Awesome Osorno

Trip Start Jan 04, 2008
Trip End Dec 17, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, February 2, 2008

After our volcano climbing antics in Pucon we awoke the next day feeling in remarkably good shape considering the hike we had done the day before. We decided to move South and the next most interesting place according to the guide books was Puerto Varas, we could have looked at going to Liquine as they have a lot of thermal baths, but as our limbs weren't aching that much, plus the place we wanted to stay had no contact phone number, we decided not to risk having no accommodation in a remote area so set off on the 300km drive South.
The drive out of Pucon to Los Lagos was very scenic, with treelined, good tarmac roads, it was just a shame we weren't in a sporty convertible instead of the redneck wagon.  
We stopped of at a place called Panguipulli for lunch on the way which had little to offer than a lake, an ugly looking church (which apparently all others in the area had been modeled on ??) plus some statues made out of single pieces of wood at the lakeside . It did however have a very good supermarket, so we picked up some bread and fillings (and cake) to eat down at the lake. After lunch we headed off to Puerto Varas making a few strange detours of the motorway as what we thought were petrol stations were actually the toll booths to pay at for coming off the Panamerica. As you get closer to Puerto Varas the Volcano Osorno appears on the horizon, it's very similar looking to Villarrica, the same conical shape but with a bit more frosting on top.
After arriving we had no accommodation so headed straight for the tourist information office to sort out somewhere to stay. They were very helpful and booked us in for two nights at Hotel Ellenhaus (Helen's House) in the centre of town. The place itself wasn't anything special, with small rooms and paper thin walls, but it was central and we had our own bathroom so it was fine for a couple of nights. Helen was a bit knackered after all the driving so decided to have a kip, so I said I would update the blog, only to  find I had lost the memory stick with all the latest photos on (don't worry Helen had them stored in 3 other places). A bit miffed with the loss I headed out to buy a new memory stick, forgetting the journal we have been writing to remember what we have been doing for the blog. After finding a new memory card after going to 4 places I settled down in an internet café to start writing but realized I'd left the journal somewhere, after frantically searching all the shops I'd been to I returned back to the hotel defeated, thinking I'd lost something else tha day, only to find the journal sitting on the bed, so a thoroughly wasted afternoon then !!
That night we went to a reasonable but pricey resteraunt (Meditarraneo) on the waterfront.
Puerto Varas itself is a sleepy little lakeside town, more touristy than Pucon, a little like somewhere in the Lake District in the the fact it had another casino (these SA's love to gamble it seems), so with little else to do we spent the night there, Maud retaining her winning streak and we walked out a few hundred US$ richer.
The nest morning was actually spent productively, updating the blog and booking hotels in Patagonia. In the afternoon we headed to some waterfalls in Petrohue near the Volcan Orsono national park, rather than spend the day on the black sand beaches with the tourists. The falls were fairly impressive especially with Orsono in the background, so we hiked around a bit and just enjoyed the views.

That night we dined at Club O'Yates, supposedly the best fish resteraunt in town. It sits on its own pier on the lake and has floor to ceiling windows with impressive views of the volcano.    

The food was very good, especially Helen's salmon, (my seabass had a whole bulb of garlic served in the sauce), but this place was expensive and definitely a treat for us.
We had a quick mosey around the market on the lakeside which was fairly lackluster, but with a number of good cake stalls (what is it with casinos and cakes here, two of Helen's worst vices), then headed to bed set to drive to Puerto Montt the following day.
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Where I stayed
Helen´s House
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