Travel Diary: 2013, Week #8

Travel Diary: 2013, Week #8

Monday 18th February

While Jess, Dani worked, Zab and I went out and finally managed to get our hair cut. The lady doing it, however, seemed more interested in chatting to us about Jesus than paying attention to getting our hair the right length in different places. But for about £7 for the two of us, we couldn’t complain.

We then all went out for lunch together and ate too much before going on a trip out to the north western tip of Chiloé island to see a penguin colony. The road to get there was bumpy and uncomfortable, but the views over the Pacific were lovely. I could see why the original Spanish settlers to the area called it Nueva Galicia (New Galicia).

Once at the beach, we were loaded on to little carts and pushed out to the boats so as to not get our feet wet. We then sped out and hovered around a few rocky islands covered in Magellanic and Humboldt penguins who were just happily hanging out. I was pleased that we kept our distance and weren’t within petting distance (not out of fear of penguins, but respect), but that meant we weren’t able to get many exciting pictures.

penguins at Puñihuil beach

penguins at Puñihuil beach

Tuesday 19th February

The four of us all got up early, finished off packing and headed to the bus station together to say goodbye before getting on our respective buses. We then had the chance to say goodbye again on the ferry from Chiloé to mainland Chile, before Zab and I continued on to Puerto Varas, and Jess and Dani over the boarder to Argentina.

Once in Puerto Varas, Zab and I took the girls’ strongest recommendation and had lunch at a lovely café overlooking the misty lake. Once we finished, much of the mist and cloud had cleared and we were able to walk around town, enjoying the views of Osorno volcano on the other side of the crystal blue water.

Wednesday 20th February

In the morning, Zab worked, and I went out walking in the drizzle in long johns and shorts because I had taken all our trousers to be washed the day before. Later, we had lunch again at the same places as the day before and were recognised by ‘our’ waitress.

The afternoon gave us much more pleasant weather, so we decided to take a bus along the lake to a town near the volcano for a walk. We tried following the road to the trail head that the people at tourist information had lead me to believe was pretty much where the bus would drop us off. It turned out to be more than 6km away, but we gave us before reaching it and turned back towards the lake and sat on the beach for a while. We did get some lovely views of the Mount Fuji-like volcano on the way, though.

Osorno volcano from Puerto Varas

Osorno volcano from Puerto Varas

Thursday 21st February

As usual, Zab worked in the morning, and we waited for the weather to improve in the afternoon when we took a bus north along Lago Llanquihue to the German settled town of Frutillar and had ice-cream and cake on the beach. If we had known it would be such nice weather, we might have brought the appropriate attire and joined the many holiday-makers on the sand and in the water.

Friday 22nd February

I woke up to discover Zab had made breakfast, which was a nice surprise. After that, rain was the main order of the day, so we didn’t do much exciting. In the afternoon, we enjoyed sopaipillas with avocado (our new favourite snack food) and bought bus tickets in anticipation of our departure from Puerto Varas. In the evening, we hung out in our hostel with two Germans and two Chileans and got confused between three languages.

Saturday 23rd February

After a hearty breakfast (which also involved much second-guessing and re-planning of our itinerary) we moved to a nicer hostel for our final night in Puerto Varas, as the one we were already at was full up. The rest of the day, it rained, but in the evening, we managed to escape during one of the five minute periods when the rain lightened to go to a tiny vegan restaurant we had spotted the day before and have a lovely, if slightly carb-heavy dinner.

at Pachamama, Puerto Varas' only vegan restaurant

at Pachamama, Puerto Varas’ only vegan restaurant

Sunday 24th February

Our bus from Puerto Varas to Valdivia got us in to the city with enough time to walk around in the sun (finally!), sit in a lovely café on the river before buying food to make back at our hostel and chat to some other travellers.