Driving

Puerto Varas Travel Blog

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Volcano Osorno - my favourite pic

One of the trips that John had suggested included a drive down to the south east, past Puerto Montt, down to one of the more wild areas. So off we set in the morning for a little off road adventure again.

 

Getting to Puerto Montt was pretty easy. I understand that PM is the fastest growing city in Chile at the moment with population around the 175-200k mark. A bit of urban sprawl and pollution from the night time wood fires was all we saw as we went along the eastern outskirts on our way through.

 

Then along a coastal road to through a number of small random towns.

Sunset O
John had told us about the Alerce Andino national park where there is an impressive hotel only accessible by 4x4 (or hiking) so we thought we would take a little drive through and see if we could find it. Drove the road. No signs – lots of exit roads but none that we thought were worth a hike up to the snowline to check if they were the right one, so we just continued down the road.

 

Further on down the road until we got to the end. Really. From Puerto Arena there is only a ferry. Luckily at the little local shop the owner called Paola was very friendly and helpful and gave us the guidance that we needed plus a welcome cup of coffee to get us on our way for the 45 minute ferry crossing to the other side of the fjord (as in Fjord Fjarlane) on a ferry called Trauco. Trauco is, to quote the Footprint guidebook, a small, foul smelling creature who goes around impregnating virgins. I know a couple of those…

 

What we forgot was that this was actually our first sighting of the pacific ocean.

Bridge without name?
Strange and windswept countryside meeting it. Also random horses on the side of the road.

 

Once across we just followed the single track road past the odd house (they did not seem to be linked to any towns), the odd person (they looked pretty odd), some cows, pigs and sheep, wooden bridges over rivers, and some pretty impressive scenery until we got to the hamlet of Puello. To give the SA people an idea of the drive, think Chapmans Peak drive in Cape Town. On gravel. Single lane. No barriers. Sheer drop on the left, rock face on the right.

 

You can see we are getting a bit lake-jaded. But this was different. It was a fjord. Everything in Chile seems just a little less organised and 1.5 times the price.

 

Then through a couple of mountain passes to Ensenada again at the foot of Mt Osorno and back home in time for another awesome sunset. This time we were prepared though and you will be happy to know that I managed at least 50 shots of the same sunset. But it was beautiful… We have been making friends along the way again. There are always a lot of dogs running around and this time one followed us all the way from the hostel to the beach, even crossing roads with quite heavy traffic, climbing over a waist high railing and then coming and curling up at our feet in the pebbles. When people walked past he even growled at them. Very protective.

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Volcano Osorno - my favourite pic
Volcano Osorno - my favourite pic
Sunset O
Sunset O
Bridge without name?
Bridge without name?
Lake with no volcano!!!
Lake with no volcano!!!
Lake with volcano!!!
Lake with volcano!!!
Polar bear and the other 4x4s on …
Polar bear and the other 4x4's on…
And I shall call him Mini Me
And I shall call him "Mini Me"
Hey, look, nothing - its over ther…
Hey, look, nothing - its over the…
Beach phoon
Beach phoon
Not bad for an afternoon drive
Not bad for an afternoon drive
I told you there would be sunsets
I told you there would be sunsets
Puerto Varas
photo by: ulysses