heat one just wants to swim all day long, so swim all day long is exactly what we did. This isn’t a wilderness trail, instead it’s a trail dotted with refugios selling artisanal beer and fresh baked bread. It's the sort of place where a group can quickly multiply. Our group of three tripled with new trekker friends, then split, reconvened and split once more as we continued on to our own destinations.
El Cajon Azul itself is exactly as you’re imagining it now: the water is cool and sweet, the sun is beaming and warm, the cliffs are just high enough to give a thrill as you leap. Find yourself walking down the wooded path to get another beer, just to chill it in the river until it’s ready to be drunk. Newfound friends are in good humor and the sound of laughter echoes off the bare rock. At night the air smells of wood smoke and the trees flicker with the light of the fire as food and beer is past around, two friends strumming the night away on their guitars. Can anything be more summer?
I recognize that it’s winter in the North, but having spent the majority of the past year and a half in the Southern Hemisphere this has become my summer now, and wow what a summertime trip it’s been.