Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

Feb 19, 2002 -- 2 years and 9 months

Credit to 7 lakes to the big island of Chiloe

-- Story by Erin --

Feb. 14th: Valentine’s Day. Chris surprised his mom and me by giving us Valentine’s day cards, which he purchased in Pucon. It took us the better part of a half-hour to figure out what they said in Spanish!!! Drove just 4 kilometers up the road towards the border with Argentina. Here the road splits and goes towards the thermal bath resorts of Puyehue and Aguas Calientes. Chris’ father had made a reservation the previous day for us to stay at the Puyehue resort. Since we were early we decided to drive further down the road to see the Aguas Calientes (the resort for the more common folk). It turned out to be much more appealing with its A-frame cabins, in-door and out-door pools by the river, and surrounded by several walking trails into the lush green forest. We ate breakfast at the small restaurant and after inquired about availability of their cabins. They only had 2 cabins available, each sleeping 8 people. We all liked it so much that we decided to stay there anyway and accept the added expense. We spent the day lounging on the deck of the cabin, taking walks and soaking in the pools. Chris and I made dinner----our secret curry recipe.

Friday, Feb. 15th: Got up early so we could be at the thermal pool when it opened at 8:30. The day before was not so pleasant and relaxing because of all of the young people treating it like a public pool, diving in and splashing each other. This time we had the place all to ourselves and the water temperature was downright hot. We could only stay in the pool for 15 minutes at a time. After about an hour we dried off and went for breakfast.

Decided to head for Chiloe that day (island just south of Puerto Montt), but not before taking a drive around the lake of Llanquihu at the base of the Osorno Volcano. We found a nice little spot by the lake, complete with table, chairs and a tent covering. We ate fresh peppers, cucumber, cheese, salami and fresh bread along with a bottle of red wine. It doesn’t get much better than that! Traveling around the lake took some time and we began to get nervous that we wouldn’t find a place to stay in Chiloe for the night. While we stopped for a coffee in Puerto Varas, Chris and his father called a few hotels and managed to get a reservation.

We arrived at the ferry port around 5:30pm to catch the boat to Chiloe island. We were surprised to find about 60 cars ahead of us waiting to board ferries as well. Luckily the line moved quickly and we only had to wait for 45 minutes or so. The ferry crossing itself was a bit rough but only took about 30 minutes. That night we stayed in a nice hotel in the small town of Dalcahue. Dalcahue is known for it’s small fishing port, it’s historic church and for its Sunday market which attracts artisans from all around the island and its neighboring islands. It’s small-town feel and friendly locals really endeared itself to us.

Saturday, Feb. 16th: Walked around Dalcahue for a few hours in the morning to get our bearings and to find the location of the central market. After purchasing woolen sweaters, and Chris bought a big wool poncho, we ate lunch in the central market and had some of the best meals we’ve had yet in Chile. Gabi had the best Curanto dish (a big bowl filled with muscles, clams, sausage, chicken, and some starchy-looking patties filed with smoked meat) we’ve seen yet, all for the equivalent of about $3.75US. After, we all took a drive to Castro, the capital of Chiloe. It is a lively town with a beautiful Chilote-style church (noted for it’s wooden construction and wood shingled siding), a busy central square filled with young Chilean backpackers, and a waterfront market stocked with vendors selling everything from fish to hand-knitted sweaters. Wandered around most of the afternoon in Castro and had dinner there.

Sunday, Feb. 17th: Got up early and visited the famous Dalcahue Sunday market. Gabi and I bought the irresistible knitted dolls. Easily caught a return ferry around mid-day (no line). Saw lots of dolphins and seals on the return crossing. We returned to Puerto Montt in the early afternoon and checked into the Hospedaje Rocco, while Robi and Gabi headed out of town for the night.


Puyehue Resort Termal Pool

Chile.PuyehueResortBath.JPG (45874 bytes)

Outdoor Termal Bath at Aguas Caliente

Robi taking a nap outside our cabin at Aguas Calientes

Posing with the Osorno Volcano in the background

There are big tide swings in southern Chile

In the afternoon

The next morning

Palafitos: Houses on stilts in Castro

The church in Castro's town center

The inside of the church is all wood

Wares at the local market in Dalcahue

Showing off our purchases

Erin in matching sweater and cap (early Birthday gift from the in-laws)
Chris in wool poncho
Gabi in wool shawl
Robi in wool sweater-vest


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