Puerto Varas...last few days in Chile

Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
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Trip End Apr 01, 2012


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Flag of Chile  , Lake District,
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Next stop – 6 hour bus journey to Puerto Varas, another little town set on a lake with views of the three nearby volcanoes. This was originally our stop before getting a four day boat down to Patagonia but we found out that our boat ran aground and so no boats for the next few weeks.  Time to re-think the plans...but in the mean time we can explore Puerto Varas.

We stayed at Compass del Sur hostel in Puerto Varas, a bigger hostel than our previous ones but still cosy all the same.  I was very grateful to the log burning fires on every floor which meant heat and most importantly hot water for showers!!

We were still a bit broken from the volcano hike so lazy day the first day wandering around town which has a distinct German feel with wooden houses, an emphasis on beer and hot dogs – all a little strange but none the less a nice little town.  Plus we spied that there was a chocolate fair...so it's my kind of place.

Next day we got the bus to Frutilliar which is on the west side of the lake, the more expensive side of the lake, pretty little town with big log cabin houses and a nice promenade area to walk along.  One of the things to do here is wander round the forest run by the University of Santiago which has European trees planted in it...nice little walk which is all we could manage, can’t say I was that interested in the types of trees...

And then off to the Welsh tea room, called Lavanda Salon de Te, for tea and cake.  Yes – both Chile and Argentina have this idea that Wales is full of nice little tea rooms that serve hundreds of types of teas and cakes.  Can’t say I’ve ever seen them in Wales but I’ll go with it if I get to have cake.  This was the strangest little place ever, built on a hill overlooking the lake with rows of lavender planted in a field, it was like walking into a time warp (as you may see from the photos).  Big retro jeep thing in the garden and then inside everything is old school – the fridge, kitchen equipment and then fine bone English china.  Very retro cool and it was so quirky that it would have fitted in next to some bar in Shoreditch. But that was where I discovered kuchen (kind of baked cheesecake like but with a sponge base) – very yummy.  And Jonny discovered that the Chileans make pretty good scones and home-made jams! Who knew!?    

At night we did go look for somewhere to go for a drink but it’s all looking pretty quiet (the problem with going off season) and it’s starting to get stormy so aborted that plan.

The next day, we’re all set to do a hike round the national park and see the Lago Todos Los Santos, it’s a bit rainy but we’re confident that it’ll brighten up.  As soon as we step foot onto the bus , the torrential rain starts so we have a nice 1 hour bus journey in the rain, got out at Ensenada, walked in the rain for 20 mins to try find a cake place then back on the bus for 1 hour and back to hostel to hibernate. 

We did make it out at night for dinner at a Cuban restaurant (Mi Cuba) with a British couple (Dan & Jen) from the hostel which was really good so the day wasn’t a complete write off!

Full photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnymillar/sets/
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