Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
68Trip End Mar 06, 2013
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My bus for Santiago didn't leave until 5:15 p.m. so I had plenty of time yesterday to explore the town of Puerto Varas. This little village is nestled on the southern edge of Lago Llanquihue, and like many other towns in southern Chile, Puerto Varas has a heavy German influence. This is easily spotted from the peculiar architecture, which at times made me feel like I was in Europe, and as far away as possible from stereotypical Latin America. The town's most striking feature is the large white and red church that juts out of the forest of colorful houses
During the later part of the morning, I decided to trek to the top of Cerro Philippi, which is part of a park just north of the city. There is a large white cross at the top of the hill and I figured there probably were some pretty decent views. The walk itself was fairly steep, and the fact that I was wearing sandals certainly didn't help my cause. The trail was through a small sector of forest and I couldn't help but be reminded of the trails back home near my house, particularly the Harper Hill Loop, which is a favorite for my family. I saw rhododendrons, ferns, and many other familiar looking flora (as well as many foreign species), but as I walked, I felt like all that was missing was my family. I know my dog would have loved this little hike, there would have been so much to sniff! But anyway, once I reached the top of the hill, I was a little underwhelmed by the view, as a lot of trees obstructed the town. But I didn't really mind because the walk was good exercise and gave me a little reminder of home.
Once I descended down the hill and back into town, I just weaved my way through the streets. Every now and then I would have great views of the Calbuco volcano, which, although is not nearly as picture-perfect as Osorno, still offered a wondrous backdrop for my little walk through town. As I walked about, I bought a few souvenirs. I am trying to do a majority of my Christmas shopping here, because I will be getting back to the states in mid December. I also bought myself a little treat; a little banana ice cream pop, which you could peel just like a banana
As my day wound on, and after I got tired of walking around, I decided to just sit on the beach for a bit and look out at the incredible mountains and volcanos to my east. I can truly say this was one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen. But, eventually time came for me to hop back on the bus. This time I took a night bus back to the city, which went surprisingly smoothly, and I was able to get a fair amount of sleep. Now I am just relaxing in my room back at Casa Loca before classes will start in about an hour and a half. I am so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to be here in Chile, and I feel even more lucky to have already seen so much of this beautiful country. Chile has reminded me of what a gorgeous world we live in, and I can't wait to explore more of it. Hasta luego!