Lakes crossing to Chile
Puerto Blest Travel Blog› entry 19 of 72 › view all entries
For our passage to
The bus takes about 5 hours to go over the
While booking, the travel agency guy could not speak English, so again, another educational experience. As far as we could work out we were staying in Puerto Blest, but did not know what hotel etc – but hey, we would figure it out along the way.
At 8:30 (half an hour late which caused a little concern again due to the language question) the bus arrived to collect us for the trip to the boat. The next people to board were an Australian couple who had been on the Estancia Christina outing with us in El Calafate. Small world. In between they had been to
The boat trip took an hour to get to Puerto Blest with rambling Spanish over the intercom the whole way.
We dropped our stuff, after checking in, and had a bite to eat. If we were on the day trip we would not have been too impressed as they basically herd you into a little park information centre and then the restaurant at the hotel and force you to choose from a set menu before the rest of the day’s activities will go on.
We decided to avoid the rest of the “guided” tour and go off for a walk to the waterfall (cascada los cantaros) which is the local attraction that the bus tour people get to later.
When we were walking back along the lake beach the bus our group started arriving and heading towards the falls so we were glad we had managed to avoid them – anyway, we will see the rest when we continue tomorrow.
The evening had a bit of a “end of the world” feel again, where it was us and 4 other guests in the hotel in total. We were waiting for supper (and it does get pitch black here as you can imagine) and had to wait for them to open the dining room – at 8:30??? Who knows.
I know everyone raves about Argentinian steaks, but I must say I have not been impressed. The quality of the meat is good and it is lean, but there is not much in the way of flavour. Anyway, I will persevere to find the right steak to go with the bottles of wine…
At the end of our dinner they gave us a complementary bottle of something called cruzdiablo which is a semi sparkling sweet wine. Not too bad surprisingly. And very nice of them too. When we chatted to the Aussie couple who stayed in Peulla they said their meal was awful and they also had to wait until after 8 before anything opened.
As Kat and I had picked up mild colds we decided not to go for a hike in the morning and instead spent the time chilling. Good thing too, as the guide had told us we would continue at 1:15, when they in fact get us to leave the hotel before 11 the next day to take a bus.
The bus took us to Puerto Frias which is another little lake, which is an unbelievable milky lime green colour. Where do they come up with this stuff? If you went to Disney World and they had half the thing we have seen on this trip you would not believe it.
A short hop boat trip from there and then through Argentine customs before another bus trip up from 700m to 970m at the top of the Andes and the border of Chile (together with the 1 hour time change) and then down to 150m at Peulla.
We arrived in Peulla in time for a bit to eat (surprise) before taking the (1hr 45min) boat trip across the lake to Petrohue (2nd last stop). The difference in cost is evident when you go from
The view on the boat trip is again impressive with great views of mountains, waterfalls and Mt Osorno volcano, which is at the end of the trip.
On then to the next adventure, for us to find a place to stay in Puerto Varas. As with the rest of our tour, we have not booked accommodation anywhere – just arrive and find, which always brings a sense of excitement to the arrival section.
Those of you who know my fetish for sunset photos will be happy to note that we were stuck on a bus for the period of sunset over the lake with the volcano in the background as I would probably have subjected you to another 500 odd shots of the same sunset.
Well, asked the bus driver for a recommendation and ended up with a pretty nice spot – Gran Reserva Hotel which looks out over the bay from
Overall the lakes crossing is impressive, but I think the one day option would be plenty. On the 2 day they just make you wait for a day in an isolated hotel. The views make it worthwhile though.