I woke up early to catch my bus to Chile. I met an Irish guy in the kitchen and we shared a taxi to the bus terminal. On the bus I was lucky to have one of the posh seats-I hadn’t paid extra this time either.
I was given and exit stamp on the Argentinian side and at the Chile border, which was a good 20km apart, we had to get off the bus and our bags were taken out and inspected by a dog who didn’t appear to have any qualifications checking for drugs. I realise it’s a bit difficult to tell just by looking and I didn’t ask for any formal qualifications but he seemed to be having a great time running about as opposed to sniffing bags. His owner was struggling to control to him and I’m kinda hoping that the guy just brought in his pet dog and has been blagging his job for years. I was given another stamp and let into Chile.
I got off the bus at Puerto Mott and after a few minutes of searching for a cashpoint, the one in the bus terminal was broken, I was on another bus to Puerto Varas. The bus driver tried to short change me by 9000 pesos but after I spend a minute thinking and challenged him he quickly realised his “error”.
Puerto Varas appears to be another tourist town sat on the edge of a Largo Llanquihue with Volcán Osorno in the background giving a postcard perfect view. I suppose this is one town where volcano insurance is necessary. At *instert height* it can be seen from miles around. There are a lot of German style houses here and the town itself is very pretty. The good weather seems to have followed me from Argentina as this was the first sunny day again for a while and you can’t see the volcano when it’s cloudy.
I spent the afternoon planning my next steps and became a little stuck due to my schedule. I ended up chatting to a British ex-squaddie who was charging his drone and has been biking around the world for 10 years and then thought I’d treat myself to a nice seafood meal, as there was a recommendation in the guide book.
I arrived in this lovely local looking restaurant with two old ladies serving food. It reminded me of a restaurant in Rome that served up delicious Italian food so I thought I’d hit the jackpot. I learnt two important lessons on this night:
1. Never trust the English translations
2. Order the food that the guide book suggests
I am a huge fan of shellfish so I was excited to see pan fried shrimp on the menu. I ordered along with a seafood broth. This is what was brought to me:
I like calamari but I’m not the biggest squid fan, especially when it looks a little too real. I thought I’m just going to have to get on with this and it was quite tasty, it just was too real for me to eat too much. They then brought out the broth which was piled high with mussels, other shellfish and some randomly boiled pork. It was not what I would call nice.
Camila later told me that squid and shrimp are similar in Spanish
Well I suppose as similar as they are in English. Doh!
I went back to the hostel annoyed I’d overspent on a not very enjoyable meal. There were 6 other guys in the room that I was staying and I had the top bunk which is never as easy. I was still stuck with what to do next but I got chatting to Amaya who lives locally and said she would take me out the next day. She also suggested looking at flying get to where I wanted.
To explain my predicament I have the choice of getting a 40 hour ferry with no cabins that may leave either every Friday and Sunday or Thursday and Saturday or a 28 hour ferry that leaves every Wednesday and Saturday or Thursday and Sunday and is know for not sailing when it is supposed to, but this one has cabbins for £80.
After I had a good nights sleep, found a flight thanks to my new friend and then had the pleasure of meeting Steph, who runs Worldly Adventuter, am to be honest I am a bit of a fan as her blog has given me tonnes of invaluable advice. I’d actually emailed her that morning. And following her advice I went off to see Saltos de Petrohue, which is some beautiful rapids running through the volcanic rock. I’ll spare you all the details of how to get there as I’ve been going on a little long
And then on to Petrohue which is another tourist destination with great views of Largo Todos los Santos.
From here I was also able to get some more great shots of the volcano. I’m very excited about the volcano. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one in real life!
I returned to Puerto Varas and went to the viewing point, just because I wanted another shot of the volcano.
Later that evening Amaya picked me up and we went to a local bar where I had my first Pisco Sours, Ceviche and finically got my prawns. It was all delicious.
Amaya runs a consulting company that advises other companies to look at how they operate, is a musician and was able to tell me a lot about the local area.
The next day it was time to move on again. This time to Ancud