The Lake District

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November 28th 2011
Published: September 18th 2014
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View from one of the walkways.
This afternoon we got back to Santiago from the South, Sector 10, the Lake District. We flew into the capital, Puerto Montt, and then continued to Puerto Varas which made me smile just driving into it because it reminded me of an Alpine village. On the shores of Lake Llanguihue, this area was settled by Germans and Austrians, and their influence is everywhere.

We were picked up by Patricia's cousin, Isabel, and taken to the charming bed and breakfast owned by her in-laws, who are straight descendents of the colonizing Germans so the place was very much inspired by German architecture.

I have to mention that I ate more during our trip than I thought I could ever eat. Our German inspired breakfasts consisted and different kinds of home made breads, tea, coffee, juice or all three if you wished. Soft boil eggs, crackers, butter, cheese, ham, some pastries, cake (home made), typical honey of the area, and home made marmalades. The first morning I could not fathom eating a large slice of cake in the morning, but by the second morning I could not pass it up. That German lady sure could bake, and it was mentioned that

The river close to the entrance.
we had not eaten the "torta" the day before. I had to make the sacrifice. 😉

On the way to meet our boat on Saturday, we stopped at Los Saltos del Petrohue. Not only were these waterfalls breathtaking, but the emerald color of the water was exquisite. Looming above it all is the Osorno Volcano, impressive in its perfect beauty, and not too far is Volcano Calbuco, still showing the ragged scars of the 1962 eruption. The contrast between these two mountains was fascinating to observe!

We boarded the Catamaran "Lagos Andinos" to venture into The Cordillera de Los Andes on our way to Peulla. The route is Lago Todos los Santos and on the way we saw other volcanoes, Puntiagudo which was another contrast with its sharp edges and, at a distance. I managed to see the volcano that has been spewing ashes since July. We could smell it from the boat. We also saw Tronador, the highest peak, also called the Condor Maker. After our almost 2 hour tour we got to Peulla. We had some exploring choices and we took the safari truck trip. I was very tempted by the canopy adventure, flying through the

Impossible to capture the incredible emerald color of the water.
top of the trees tied to a rope, but my companions were in the mood for something more sedate.

However, the trip turned out to be lovely, going all the way to the Rio Negro, so called because of the black volcanic sand that makes it look black even though the water is clear as crystal. We took a pantoon trip down this river, which was isolated and peaceful.

After a lunch at the hotel restaurant in Peulla, we boarded the boat again for our return trip.

We, unfortunately, got back too late to do "onces" at Bellavista (onces means tea here in Chile) and Bellavista is a restaurant at the foot of the Osorno Volcano. I was told I need to come back again to experience the beauty of the volcano from those close quarters. We did have "onces," but not at Bellavista. More cake and other goodies awaited us.

Sunday the good weather was no more. Everyone kept telling me what good luck I had had being able to visit Peulla on such a perfect day. There rains a lot in the spring in this area. However, we did go to Frutillar, very German,

Saltos del Petrohue.
and had a lovely time there since they were celebrating their anniversary and had a civil "desfile" (parade) going on. Every school dressed in different traditional dresses, and every fire truck in the City must have participated in this parade.

Afterwards we went to eat at the Club Aleman and, yes, it is a very old german restaurant. The people at a couple of tables around us were even speaking in German. I ordered a dish "a lo pobre" which nobody bothered to tell me meant it was a huge portion that I could not eat entirely no matter how much I tried. I thought it meant that it was simply prepared. HA! It was a matter of much amusement to watch me try to eat my way through the mounds of food. We then went for more cake (yep) and coffee to the new Theater right on the water, a lovely building that had an incredible art exhibit. Had I been able to afford them, I would have been hard pressed to pick one of the many beautiful canvasses. They were all ballerinas, and the dresses were made of leaves and flower petals, plus the artist managed to

I suggested crossing over on the tree trunk, by my idea was rejected.
convey such grace to the ballerinas I just fell in love with them.

We also stopped at a museum built by one of the direct descendant of the original German colonizers. It was fascinating to look at the pictures, and see all the every day items they had with them when they settled there. Everything came directly from one of the families, and it was so interesting! Unfortunately, I was so engrossed by the demonstrations and explanations, I forgot to take many pictures.

Today we got back to Santiago mid afternoon and, although I swore I had to go on bread and water for a couple of days, I had pizza instead from Tiramisu, one of the restaurants a few blocks from here. It is one of the small and picturesque restaurants that cover an entire block with sidewalk tables and an atmosphere reminiscent of Miami Beach.

I am getting ready to go for some wine on the balcony, or go for a pisco sour nearby. Not sure.

Tomorrow is going to be dedicated to visiting some of the highlights here in Santiago, and Wednesday we are going to the Coast to Valparaiso and Vina del

The force of the water is amazing in this section.
Mar. Thursday is dedicated to touring at least one vineyard, and Friday we are supposed to go for pampering at a spa for facials and massages.

Additional photos below
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I loved this section of the river, and the color of the water.

One of my favorite sections, with Volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco in the background.

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