The previous post was of Meredith leaving Valdivia on a motorbike trip.
Going back in time more, Barb and I spent a few days around the town of Villarrica. This was after we left Santiago. Villarrica is closer to Valdivia than it is to Santiago.
We took the overnight bus from the Alameda terminal in Santiago to Villarrica. This bus system in Chile is great. It is private. As far as I know it is unsubsidized. Cheap, comfortable, clean ,quiet, deluxe , fast. 10,900 pesos (about 22 bucks for a 10 hr ride). The attendant puts the pillow under your head, closes the curtains for you , and tucks in your blanky around your legs. Greyhound could learn a thing or two . No decapitations on our bus ride.
When is the last time someone tucked me in to bed?
1958. I didn’t even know I missed it.
We arrived at Villarrica in the pouring rain at 0800.
We stayed at Gabi and Wolfgang Kirsten’s guest cabin. Wolfgang runs the Patagonia Cruisers Radio net every day of the year except for when he has to go and visit his old mother in Germany. Which was when we visited. But Gabi made us very welcome. I came down with a bad lurgy and more or less lay around for 3 days. Woodstove , fresh food ,hot shower, perfect. No schedule.
Wolfgang and Gabi had built a 39′ Joshua steel boat over 10 yrs in Germany , then cruised all dimensions of the Atlantic Ocean for 12 yrs. They sold the boat (an ultimate cruiser called “Wilde Mathilde”) and moved onto their 10 hectares (I could be wrong about this number) 12 years ago. They raise Alpacas , Sheep , Chickens , and dogs, with a good vegetable garden and fruit trees.
Awesome views of the lake and the volcano from the front window of the cabin. Too many photos of the volcano , for sure , but this is my only record. So watch and enjoy.
Once I regained a little energy we went hiking into Parque Nacional Huerquehue (“whore-kay-way”) for the day. We rented a car for $60 day but it turned out that we could have caught a local bus from Villarrica to Pucon then to the park entrance. The entrance was 25 km along a reasonable dirt road with a few little farms sprinkled along it. This is late autumn and there are not many tourists around.
The park ranger collected our 4000 pesos each for day use (about $8 each) and spoke vvveeerrryyy sssllloooowww ssspppaaannniiissshhh fffoooorrr uuuusss wwwwhhhiiiicccchhhh wwwwaaaasss ggggrrrreeeeaaaattt aaasss iiittt mmmmaaaaddddeeee uuuuussss fluent instantly. Mas despacho por favor and no necesito repetame. Que Bueno !
Check out the photos of the Aurucaria forest : “Monkeypuzzle” forest -weird name since there are no primates other than humans anywhere near Aurucaria.
Big Magellan Woodpeckers with Dr Seuss type head crests. Google it if you want a GOOD picture.
All the deciduous species of Nothofagus trees (Southern Beech) were turning colour. The others are evergreen.
There were a few patches of snow at 3500′ asl.
This is the home of the Mapuche people. They held off the Spanish conquistadors for a long time : managing to destroy the young cities of Santiago and Valdivia. Ultimately , though it’s an old and often repeated story of disease and oppression.