When we changed our itinerary because of the unrest in Chile we decided to return our car to Puerto Montt where we had rented it and fly to Santiago from Puerto Montt. Our flight was at 1 am on Saturday so Friday we swam at the hotel in the morning and then drove south. We stopped, took a walk and had dinner (including a Pisco tasting) in Puerto Varas before turning in the car and catching our plane. There was an overnight stay in Santiago and the long flight back to San Francisco was uneventful.
It was a wonderful trip. It’s good to be home. We are beginning to plan our next trip. It will be to Europe probably leaving in February.
We are staying in the Huilo Huilo Biological Preseve. This is a picture of our hotel. When we look out the window of our room it feels like we are in a tree house.
Today was a busy day. This morning we visited the red deer enclosure, the wild boar enclosure and the Museum.
The museum had a mammoth tusk that had been carved.
It also had a really extensive mineral collection. This is a scorpion in amber.
This afternoon we hiked to two more waterfalls not far from the hotel. The first waterfall was Huilo Huilo Falls.
Next we hiked to Puma Falls. There is so much water in the river right now that we got wet from the spray. They have a tree tunnel to walk through but it didn’t help keep us dry at all.
Dinner was pizza and beer at the Peterman Brewery across from the hotel.
Today we drove from the coast into the Andes almost to Argentina. We are staying at Huilo Huilo Biological Preserve. Huilo Huilo is essentially a large private park with a hotel complex.
After we checked in we took a five mile hike through the reserve along the Fuy River.
Today was an excellent relaxing day. We went for a walk up above the cove where our lodge is located. Most of the day was foggy but the sun did come out for a bit mid afternoon. I was determined to do a bit of wading to see how cold the water is. I can report it is icy.
Today we drove south and west to a secluded beach north of Valdivia. Pilolcura Lodge is in an idyllic spot right on the beach and there are only a few houses and a very few people here. It’s all incredibly relaxing and peaceful.
We had fish for dinner overlooking the foggy beach.
Today was a easy driving day through miles of lovely Chilean scenery. Tonight we are in La Araucanía near the town of Curacautín.
I learned a new word today. The sign below warns about “baches” in the road. We had to look it up. It means potholes. There were indeed potholes like moon craters in this section of road.
We are staying at a guest house east of Curacautín so along the way we stopped and bought groceries for dinner.
It was wonderful to wake up this morning knowing that we didn’t need to pack up because we are spending two nights in this beautiful spot. After a tasty breakfast we talked to the manager about nearby hikes. We decided to do a hike in Huerquehue National Park. We ended up hiking ten miles with almost 2000 ft elevation gain. The hike had lakes, waterfalls, and wonderful volcanoes views.
We are sore and worn out tonight. It was soothing to soak in the riverside hot spring after we got back to our room.
Today was another beautiful day. We took our time driving through the Lake District.
We stopped for coffee in Licon Ray.
Tonight we are staying at Peumayen Lodge overlooking the Liucura River. There is a wonderful natural rock hot tub on the edge of the river just below our room. We are
looking forward to soaking in it later.
Today was a beautiful day. We could just barely see the volcano popping out of the clouds as we left Ensenada.
We drove through some idyllic country to Panguipulli where we are tonight.
Panguipulli sits on a lake also named Panguipulli. The volcano Shashuenco is in the distance.
You may have seen Chile in the news lately. There have been demonstrations all over the country. Here is a New York Times article about the unrest. We have seen broken and boarded up windows everywhere we have been.
Because of the demonstrations we have decided to err on the side of caution and change our itinerary. We will not go to any of the big cities where the rioting has been the worst. We have taken Santiago, Concepcion, and Valparaíso off our itinerary and are instead staying out in the countryside.
This morning we left the island of Chiloe and drove to Ensenada in the Chilean Lake District. It has been rainy and totally overcast all day so we can’t see any of what is reputed to be great scenery. The guide book says we have a great view of Volcán Osorno from here. I hope the weather is better tomorrow so we can see it.
We are staying in a geodesic dome at Cabañas Abilene Bosque Nativo just outside of Ensenada. Our cabaña is totally off the grid. We have a fire in the wood stove and we are deliciously cozy.
We are eating dinner here tonight.
If you would like a tour of our cabana you will find one on my YouTube channel in a couple of days.