Happy Birthday Gav

South America
August 16th 2004
Published: August 16th 2004
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The Lake in Puerto VarasThe Lake in Puerto VarasThe Lake in Puerto Varas

I origonally took this photo without the kids infront that were wagging school and smoking down at the warf, but thought(and they agreed) that it'd be more ineresting with some people in it.
Well my little brother turned 20 today so I thought I'd make a bit of a shout out, hope you're having a good one matey. I remember when I was 20, no pressure, no responsabilities, full of life... oh the good old days. Enjoy it while it lasts Gavy because soon you'll be old and tied down like me. 
Meanwhile I'm still ticking along well, been checking out little towns and lakes and climbing Volcanoes and stuff on my way up through southern Chile towards Temuco. The weather's been a bit off and on over the last week or so I've missed out on a few of the postcard views but here's a few of my recent photo's for you to check out anyway. One thing that's really struck me about southern Chile is that the scenery is quite similar to that of New Zealand, green and beautiful. Apparently gizillions of years ago New Zealand and Oz were joined to the side of Chile so that's why there are a lot of the same ferns and trees here that we've got back home. Ineresting I thought, it's just a shame that Aussie didn't drift a bit further away from us then they did huh? 😊 hahaha na just jokes - I'm actually in Temuco visiting an Aussie friend called Gavin that I meet while I was in Buenos Aires at the start of my trip, and he is in fact quite a good dude even though he's a Cronulla Sharks supporter. Last night we watched a Sharks Vs the Warriors match from a few weeks back that he got his parents to send over which was cool, even though we lost miserably. And tonight we've got the final of the State of Origon series to watch and he's a NSW supporter so that should be fun too. Nice to get a dose of league after watching nothing but soccer for the last 4months. Gav's here teaching his mongel english for a while before heading up to Canada for a snow season in a couple of months like me so I'll probably be seeing him again up there sometime later on in the year.
Well my plan is to hitch-hike up to Santiago tomorrow(depending what time I wake up) to visit a couple of Chileno friends I met in Córdoba, and I'll probably spend the weekend with them before heading further north. So that's it for
The town church - Puerto VarasThe town church - Puerto VarasThe town church - Puerto Varas

Every little town down here has a cool church like this or better in the middle of the town.
now, I guess you've figuered by the lack of emails from me that this how I plan on keeping you all up to date with my hard life from now on. But I love hearing what's going on back home too so please keep emailing me and I'll do my best to reply. Love you all heaps - russ

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Lago de todos los Santos - PetrohueLago de todos los Santos - Petrohue
Lago de todos los Santos - Petrohue

This lake was awesome, it's called the "lake of all the Saints" and it's a really amazing deep green color. I camped a night there and a guy took me for a scoot around the lake in his little dingy to where you can usually see 4 volcanoes on differant sides of the lake, but the clouds never lifted the whole time I was there(hence the boring photo) which was bit of a bummer
Typical southern Chile town.Typical southern Chile town.
Typical southern Chile town.

I forget where this is but it gives you an idea of what the little "Waiuku's" of Chile are like here. Nice setting though huh?
At the Bus terminal - OsornoAt the Bus terminal - Osorno
At the Bus terminal - Osorno

I got of the bus in Osonro and there was this big riot going on, so I went over to check it out and found this - a couple of 8yr old kids dancing Cueca(nacional Chilaen version of Folkrore) to live music and a chanting audiance. it was awesome!
Castilla de Niebla - ValdiviaCastilla de Niebla - Valdivia
Castilla de Niebla - Valdivia

This place was real cool, it's on the coast in a little town called Valdivia and the Spaniards set it up to protect their harbour that they stole of the local Mapuche tribe a couple of hundred years ago.
Check out those spurrs!!!!Check out those spurrs!!!!
Check out those spurrs!!!!

I stayed a night in Panguipulli and it just happened to be the night of the annual Cueca dance competition between all the local towns. This is the typical dress for guys that dance Cueca and I couldn't help but take a photo of those spurrs. Can you believe that they actually dance in those things? I thought there was going to be some carnage but it turned out to be a great night without injury
Volcan Villarrica - PuconVolcan Villarrica - Pucon
Volcan Villarrica - Pucon

This is the Volcanoe in Pucon the day before I tried to climb it.
Me doing the showing off my cramp-ons and Ice-pickMe doing the showing off my cramp-ons and Ice-pick
Me doing the showing off my cramp-ons and Ice-pick

I wanted to walk up this Volcanoe and snowboard back down but we got to this point, about 300m short of the crater, and all the snow had been blown off the ice from here up and we couldn't see anything so we decided to call it quits. Still pretty fun playing around with cramp-ons and stuff, and the snow further down was soft and deep so I was happy.
Huife termas - PuconHuife termas - Pucon
Huife termas - Pucon

And since my day was cut short with the hill climb I shot off to the local thermal hot pools in Pucon with a couple of Chilean truck drivers that staying at my hostel for a well earn't soak. It was bliss
Chilean CarneChilean Carne
Chilean Carne

And it turns out Chileans do meat big too so I've been having the odd fry up here and there. This photo is just in you're average supermarket, and you pay just over $5 per Kg.

22nd August 2004

Lakes District
In Balclutha, we're loving your Blogs, Russ. It reminds Lou and me of heaps of the places we went nearly 10 years ago! Keep them coming big guy! We loved Pucon and surrounds - got to the top of Villarica to see that spuming lava, and soaked in the same hotpools when we got back down. Also went to Lago de todos los Santos for, and had "muchas lluvia y viento" (has any of my Spanish stuck? That's meant to say "untold rain and wind"). We wanted to get out on the lake, but noone was going out that day! As you go North through Chile, I assume you'll go to San Pedro de Atacama. Instead of taking the train up to Uyuni we went from there across the desert/border/salt lake to Bolivia by truck. It was AWESOME. I reccommend you try the same. Ka kite, ehoa!

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