Last day in El Bolsón

28 02 2009
Hops farm

Hops farm

We enjoyed our time here in El Bolsón.  They have a hippy farmers market, where we looked at jewelry, ate excellent empanadas and sampled beers from the local micro-breweries.  The empanadas in Chile just aren’t the same as those here in Argentina, where we think they are the best.  While we have been a little underwhelmed by the vegetables in Argentina compared to those we found in Chile, the jam here is excellent.  They also make some really good local cheese. Read the rest of this entry »





Cerro Hielo Azul-El Bolsón

27 02 2009
Rió Azul

Rió Azul

We came to El Bolsón to do a short backpacking trip in Patagonia, drink locally made beer, and eat some of their famous fruits and chocolates.  The trip we chose to do is the Cerro Hielo Azul (Blue ice mountain) down here in the mountains of Patagonia. Read the rest of this entry »





Puerto Montt to El Bolsón

23 02 2009
El Bolson

El Bolsón

We returned to mainland Chile at the port city of Puerto Montt. We saw the fish markets and markets with smoked oysters and seaweed.  We walked around the docks of the port and considered our options to eventually get to Torres del Paine, way down in southern Chile.  We had considered taking the ferry from the south of Chiloe island, over to Chaiten, then over into Argentina and down to Torres del Paine by bus.  But Chaiten Volcano began erupting again while we were in Castro, so that wasn’t an option anymore.

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National Park of Chiloé

22 02 2009
Alexa at the beach

Alexa at the beach

We took a day trip from Castro over to the National Park of Chiloé, on the other side of the island, exposed to the Pacific.  This area is known for getting lots of rain and the humid Tepú coastal forests.  The coast here is similar to the Oregon coast, lots of rain and fog, which produces thick vegetation and dunes near the beach.  We walked through the tepú forest, then through the thick underbrush and out to the dunes and to the beach for a picnic of wine and empanadas.

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Castro, Chiloé Island

21 02 2009
Island of Chiloé

Island of Chiloé

We took a bus from Puerto Varas (a nice lakeside town with more German architecture, food, beer and immigrants) to the Island of Chiloé, via Puerto Montt.  Chiloé is famous for it’s colorful waterside houses, wooden churches, seafood, liquor de oro, remote rainy coastlines and as the alleged geographic origin of the potato. Read the rest of this entry »





Forest of the Araucaria

19 02 2009
Monkey puzzle

Monkey puzzle tree

The Araucaria District of Chile (just north of the Lakes District) has many volcanic peaks, in addition to ridges of basalt from volcanic activity and hotsprings. The soil is dark and fertile, supporting a diverse temperate rainforest and highland forests. Lower elevations have many types of southern beech (coigue, roble, etc) and canelo (from the magnolia family) trees, which look like hardwood trees from rainforests, and often have vines climbing on them.

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Pucon

17 02 2009
Villarrica Volcano

Villarrica Volcano

Pucon is a mix of the playground of the wealthy of Chile and an ‘extreme sports’ outdoor town.  The streets are lined with either high-end shopping (Reebok, Adidas, Patagonia -of course-, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Da Kine, Billabong, etc.), fancy restaurants or guide services.  You can do it all here: rafting, climbing the volcano, paintball, horseback riding, mountain biking, zip lines, sailing, partying on the beach at the lake, etc.  Read the rest of this entry »