From Buenos Aires to Chilean Lake District

Cordillera de Los Andes

Cordillera de Los Andes

Our journey in South America concluded with a restful visit to Chile. The flight over the Andes was really stunning, with volcanoes and mountain peaks jutting just above the encircling clouds. It was like something you’d see in a nature documentary, and we got to see it first hand. Our flight landed in Puerto Varas, a small town which reminded me of the setting for the Murder She Wrote series, Cabot Cove. After in the higher altitudes of central South America, it was a relief to be back near sea level again, and the later evenings were also nice after the rather early sunsets of our previous stops.

Our first task was to embark on a fishing trip, on which Julien caught an incredible 20 trouts. I was really quite amazed at how many he caught, I think he must’ve been using some sort of special bait that he wasn’t sharing with me, that snake! I managed to catch 4, which I was actually quite pleased with. From here we headed north to Pucon, hailed as the “Adventure Capital of Chile”. In Pucon we decided to stay in the best place money could afford, so you stay in Antumalal Hotel….a really amaizing hotel with beautiful native gardens, etc etc etc.

Climbing Villarrica Volcano

Climbing Villarrica Volcano

Not ones to back down from an adventurous challenge, we signed up to scale Volcano Villarica, an active volcano. We really had no idea how high or steep it was, but we felt like we could take on the world. The climb was much more difficult than either of us anticipated I think, certainly more than I did, and I was so exhausted when we crested the top that I really didn’t enjoy the view at all. Looking back on it later, I think I’ll appreciate that day much more.

The next few days were spent relaxing from our ordeal, and boy did I ever need it. My legs and arms felt like Jell-O. After our rest we took a bus to Valparaiso, with a short detour to Talca, a well-known wine region in the area. Maybe they’ve been imbibing too much of their own wine, but the people of Talca were incredibly amiable and jolly. Unlike the tourist area of Pucon, Talca was all but free of tourists, so this was an enjoyable experience, though also a little unnerving. After enjoying a meal of lasagna, we hopped the train to Santiago, and from there a bus to Valparaiso.

Garden from Antumalal

Garden from Antumalal

Known by the locals as Valpo, this is a very eccentric city, with many wonderful sights, and a great mix of architecture and styles. We spent three relaxed days exploring the city, trying the food, and chatting with the locals. After all this we headed back to Santiago, to catch a flight to Easter Island. This was to be our last night in South America, at least for now. I’m sure we’ll be back someday. In the morning we loaded up on coffee and breakfast, and we prepared to depart South America. We’ll be back!