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Patagonia 9 : Lago Llanquihue

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alanfrombangor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alanfrombangor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Patagonia 9 : Lago Llanquihue
    Posted: 20 April 2017 at 13:30
1. We set off in fine weather for the circuit of Lago Llanquihue, making a detour to Petrohue, calling in on the waterfalls on the way.


2. Volcan Osorno with advice on where to run if it erupts.


3. Casa Werner, Puerto Octay
Constructed around 1910 and now derelict following damage by heavy goods vehicles crashing into the building.


4. Hotel Haase was a building that intrigued me, looking like something from the American Wild West. It was built as a hotel around 1894 but in 1910 was bought by Luis Haase and its new name has been retained through successive ownerships.

Its a strange place, bedrooms arranged around a communal area, wood burning stoves keeping it cosy. Outside the rooms were tables with chamber pots and washstands, presumably original fittings. We had a very basic ensuite room with ill-fitting door and only cold water to the hand basin though the shower worked fine. It clearly hadnt been decorated or updated for many decades, hanging on a wall was a tea towel with the calendar for 1975.


5. It was an extremely wet morning for the conclusion of our circuit of Lago Llanquihue. We looked out for a caf as we entered the small town that gives the lake its name but none were apparent so we settled for the shelter of the long closed station where we ate our lunch. A dog was sleeping by the exit but wandered over to us. I felt sorry for the poor abandoned hound and threw it some bread, not normal dog food but it was eaten. The forecast was for a dry afternoon but all was grey and wet. The intensity increased as we ate but then the sky cleared to blue and we continued, pausing to take in the view of the volcano beyond a ruined jetty and the lake.


6. Back in Puerto Varas, wed arranged for breakfast at 07:00, the 900 peso supplement for real coffee being essential. Raffaele from Birds Chile called for us at 07:30, he has an Italian father and grew up in Santiago but moved to Puerto Varas sixteen years ago where he lives with his wife and two young daughters.

He took us to three areas, the first being close to the town, the second a wetland area near Llanquihue and finishing in an area of Valdivian rain forest near Puerto Montt. The last is part of a national park but entry requires arranging for a park warden to drive there to open and close the access gate. Raffaele told us hed never seen anyone else visiting. During the day we saw forty species, he was expert at spotting them by eye from a distance then training binoculars or his scope on them so we could get a good look. He also told us about the native plants in the rainforest including the slow growing alerce tree. In 1993 a specimen from Chile was found to be 3622 years old, making it the second oldest fully verified age for any living tree species. Its now a protected species, the once widespread alerce forests having been cut down for timber or burned for agricultural clearance during the 19th and 20th centuries. The German settlers houses were constructed from alerce timber because of its weather resistance.

This is a Black crowned night heron


7. Our last day before the long journey home started cool and drizzly so we packed warm clothing and waterproofs for the walk along the disused railway line to Llanquihue. We hadnt gone far before the clouds began to lift and the temperature rose, rendering us over dressed. At Llanquihue we ate our sandwiches by the lake and returned along the track with a small detour to Chester Beer. Id spotted the sign yesterday and Steffi, the German receptionist at the hostel urged us to visit as wed be welcomed.

The owners are Russ from Canada and Chester from the USA after whom the brewery is named. Chester had to go out on business while Russ served me their excellent ale from pumps in the garden, as fresh as it gets. We chatted for a couple of hours about Chilean life and politics.


8.


9. We returned to Puerto Varas along the track, feeling a little wobbly.


10. Leaving Santiago
 



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brian33 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2017 at 17:44
Lovely conclusion to a great set of series! It sounds like you had a great adventurous trip and saw many things. Thanks very much for taking the time to describe it all through photography and interesting text.
I detest bugs, especially spiders.
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alanfrombangor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alanfrombangor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2017 at 07:36
Thanks Brian, glad you enjoyed the trip.
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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2017 at 09:44
Very interesting. Really nice selection of photos and the train station looks a bit like Wales (at least the Wales of my imagination as I have never been there!)
Paul aka maewpa
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alanfrombangor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alanfrombangor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2017 at 09:39
And the "Llan" (meaning parish) appears in many Welsh place names, as well as the weather that day being cool and wet!
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