Heading back to Santiago

Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Flag of Chile  , Bío-Bío,
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We woke up to torrential rain the next morning in Puerto Vares. So we bid a sad goodbye to our friends going down to Patagonia. Then we jumped on the bus, and drove all the way to Salto del Laja. The bad weather followed us all the way, so we didn't make any stops, as it was just miserable. Eventually we made it to our overnight stop, Salto el Laja. There we were supposed to see the Salto el Laja waterfall, but thanks to the weather, no one felt like getting wet, as it was freezing cold, so we settled down in our log cabin, got a fire going, and tried to keep warm. I finally got to sample the traditional Chilean dish, Pastel de Choclo. It's beef mince and onions, plus pieces of chicken, covered in mashed sweetcorn, then baked. It's actually delicious. Probably the best thing I've tried in South America. I would love to make it at home, but of course, it'll never be the same! On our last day, we drove to Balduzzi Winery, near Santiago. There we had a brief tour, before trying their wine. My favourite was the Late Harvest desert wine. Then we arrived back in Santiago late afternoon. 

Overall I really enjoyed my time on the Pachamama Bus. However, I think this was mainly due to the people I was with, rather than the trip itself. Afterwards I felt quite disappointed with our destinations. I felt like I didn't actually see much of Chile. Well, the natural landscape anyway. I think the itinerary could have been longer than 7 days, and then we could have had more non-travel days where we could have gone to some national parks and done some nice walks. But nevermind, I still had a good time! 
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