Southern Lake District and beyond

Ancud Travel Blog

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Petrohue

I still needed time to get over the Volcano climb, so we headed for the Southern part of the Lake district for more lakes and walking, much more my style! We stayed in Puerto Varas, not a very exciting place but it had a spectacular view of another volcano and was a good base for exploring. Our hostel wasn´t the greatest but the owner was friendly, he really liked to talk... in Spanish, mainly about fishing!

We took the bus from Puerto Varas to Petrohue and Los Saltos, waterways fed by the surrounding volcanoes. It was a beautiful spot, the water was so blue. We then started to walk to a lake nearby but ended up getting a lift from a friendly guy wh was going that way, I was glad that we did because it was the end of the road and it really wasn´t worth walking all that way for.

Ancud
On the way back we hitched another ride (don´t tell Mum) with an older guy who was working in the area, he was really nice too. He even stopped the car to take pictures of the surroundings for himself! As if we hadn´t done enough walking for one day, we then caught the bus to Frutillar, a beautiful place by the water again. It too had a good view of the Volcano and lots of german architecture, very pretty.

The following day we went to Puerto Montt, there was nothing there but it was a better place to get bus connections. Julio had to go back to Santiago and I wanted to carry on South.

The myths of Chiloe
I took the bus and ferry to Ancud on the Island of Chiloe. I found an amazing homely hostel on the waterfront that was reasonably cheap and I even had a view of the sea from my bed, I was right at home. The sunset reminded me of being in Cornwall, but it wasn´t as good! I spent my first day wandering round Ancud, I could have hired a bike but I heard reports that the roads weren´t that good once out of town. I went to the small museum and saw the bones of a whale and booked a tour to see the penguin colony the next day.

The drive took us along the beach and to a kind of peninsula, the driver was good at stopping to take photos and explain what we could see around us. He also told us about the Chiloe myths bit like Cornish pixie stories if you ask me! Its all about wizards and sea goddesses.

Penguins are great
When we finally got to the penguin colony we had a firemans lift from the fishermen onto the boat (Its funny, fisherman universally look the same, ours had long straggly hair and was smoking a fag!) The boat ride was only half an hour and although we were there at 12pm when most of the penguins are out at sea feeding, we managed to see quite a few of both the Humbolt and the Magellan. Brilliant to see them in their natural environment.

By coincidence I arrived at the bus station at the same time as a girl that was on my tour, so we went together to Castro further down the island. I even ended up taking the spare bed in the room that she had reserved but it worked out really well, there wasn´t a great deal to do in Castro. We saw the coloured houses on stilts over the water but they were a bit run down and then we visited the church which is described in guide book as being orange and lilac but that was a faded disappointment too! We were glad of each others company at dinner, the service in the only decent looking restaurant was terrible; one waiter, who laughed when I ordered a beer for some reason and then delivered food to the wrong table twice!! I´m glad we got in before a big group arrived because I don´t think we would have got our dinner otherwise, still it was entertaining.

Castro

The following day I went back to Puerto Montt, I really wanted to carry on south into Chilean Patagonia but under estimated the time and money needed to do it. Instead I got an overnight connection back to Santiago and here I am. Its a bit like the Cusco thing but instead of going round in circles, I´m going up and down in a straight line...obviously!

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Petrohue
Petrohue
Ancud
Ancud
The myths of Chiloe
The myths of Chiloe
Penguins are great
Penguins are great
Castro
Castro
Ancud
photo by: Riz7