Kuchen and Carlos Santana
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The areas surrounding Puerto Montt, most notably Puerto Varas and Fruitilliar, are famous for their well-preserved German towns and Lindsey's favourite, German kuchen (which is supposed to be pronounced "koo-jen" but is butchered here and pronounced "koo-shen" like a cushion on a sofa except with an oo), which is a variety of cakes! Ben's dad is German, so off we went to taste this area, one slice at a time. There are also gorgeous roses EVERYWHERE in the towns, which just adds to the charm of this area.
We spent most of our time in Puerto Varas, as the launch point for many other beautiful areas around lake Llanquihue (pronounced yan-key-huay).
Lindsey making a dork of herself by picking up Ben's mom in front of our Cabana (we got a steel at this place: 45,000 Chilean pesos a night, which is about $74 USD a night for two bedrooms, bath, kitchen, living room, dining room and back yard).
Lindsey giving Ben a piggy back ride at the beach. Great times!
Sunset on lake Llanquihue
Every day we tried a different type of German Kuchen - apple crumble (de manzana), peach (durazno), raspberry (frambuesa), different Strüdels and multi-layered cakes, most of which containing layers of the unavoidable dulce de leche.
A photo dedicated to Jean Serrano: The Puppen Haus in Fruitilliar
Volcan Orsorno and other local volcanoes from Fruitilliar
We spent a day traveling out to Volcān Orsorno, took a walk along the base of the volcano and cruised around on the Todos Los Santos lake.
Det and Lindsey pounding out some pushups during our hike at Volcan Orsorno
Det making friends with the local policia
We took a boat around Todos Los Santos lake
Quite the view from this church!
Los Saltos Falls
We rented a car on our last day in the Chilean lakes district and drove through Puerto Montt to a ferry terminal over to the vast island of Chiloe. Chiloe is a famous resort destination for Chileans, but our mission was to see the penguins. From just off the shore of a small village, you can see two types of penguins: the Magellan penguins from the south and the larger Humbolt are from the north.
View of the islands right off the shore where the penguins hang out
Lindsey pulling Ben to our boat
Humbolt penguins, chillin' on their eggs
A Cormorant bird taking flight
A crab Shell near the shore of Puņiuil, a small village in Chiloe, where you take the boats out to see the penguins.
On our return from seeing the penguins, we stopped at a town in Chiloe called Quetalmahue for a local specialty dish called curanto. Curanto is a fabulous mix of clams, mussels, and other shell fish, along with potatoes, sausage, chicken, and other delicacies I do not know the names of, and it is all baked in the ground and covered with large leaves.
Sally demonstrating how curanto is made
Yum yum curanto!
We flew the next day (Feb. 27) to Santiago (note Sky Airlines is an awesome airline carrier in Chile. Good prices, good food served on every flight, and the let Ben's parents change their flight without a change fee!). Since Ben and I have birthdays only a day apart, Ben's parents treated us to the Carlos Santana concert. Thanks Deck Chair and Sal!
Lindsey and Sally making fun with the locals
Santana on the big screen
The following day, Lindsey's true birthday, we toured Santiago. Fortunately, we caught the last day of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit in La Moneda museum!
Ben and Diego and Lindsey as Frida. Too bad Lindsey doesn't have the uni-brow to go with it!
Det enjoying one of his pausas just outside the exhibit while the rest of us soak up some culture.
Lindsey having a fat day on top of Parque Saint Lucia
The following day, Ben's birthday, was kicked off with a wonderful bike tour of Santiago. Bike tours are a great way to see a city at your own pace, yet much more comfortably than walking. We rented bikes through a company called Green Bikes (www.labicicletaverde.com). They were a great company to go with. Beyond being affordable, they have maps of the city with suggested bike routes that blend the best sites with the least crowed streets. They are also on a mission to change the mentality of Santiago people by making the city a more green place to live. (Just giving you ample opportunity, Jean, to give us crap for being hippies!)
Cruising on our bikes in Bellavista (translates to beautiful view)
We dropped by a tour at one of three houses of the famous poet, Pablo Naruda. Pablo had a great sense of humor and was good friends and drinking buddies with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Picasso, and other eccentrics of the like. (You know Neruda liked his drinking time because this house had more bars than bedrooms!) He had a love for nick-nacks as well as ships. His house in Santiago is like a boat-low ceilings, narrow rooms with wooden benches, some rooms with port holes, and wood floors that were built to creek like a ship's floor. The house was built as a conglomerate of additions where many of the rooms did not connect, thus you would have to go outside and hike further up the hill to get to the next room. Neruda collected thousands of ¨things¨. He had thousands of glass bottles, sea shells and scores of paintings of watermelons. He collected kitschy porcelain, like salt and pepper shakers that read morphine and marijuana instead. Some rooms contained secret doors. In the guest room hung a painting by Diego Riviera of his third wife, called The Medusa. The painting was inspired by Naruda's pet name for his wife, Chascona, which means (in an endearing way) messy, tussled hair, like the way you wake up every day of your life. The living room is built to feel like a lighthouse with curved, longwood windows overlooking Santiago. Of course, ever since 1991, the Telephone Building, which was built to look like a giant cell phone and is now outdated for today's cell phones, has blocked the otherwise unobstructed view of the Andes.
We finished another wonderful day with a wonderful meal (Mom and Dad, this was the place Ben and I went for drinks that night we were all in Santiago two years ago! It's near the Patagonian restaurant)
Ben, Sally, and Det enjoying a beer before an awesome birthday dinner
The next day, we left for Mendoza by bus. More border stories and wine festival treats to come!