I climbed another volcano today. It was an amazing shape, and very pretty with stunning views.
Around Puerto Varas there are lots of amazing things to see and do. I spent a day on a guided tour visiting various attractions. Whilst it wasn’t the best day (complete with weird tourists, a guide who spoke Spanish very fast and no English (even though when I booked they guaranteed it to be be in English), and the tour not actually being what I’d booked) it wasn’t bad either, and I saw a lot of beautiful sights.
We started by visiting Isla Lorely which is a pretty little island floating in a blue lagoon attached by an inlet to the grand lake of Llanquihue (I still have no idea how to pronounce that, my best guess is yan-ku-e-oo…. but I could be very wrong). If my poor Spanish ear heard correctly, our guide said that this little island used to be owned by the Germans, but they sold it to the Chilean government in 2005…. seemed to be a very random fact for such a tiny island.
After a boat ride around here, we got back in the bus and stopped at a view spot to see Volcan Osorno. My original understanding was that this tour was a day trip to climb Osorno to the top…. it was not to be ! From this view point there was a paddock of friendly alpacas we all admired and fed.
Back in the bus and we drove to the famous national park near Petrohue to see the beautiful bright blue river and the waterfalls that feature, creating a picture perfect landscape with another side of Volcan Orsorno in the background. This was a peaceful place (except for all the tourists), and the bright blue water seemed to be out of this world!
We then drove down a dusty road and clambered onto yet another boat, out onto the bigger and bluer lake which was connected to the river that ran through Petrohue and the waterfalls we had previously admired. Once more, we ooed and ahhed at another side of Osorno (she really is the perfect shape), and I wondered when we would actually climb her….
Next stop was a fancy restaurant for lunch on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. I couldn’t afford to eat here so I sat on the shore and built a tiny sandcastle out of black sand while everyone else in the tour enjoyed a $12000 peso ($24 Australian dollars) buffet lunch of fresh fish, steak, rice, veggies, chicken, desserts, and all things that smelt amazing!
Finally we were heading to Osorno (by 3.30pm)…. but I was to be slightly disappointed again. Once we got there our guide began ushering everyone to the ticket office to buy the $12000 peso chairlift ticket up to the top…. so I excused myself, saw a path, and headed off.
It took me roughly 45 minutes of walking uphill and on slippery volcanic rock to get to the top of the path – not the top of the volcano,, but it was so beautiful! The views stretched on for miles over Lago Llanquihue, and the mountains on either side appeared to go on forever. I guess that it proves even the most confusing days and unexpected outings can end with beauty and wonder (you just have to have the right perspective – made easier by standing near the top of a magnificent volcano who seems to stand watch over my beloved Puerto Varas and the playful Lago Llanquihue). It’s odd to be on top of such a fragile and beautiful place, knowing if it decides to erupt, there is nothing you can do to stop it….
I finished the day with the most delicious Dulce de Leche (caramel) ice cream at a dairy farm just outside of Puerto Varas.
It was a strange day. But a lot of interesting things were seen. I would suggest to future visitors to these attractions to find your own way there – hitch hiking is a popular past time in the area, And the buses seem cheap and regular. This way you won’t be disappointed and will know exactly where you are going and what you’ve signed up for.