Penguins! (again)

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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Varas
March 7th 2014
Published: March 8th 2014
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This morning I awoke to a gorgeous clear day with a breathtaking view of the sunrise from my window. The Lake District is known for its clouds and rain. But I have had terrific weather so far. The tour bus picked me up after breakfast and drove south to the ferry that crosses to ChiloĆ©, the second largest island in South America. (According to our guide, Tierra del Fuego is the largest.) We crossed the channel and then got our first look at the local architecture which is famous for its bright colors and wooden shingles on the outside walls. (See photo) We moved on to the city of Ancud where we wandered on our own for an hour or so and I visited the pretty little town square. Out next stop was further out on the northwest end on the island. Here there is a colony of penguins that are viewable from boats that cruise by their little islands. (See photo of the process of boarding the boats. They wheeled us out on one of those carts and we had to step/leap into the boat.) I got a little wet from the spray, but it as worth it to see both Magellenic and Humboldt penguins - the only place on earth they nest in the same location. As a bonus we saw a marine otter. I had never heard of this animal before I started reading about Chile. It is different from either a sea otter or any of the world's river otters. I wanted to include a photo of the otter, but none of them came out well enough. 😞 Have I mentioned that it was another glorious day today? I am told,that it rains 220 days a year in Puerto Varas, and I think it did rain a little in the middle of the night last night, but the last two days have been perfect weather for us visitors. After lunch I hiked up to the top of cliff overlooking the bay and later I took a photo of me on the beach. The larger van in the picture is the one I came in with the tour. The smaller van had California license plates, so I assume they drove down the Panamerican Highway to get here. It was a long drive back, but I am back at my hotel in plenty of time to go out to dinner thanks to the late dinner hours here. I found a place last night that serves good inexpensive food and appears to be patronized solely by locals. I had the special of the day which was simply grilled pork, fried tomatoes, and bread, and it came with dessert which was a raspberry chocolate cake. I noticed that the other customers were having huge sandwiches of various kinds, so I plan to go again tonight and maybe try one of those sandwiches.

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