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Friday, May 22, 2009

It's a rainning day..........

Or it's a rainny week, that's more what I should say...

After a fantastic sunny day in Pucón where we mostly rested from the previous day effort, we took a bus to Puerto Varas in the lakes district.

Somewhere in the middle of the bus journey it began to rain and it was a foggy, wet and cold Puerto Varas that welcomed us. The first goal was finding a place to stay. There aren't many low budget options in town and the best one was closed for holidays... So we had to stay in an old, dark, sinister house - Residencial Hellwig - , hoping that the next day would bring better weather conditions.

Well, it didn't... so after walking around the city for a while, without seing any of the volcanos that should be visible from the lake, we decided to grab our stuff and head on to Purto Montt, from where we would take the boat down south to Puerto Natales in a few days. But since I'm feeling extremelly cold, I started thinking if it would be worth going south... I want to hike down there, and just going there without hiking is not an option for me. And since I don't have gear to hike in the cold, or camp in the snow and don't want to invest a lot of money on that at this stage, I start considering quiting from going south. I know I'll be extremely disapointed, because that was one of my objectives from the moment I started thinking about this trip, but on the other hand, spending money and just feeling bad all the time with the cold is not motivating as well. I had 4 days to make a decision. During that time period we hardly did anything. The weather got worse, heavy rain joined the party and we spent one and half day without almost leaving the hostel Vista Hermosa in Puerto Montt.

After two nights at the hostel we decided to visit Chiloé, a traditional island, where it is believed potatos were cultured for the first time. We headed on to Castro, the main city on the island, staying in Hostel Cordillera. The sun appeared every now and then, so we were able to wander around the town checking what it is famous for: the palafitos and the church (together with a few more on the island they are part of Unesco world heritage sites). In the evening we decided to try the local speciallity and were surprised by a huge dish of Curanto, composed of sea shells, mussels, bacon, chorizo, potatos. It was good, but I've had better.

The next day we went to Acao to see the oldest church in the island and try to see some more things. Unfortunately there was nothing else to see and we just went back to Castro and moved back to Puerto Montt. Chiloé is a nice place, but with the rain it is impossible to do some of the things it has to offer, like the Pacific hike that goes through some seal and penguin colonies.

We have both decided by now that we are not going to take the boat down south. The weather is too bad to enjoy the boat ride. I am still considering taking the boat to Laguna San Rafael, but after calling Navimag I am forced to change my plans, because the boat is fully booked.

I then decide to start heading North, and book a bus trip to Valdivia. Tiago decides he wants to continue south and books a bus to Punta Arenas. So we separate once again. We will probably meet again in Peru or Bolivia. My plans now are to visit northern Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. He wants to visit Argentina as well.


I arrive in Valdivia under heavy rain (yes, I will continue complaining about the rain until the end of the post...) and after unsuccessfully trying to figer out which colectivo would take me to the hostel, I start walking when the rain gives me a break!

I decided to stay in Albergue Latino in the 7000 pesos rooms, that include breakfast and bed linen. I am really glad I did that. I met great people there. Camilla, Martin, Barbara, Gesa, Ellody, just to name the ones whom I remember the names, made my days and nights much brighter than they would have been. Well the first night I went with Martin and Camilla to the Bar Ultima Frontera, a really nice alternative bar (I would erase those metal songs they played in the last hour) where we had some beers and spoke until 2 am.

The day after I spent it in front of the computer taking care of somethings that came up in the last days, but the weather was really bad, so I didn't feel it was a lost day. The evening, that was really funny! I went out with the two german girls, Barbara and Gesa, met Camilla and some more people from the hostel in a bar where they a live band playing some jazz mixed with latin rythms and after that the three of us moved to Club Luna, where some DJs were having a theme party. We stayed there until 5 am, and only left because they threw us out!

In the my last day in Valdivia, I finally decided to go around and check out the city. Me and Ellody, who arrived in the hostel at 9.30 am, forcing me out of bed :p, joined me in the wet sightseing... We first went to the fish market, by the river, where huge sea lions, are standing waiting for the leftovers from the fishes. It's impressing how these animals seem to be almost domesticated and know exactly what is going to happen each time one of the market employers begins preparing a fish. From there we decided to go to Niebla, a city 20 min away by bus on the coast. It is famous for its fort and for the food gastronomy fair. We visited the fort (since it is a national holiday there is no entrance fee), tried to take some pictures and admire the views. They must be amazing, but there is just too much fog and rain that reduce the visibility. From the fort we continued walking towards the gastronomy fair. We ordered a plate of Milcao, some speciality from Chiloé. It was an amazing dish, well worth the money and the journey to Niebla. After that, since we were kind of wet, we went back to the hostel and just relaxed the rest of the day near the fireplace (and managed to dry my clothes before leaving). At 8.30 pm I took the nightbus to Valparaiso, where I have planned to meet Stepan, the Czech guy from Easter island.

1 comment:

lodize said...

thanx for that :)
Rainy but great first day in Valdivia thanks to you !
My last day there was actually sunny & the town looked really different ! Hope that where you are you found sun at least...
un beso

ps : mi fiesta de cumpleaño es el 6 de junio a Santa Cruz, Colchagua, VI region... y estas invitado por supuesto !