Monday 4th February
After supermarket bought breakfast, we moved from our last resort accommodation in a not-so-clean hospedaje (a family home with rooms to rent) in Coyhaique to the much nicer hostel next door, where some other people we’d travelled up from Argentina with were staying. We then went for a walk with them (two Dutch girls) around the pleasant town, located in a valley and surrounded by verdant hills with the occasional snow-capped mountain peeking out from behind them in the distance.
In the afternoon, we mostly caught up on things online with the blessedly much faster internet than we’d had the previous week, and made several decisions and plans for the coming week (which I felt was important, as it would be my birthday at the weekend).
Tuesday 5th February
A slow day of relaxing, planning and some work. After a pleasant breakfast at our new hostel, we went in search of bus tickets to our next destination. Later, we lunched on pebre (a kind of salsa made with tomato, coriander and spring onion, it seems) and sopaipillas from a street vendor.
In the afternoon, we went out to a German named café, where they served both kuchen and torta, between which I wasn’t sure there was a difference, but it amused me to see the German word given the Spanish plural on the chalkboard menu as kuchenes. Later on, Zab worked, I read and then together we socialised with our roommates a little before bed.
Wednesday 6th February
We didn’t do much noteworthy in the morning, but later on, we went with one of the two Dutch girls sharing our room (the other went horse riding) to the national park just outside of town. This involved going to a small bus station behind a shop and being told by the ticket seller that we’d be better off buying the ticket directly from the driver, as it would be cheaper. It was indeed cheaper, but it also meant sitting on the floor of the bus or sharing one seat between two for the 5 minute ride.
We then had to walk 1.5 km up a hill to the park entrance, from where we walked to a lake. It was nice, but nothing spectacular. It felt like we could have been variously in the UK, Austria or Sweden at times. For dinner, we treated ourselves to a restaurant meal, and mistakenly ordered a huge pile of meat and various animal parts we couldn’t identify. It was rather horrifying.
Thursday 7th February
Breakfasting, showering, packing and checking out of our hostel were the morning’s activities, followed by a couple of trips to ATMs to get cash. Around midday, we then went with our Dutch friends to Zab’s café of choice in town, before boarding our bus to Puyuhuapi.
The journey was lovely, and despite all the hairpin bends and gravel roads, I rather enjoyed it and didn’t feel sick at all, which was nice. The scenery was especially fantastic; snowy mountains high above us, rushing white and crystal blue rivers below us and waterfalls connecting the two. We arrived before sunset and settled in to our cosy hotel.
Friday 8th February
After breakfast, the first order of the day was to get information from the tourist office of how to leave Puyuhuapi (which is turning out to be more difficult than expected) and what to do while here. The rest of the day we were pretty lazy and didn’t do much, expect a short walk along the coast of the fjord with ice creams.
The evening then consisted of more travel planning (this time in the playground in the centre of town, as it was inexplicably the only place we could get wifi), and then watching Battlestar Galactica in our room.
Saturday 9th February
Zab spent most of the day working, while I wandered around the town getting sweaty. In the late afternoon, we went to a café, which turned in to a pizza dinner, and later we watched some more BSG.
Sunday 10th February
My birthday. We had planned to go to a local spa, but once we realised the tour agent who could arrange boat transport there across the fjord, and were advised by the woman at tourist information that it was just a bunch of swimming pools which wasn’t worth visiting, we changed our minds and decided to spend that money on nice food instead.
For lunch, we went to a tiny café/restaurant on the edge of town and ate Chilean salad (which means tomato, onion, peppers and of course, avocado) with potatoes followed by cake. It wasn’t long after a rest and another walk that we were ready for dinner, and went to a very pleasant restaurant with views over the fjord and ate marinated hake with rice, and very simple but wonderfully fresh scrambled eggs with homemade bread and pebre. And of course, more cake for desert.