South of Chile, Part 2 – from 05/11 to 11/11/12

Monday morning, we woke up with rain under our tent in Chepu… not a little rain… it was pouring! So no kayak of course, but packing and drying, and waiting for the bus at 17:00… 🙁  As it was Alex’s birthday, he got a birthday breakfast : with a beer and muesli with a candle on it… we didn’t have much more because Chepu is kind of the middle of nowhere… but we had warm showers, that was already good !

Birthday breakfast!

So we waited for the bus, it was a long boring day, but we got in the bus after waiting a bit in the rain, and getting wet of course.

We arrived in Ancud and found the same basic “cabaña” , which was enough and cheap 🙂

And we went to eat a Curanto in a nice restaurant named Kuranton in the town.

The Curanto is a typical food from Chiloé Island (historically it is a Polynesian way to cook in earth oven). “Traditionally, the Curanto was made by heating up some stones in a hole the ground and waiting until they crackle, then directly pilling on shellfish, pork and chicken, followed by nalca or pangue leaves and damp cloths before the whole shebang was covered in dirt and grass and left to simmer for nearly 2 hours. “

We didn’t have a change to eat one like this and to see it prepared this way, but the Kuranton restaurant make it in a pot. It was good (I even tried a few shellfishes!) and the advantage which was told to us was that it wasn’t as dry as when cooked in the ground. And the juices of the cooking are served as a soup and is called “the Viagra de Chiloé”!


We went to bed and fell asleep really fast because we were so full!

On Tuesday, we went back to Dalcahue, to meet with another host (a really nice Chilean couple, Alexis and Alejandra) and go to their place in Achao, on Isla Quinchao. They have a house on the top of the hill, above the town, and a view on the sea and the islands around. They had a fire going on all the time in the house, it was warm and dry and that felt great!

the view from the house, above Achao

We shared wine, beers, birthday cakes of Alex, they made us some meat roast (it was plan to have it on the barbecue but the rain was pouring and it was way too windy outside) and choripanes (chorizo in bread, with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, coriander for the sauce.

We had a chance to wash our clothes, to have warm showers, to dry our shoes… it was a great place!

The town of Achao was really small, with an “harbor” (haha it was only one pontoon) and a church (Iglesia Santa Maria de Loreto) with was historically only made from wood (even the nails are wooden pegs!). It is the oldest church (1740) of Chiloé. It is also a Unesco World Heritage site. Of course we were not allowed to take pictures from inside so… you can have a look here for a few pictures:

Iglesia de Achao

On Thursday, after 2 nights really warm and dry, we decided to visit the Volcanoes area, around Puerto Varas and the Lago Llanquihue. We found another host in Corte Alto, a small village south of Purranque. It took us the whole day to travel there with buses. When we talked with Pablo, our host, we decided to spend the last 2 days and night at the bottom of the volcán Osorno, in Petrohue.

So on Friday, we left quite early our host, went shopping for food for 2 days and a half and took buses to get to Petrohué, on the border of the Lago Todos los santos.

Lago Todos Los Santos

We arrived there around midday and found a hidden spot to set up the tent and leave our stuff inside. We went walking along the lake, we ate lunch on a beach where nobody was there, had a nap in the sun (yea, we eventually found the sun, when going up north!) and kept walking and got a bit lost with the tracks in the forest. We could see for where we were that all the tourists were coming with big buses to Petrohué, written TOURISMO in big letters on it, they were walking 5 minutes on the first beach to take pictures of the beautiful blue lake and of the volcanoes and went in tourist boats to go on the lake and take more pictures of the lake and the volcano from the lake!

We were happy to be apart and far away from this way to travel.

Volcán Osorno

On Saturday, we got up early enough to go trekking. The plan was to go on the Paso Desolación, a track going between the volcán Osorno and the other mountains, with a view on the lage Todos los santos.

Waking up on the beach…

After 20 minutes walking, and probably already 20 pictures of the volcano, my camera broke down. The zoom blocked and I couldn’t do anything anymore 🙁 I was really upset, but Alex had his camera so it was alright to make a lot (way too many but beautiful) of pictures!

The Volcano

So we walked, easy for the first hour, quite flat, sometimes in the forest, sometimes in the sun, sometimes in a “canyon”… and we started climbing. The track was going straight in the mountain, no curves, nothing, just straight. A few times we wondered if we were on the right way! But from time to time we saw some arrows made from stones on the ground, or some wooden signs a bit more officials.

And finally we reached a lookout on the lago Todos los santos. Beautiful, the blue lake, the mountains, the volcanoes… The track was full of old dry lava from the volcano: it looks like stones but of course when you take it is really light, because it is lava!

Lago Todos Los Santos

After 4 hours of walk, we reached the “top” and the refugio which is accessible from the other side of the mountains. I expected to see the lake Llanquihue from there, but no… 🙁 I was a bit disappointed but the walk was worth it, and the view on the Lago Todos los santos was amazing! It was also amazingly warm up there, at 1700 meters elevation.

We got down in less than 3 hours, and were really happy to find our tent and some food 🙂

We made a fire and slept like babies again in this really quiet place! Last night before Santiago…

On Sunday, we got up and packed everything, as we planned to go to the “Salto de Petrohué” (waterfall), 6 km down the road. Not sure there will be buses, so we had to plan the walking time. And we did walk! But that was pretty nice, we could take pictures of the river and the volcano… and we made it to the “Salto de Petrohué parque” . We got in (had to pay of course) and walk along the paths and with the tourists (as it was still a bit “early morning” – 10:30am, not too many tourists were there). We found nice more quiet places along the river and spent a bit of time around.

Saltos de Petrohue
Saltos de Petrohue

After a while we decided to go on the road and wait for a bus to go back to Puerto Varas, and Puerto Montt, and the Airport, to catch our flight in the end of afternoon.

And now, we are back in the crazy-noisy-crowded Santiago…

Meeting with friends, catching up with parties and spending time with everybody at home! Feels good to have a home full of people!!

And don’t forget, for more pictures… :

3 thoughts on “South of Chile, Part 2 – from 05/11 to 11/11/12

  1. Ben alors, une autre montagne blanche avec un lac devant, ailleurs qu’à Passy et presque aussi belle… Et les marmottes et les bouquetins? Je suppose que vous vous êtes rattrapés à Santiago, pour le gâteau d’anniversaire d’Alex.

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