Journey to the Lake District

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
Trip End Mar 06, 2013

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Flag of Chile  , Lake District,
Saturday, November 24, 2012

The region a few hundred miles south of Santiago is commonly referred to as the Lake District, due to the facts that it has an abundance of picturesque lakes and rivers. However, the main draw that brought me to this region, was the iconic volcanoes, specifically the Osorno Volcano. So, this morning I woke up bright and early (4:50 to be exact) and headed to Puerto Varas, a quaint city on the southern shore of Lago Llanquihue, and right across from the famous Osorno Volcano. 

Today, I didn't really do much of anything, because my bus ride took a whopping 13 hours! That is almost the same amount of time it took me to fly to Sydney, Australia from Los Angeles! But I actually enjoyed my bus ride due to the fact I had, what my sister would call, a 'money seat'. For those who don't know, a 'money seat' refers to a seat, usually on a plane or bus, that is more desirable, or has certain features, that sets the seat apart from the rest. I was seated on the second floor in the first row. This means I had panoramic views all throughout my drive, which made it very pleasant. 

I thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to see a large stretch of Chilean countryside. Because my bus drove 618 miles, I saw the fertile central valley, which was littered with vineyards, and fields of agricultural. I saw lots of factories for produce, and plenty of crates, which I assumed were filled with fruits in veggies to be exported to countries across the world. After all, in Seattle we get a lot of our winter produce from Chile. Once I left the agricultural district, I was in a slightly more familiar atmosphere, with vast coniferous forests, which reminded me oh so much of home. It was slightly weird to feel so at home, while being such a far distance away from there. And as my bus chugged along, I was soon seeing lots of volcanoes looming to the east. I tried getting some pictures of the beautiful landscapes, but it was difficult because when the highway was built, clearly people weren't that interested in provided long lasting views of the awe-inspiring peaks to the drivers. So even though I didn't get any great pictures, I was still able to feast my eyes on some of the most gorgeous mountains I had ever seen. 

We also made many stops in the cities along the way. Even though this slowed the bus trip, I did kind of like seeing some of the other cities in Chile. We made many little pit stops at dinky bus stops along the highway, but we made official stops in Chillan, Los Angeles, Temuco, and Osorno, before Puerto Varas. Even though I didn't get much of an opportunity to go out and explore the cities, it was still nice to see them. 

When I finally made it to Puerto Varas, it was already about 8 o'clock, and I was slightly worried I wouldn't be able to find my hostel before sundown. However, I quickly encountered my cute little hostel, sheerly by luck, as I was walking toward Lago Llanquihue to maybe take some pictures before I lost the daylight. I quickly peeked into my hostel and got my room situated. This may not sound like a very thrilling activity, but I loved it, because I did the whole thing in Spanish. I even overheard one of the men at the hostel say that the 'boy who just arrived' speaks Spanish! It was so encouraging to know that I was actually able to ask a question, understand the answer, and not sound like a complete gringo! 

After I enthused over my successful Spanish encounter, I walked down to the lake front and gazed at the beautiful Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes that rise from the forests on the opposite side of the vast lake. I also saw the quaint little church, which Puerto Varas is easily recognized by.

Now I am simply relaxing at the hostel before slinking away to sleep. I am going to attempt to plan a trip to Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales tomorrow, to get a better look into the heart of the lake district. Hope everyone back home is doing well. Miss and love you all. Hasta luego.
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maggiemay148 on

Money seat!

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