The Lake District

Thursday June 30th, I met my dad at Santiago airport as he came for a 3 week vacation. When he arrived, we directly went to the bus station to leave for the south. We took the bus to Talca, a little city 4 hours away from the capital. This city hasn’t got much to see but it was nice to walk trough the streets.

The next day, we continued our trip to Pucón, a Chilean vacation resort. In summer, this place is packed up with tourists coming to enjoy the lake and the mountain activities. We slept two nights in the Hostal La Maison a chalet well located and owned by Etienne a French-Chilean guy. I really enjoyed my short time in Pucón. There are about 50’000 inhabitants but it doesn’t seem like it. Most of the houses are made out of wood. There are a lot of activities to do in the region – the most famous one is to climb up the Villarica volcano which is still active. Unfortunately we didn’t do that, I’ll have to come back !

Saturday morning, we did a 17 kilometres walk. We took the bus to the place called : Los Ojos del Caburga. It’s an underground river that flows into a natural swimming pool in the forest. The colour of the water is beautiful, a dark clear blue. We then decided to walk back to Pucón on a secondary road in the forest. We saw beautiful landscapes and the three volcanoes of the region. It was long but very nice, glad we did this.

On Sunday we left for Valdivia by bus. It’s a lovely city situated by the Pacific Ocean. We stayed in the Hostal Aires Buenos. When we got there we directly went to the fish market to eat our lunch. We had salmon a la plancha, delicious! Chili is the second producer of salmon after Norway. We then walked along the streets. At the end of the afternoon, it became very foggy and cold. I’m glad I wasn’t alone as it felt very spooky.

Monday morning we got up early to go to the fish market and there we saw sea lions who were waiting for leftovers. The stalls were beautiful. Fish were well presented and the vegetables and fruits as well. It was very colourful.

For lunch, we ate in a restaurant close to the fish market. We had salmon ceviche, a typical Chilean and Peruvian dish (both countries are fighting over who owns the dish – same for Pisco sour). For the main course we had mussels and clams with a few pieces of meat. Everything was delicious and very tasty. In the afternoon we took the bus for Puerto Montt.

This city is horrible, I didn’t enjoy my short stay there at all. I didn’t feel safe when I was walking the streets. Our original plan was to go to Puerto Varas but we had to change our plans last minute. We walked for a while the next morning then we went to the airport to catch our flight for Punta Arenas located in the south of the Chilean Patagonia.

The Lake District is very nice, unfortunately we didn’t spent much time there as the South was waiting for us ! As for the climate, the temperatures are lower here than in the north and Santiago. If the sun is out, it can be very nice but make sure to have some warm clothes. For instance, I’m wearing a good Mammut jacket and I’m glad I have it. It is also definitely worth having decent shoes, gloves and a hat.

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