Blogs from Los Lagos, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island March 24th 2019

When we first conceived this six week trip from Ushuaia to Mendoza I envisaged that we would be spending almost all our time in Argentina. As it turns out we will actually be travelling for over half our time in Chile. You see a difference as soon as you cross the border. In Chile the pavements/sidewalks are always in better shape and you can see from the infrastructure around you that its economy is stronger than Argentina’s. The prices in Chile are not far off those in the UK and apparently the distribution of wealth is far more extreme – the minimum wage is $400USD/month and the average $700USD. There is an openness and friendliness about all the people we have met. Take, for example, Gladys, our AirBnB landlady during our stay in Castro. She always ... read more
Curanto in Dalcahue
Interior of the church in Achao
On the ferry to Achao

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island » Castro August 12th 2018

Chiloé (07/08/2018 - 12/08/2018) My final stop was the unique and spiritual island of Chiloé, in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. This lush, emerald green, magical island is home to palafitos (cute houses on stilts), adorable wooden churches (14 are Unesco World heritage sites), tejuelas (wood shingle houses), and the delicious curanto (a meaty, seafood and potato stew). Chiloé has a interesting spiritual culture. Just think of ghost ships, witch craft, and forest creatures. I headed straight to Castro, the capital of Chiloé; where I stayed with José, his lovely mum (Sonia), and his crazy dog (Duke). It was day 1 and José took me to work with him. Sounds boring, huh? Not if you work on a boat! We drove to Choén (with me squeezed inbetween him and his work mate) and took his ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Ensenada April 8th 2018

We vertrekken pas om half acht ‘s avonds met Iberia richting Madrid, een vluchtje van maar twee uur. Het vliegveld van Madrid is bijna helemaal uitgestorven, er gaan alleen nog wat langeafstandsvluchten naar Zuid-Amerika toe. Eenmaal bij de gate kunnen we nog een half uur zitten voordat we aan boord gaan van de A340-600 van Iberia. We zitten op een tweezits aan het gangpad, een stoelconfiguratie die niet veel meer voorkomt (het is nu voornamelijk 3-3-3). Ondanks dat we net na middernacht vertrekken krijgen we eenmaal op kruishoogte een diner geserveerd, couscous salade, pasta en een kersentaartje. De vlucht naar Santiago duurt 13 uur, dus we hopen toch nog wat te kunnen slapen. De stoelen zitten niet echt heel lekker, ze zijn vooral hard, maar toch kunnen we nog wat slaap pakken. Via de Afrikaanse kust, ... read more
Aconcagua
Lider in Puerto Montt
Volcan Osorno

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Varas February 6th 2018

Lovely day with the penguins and a very sweet and enthusiastic German Jamielowe lookalike volunteer who spoke English and came on the boat with us to help us with our Spanish translation. Good job too! There were Magellanic and Humboldt Penguins together and this is of course the only place in the world where they are found in the same place. For anyone who may not know this, its the southern most edge of Humboldt habitat and the northern most edge of magellanic habitat (or maybe its the other way around (Pat to confirm please)). Magellanic have 2 black stripes, Humboldt have one (of course) but v difficult to see the difference! All photos look like blobs on rocks so I have substituted a picture of not a penguin but Pete during a lovely walk after ... read more
This is what a volcano should look like....
Training continues for Torres del Paine...desolacion or desolation doesn't make much difference to me.
Lagos de Todos los Santos, with Argentina in the background

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island January 31st 2018

As we stepped onto a ferry, from Dalcahue in Chiloe to another even smaller Chiloen island, Jan caught the eye of a very engaging and characterful co-driver of a truck (we later discovered his name was Alexandro). Much gesticulating through his window ensued (he was trapped in the cab by cars). The dregs of a large bottle of vino tinto were offered to us through the window. When this was declined (as it was just after breakfast) he assured us in wild Spanish that it was purely for medicinal purposes as he had a sore throat. He and his mate Juan offered to take us to our destination the other end of the island so picked us up once the ferry had unloaded. Please do not tell our children that we have been hitch-hiking as it ... read more
Curanto ...note the monstrous dumplings
Trust me,  I'm a doctor eating barnacles

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island January 26th 2018

And so it is done. The first night in TinyTim our tent...... I should say that we are now on the very west coast of an island called Chiloe which is itself off the west coast of Chile. We camped last night in a place called Cole Cole which is a beach that is only accessible by boat or by foot. Sadly we do not have a boat as we are travelling light so feet it had to be. You may be pleased to hear that we are both alive and still married. It was not as dreadful as we had both imagined although I think Pete was considering (not for the first time) the potential benefits of having a slightly smaller wife. On our six hour walk I was busying myself thinking about footprints. Not ... read more
Still smiling...
The campsite...We were in the bushes!

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Osorno January 25th 2018

Landing in Osorno is a shock. Flying south from Santiago de Chile all you see from the Eastern side of the plane are volcanoes. They seemed to get larger and more frequent as we went on. Then we dropped down onto a huge rolling fertile plain, with small farms, green meadows, ripening wheat, rivers and lakes. Wait. This is Uruguay – or Austria. The town of Osorno with some 150,000 inhabitants reminds me a lot of Melo – the one time Fairless/Brown home in Northern Uruguay. It is an agricultural town, serving rich farms that stretch East to the hills and down to the coast. The motto of the town is Meat, Milk and Wood -- the main sources of livelihood for the past 150 years. This area was tightly held by the Mapuche Indians, who ... read more
Osorno Airport
Osorno Airport and tourists
Hotel garden - lots of hydrangeas in gardens here

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Varas June 5th 2017

Why are there so many dogs in Chile? With a no culling policy, many dogs are literally born and die on the streets. Estimated 2.5 million dogs roaming in large groups, abandoned by their families on low budget or let out deliberately to do as they please. Acceptance, is part of the community and culture with no cruelty tolerated. Meanwhile, the uncontrolled canine growth population has to weather the cold winter and disease, which kills and no medical care. The dogs appear to be well mannered and citizens and tourists are quick to feed and care for them. On a personal note..so many dogs to fall in love with...and I was honoured because one fell in love with me! He followed and later traced via Facebook his owners were located. An agreement was struck and he's ... read more
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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Osorno March 9th 2017

We were told that Volcano Osorno, last errupted 1835 when Charles Darwin visited Chile. Noting, that no murmuring was going on below the surface, we took two chairlifts before a 4.5 hour round hike to touch the snow and drink from the run off from icicles, before the chairlifts decent to base camp and the zig zag drive back down the remaining steep slope. Very breathtaking views of the the massive Llanquihue lake below, the second largest lake in South America and the cordillera mountain tops competing with majestic Osorno and Volcano Calbuco also in view. There are two other volcanoes in this vicinity, Puntiagudo and Tronador. Though these were not in view od our angle. Fasinating flora and fauna in the area and volcanic dust and larva rock of so many colours, depending on how ... read more
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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Osorno March 5th 2017

A sight-seeing off the village of Las Cascadas, turn off a beaten track around lake Llanquihue and arrive at a beautiful walk/hike over wooden bridges and ladders, approximately three kms in to see stunning waterfalls and streams running over volcanic rocks. Along the way stop to view a salmon farm on the lake.... read more
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