I will try to remember the
past few weeks since my last report. Too much goes on in a day to really
recall it all, so...
Stayed far to long in Puchon,
but what the hell we had a good time there. Met some really nice folks
from Santiago who took us on an extended excursion to their land on Lago
Ranco. Santiago and Suzanne were great. He competed in the Mexico City
Olympics for Chile and she was a Peace Corp volunteer in Columbia in the
60s. When you mention Lago Ranco to the Chileans they tell you it is one
of the best lakes around for beauty and clean water. I think they are
Also ran into gringo kids on the street in Puchon. Donīt know if we
picked them up or they picked us up, but kids they were. Yes, anyone
under 30 is a kid, period. Those are the rules. Brittany, Dawn, Melissa
and Shannon. Santa Barbara, Boise, Alaska and Modesto, respectively. Oh
yeah, canīt forget the girls, Alex, Wales and Johanna, Germany, that
Shannon picked up. Before we left we took a local bus to another lake
town, Carbuagua, where we planned on getting off the bus before town and
walking to some waterfalls. The driver forgot us and the road signs
didnīt show us where to get off so we rode into town and walked back to
the falls. The town itself was beautiful and very low key. The lakes are
so large that you can really choose the size of town you choose to stay
in, small and low key or large with super amenities. Well the walk was
long.. just a few kilometers turned into a trek, but rural anywhere is
what we enjoy most so all was fine. Country roads, farms and two
Next stop, Valdivia, a university town on three rivers. It is always
rainy there but we had nothing but sun shine. Got a room in a really
nice hotel on the river and then wandered around town, ate fish, drank
beer, you know the usual. On the way back to the hotel got caught up in
a rock concert. Had no idea that it was a Santana cover band, loved it
and partied with the Chileans. College kids.. Next day off to
Niebla, a little village on the Pacific coast. Local folks swimming and
sunbathing. All in all Valdivia is
a very nice place to visit and I find myself missing it.
Next came Puerto Varas, little lake town 15 miles from Puerto Montt, a
port town on the sea. Another strange thing happened here. I was
watching sail boats on the lake from a little bar, there arenīt that
many boats here, so when one came onshore I asked if it was for rent. No
privado, but come back tomorrow at ten and we can sail. I returned the
next day and the owner of the sailboat took me out for a sail. We headed
out, he gave me the tiller and told me to head back to shore. He jumped
out of the boat and said he had to meet his family for a mountain bike
ride and that I should sail his boat all day if I liked. I liked so I
sailed. Elsa said that I seemed to get my sailing shoes back on! A
definite surprise to have someone hand you his boat for the day.....
Then we headed for Chiloe, chill o way. Chiloe is an island about 120
miles long, just a short ferry ride
from the mainland, but it is light years behind the rest of Chile. All
of Chileīs students backpack down
here and they were everywhere. Actually ran into some we had met when we
and they were hitch hiking to Ensenada on the same lake as Puerto Varas.
Castro is the main town. A poor run down port town. Looked real rough.
We love it!
Then a trip over the Andes to Argentina. We spent the night in Entre
Lagos, a small town before the border. We are now in Bariloche,
Argentina. I would have loved to be here 30 years ago before it grew up!
Tomorrow we start heading north along the foothills of the Andes. We are
about nine hundred miles south of where we want to spend a bunch of
time, northern Argentina. Expect it to be just like Sonora, and Arizona
but with bigger canyons and higher mountains. So, so long for a while.
Will try to send some pics when we get to a better internet cafe....