A Travellerspoint blog

Volcan Villarrica- aren't you just Beautiful x

sunny 19 °C

Monday April 9th, 2012

I love my Tio Lucho. Today he is taking us to the base of Volcan Villarrica. This amazing Volcano is one of Chile's most active volcanos. You can tell by the smoke coming out of it from my photo- See it?!?! Lol

Volcan Villarrica

Volcan Villarrica


Volcan Villarrica, Quetrupillan and the Chilean portion of Lanin (Argentina own the other half) are protected by the Villarrica National Park. Villarrica is one of only five volcanoes worldwide known to have an active lava lake within its crater. The upper part of Villarrica is permanently covered by snow and has some 40 km2 of glaciers.

Villarrica is one of the world's most climbed stratovolcanoes. Guided hikes to the crater are offered from the town of Pucón by several tour companies, but tours may be suspended due to cloudiness and in periods of increased volcanic activity. Helicopter sightseeing services offer flights over the crater as well. In the winter (July-September) a ski resort operates on the northern slopes.

Villarrica has erupted in the past. The last two weeks of February in 1964, the volcano was producing small but violent lava effusions followed by temblors. On March 1st at 2.45am Volcan Villarrica erupted.

The dwellers of Coñaripe, a wood-logger town, woke up in the night and fled to the surroundings hills while it was raining after hearing strong noises and temblors. The small town of Coñaripe, which, back then was located on the northwestern shores of Calafquén Lake, had about half of its buildings destroyed and was later reconstructed further east. The proof of this event can still be seen today, as you can drive past the area of the lava flow site- lots of great photo opportunities.
Where the lava passed through...

Where the lava passed through...

There are two different ways to get to Volcan Villarrica- Pucon way or Coñaripe way. We opted to go the Pucon way. Along the way to Pucon, as I mentioned earlier in another post, there are many many spa/ hot spring resorts and camping sites. The start of the road that leads you upto the Volcano is very curvy and can be dangerous, especially during the winter season. A wet and slippery, narrow road, can mean you can easily slide off the edge, so The Villarrica National Park will usually close access to the park if they deem it to be a danger to the public.
Welcome to Volcan Villarrica!!!

Welcome to Volcan Villarrica!!!

Look at her...

Look at her...


It took us roughly an hour to reach the first base. This is where the ski resorts operates from and although there is currently no snow, there's a big cliff that has no safety bar- So I have no idea how they block this off safely so that cars don't accidently just role off!!!

The Volcano looks fantastically amazing up here. Being so close, you can truly appreciate the true beauty of this big giant crater hill. The sand in the area is volcanic and my Tio showed me the difference between a regular, everyday rock to the very light, bubbly looking volcanic rock. Looks like something that belongs on Mars.
Me and my stash of Volcanic rocks muwahahahaa!!!

Me and my stash of Volcanic rocks muwahahahaa!!!


My cousin, My Tio's son, Pato, 22, climbed this Volcano last year with his P.E class. He reached the top of the crater and actually took a photo of the inside and posted it on his Facebook wall. Not only am I impressed he made it up there, but the reception is great!!!
Pato, a very brave man, who has inspired me to conquer it one day. Or atleast come very close to it. I told him and his sister to atleast give me a year to prepare myself. The guided climb takes about 9 hours to complete, which means a very early start. I believe Pato and his group started at 3.30am and climbed it in Autumn, when there is already a large quantity of snow amounting on the mountain

We spent a good hour just staring at it. I also took the opportunity to see the ski field map. I'm pretty keen for Daniel and I to give it ago sometime. It's a long way to the top and the slopes look so smooth to ride... Apart from skiing, other tourist activities on and around the volcano include: hiking, rafting, visiting the hot springs, horse riding, fly fishing and exploring the volcanic caves.
The ski slopes

The ski slopes

Map of the slopes

Map of the slopes

The prices

The prices

Dad and I at the Base

Dad and I at the Base

If you are wanting to visit Pucon, depending on the activities you want to do, to plan and book we'll in advance and this tourist town in Chile's South is very popular with both Chilean and international tourists

Us and Volcan Villarrica

Us and Volcan Villarrica

Posted by chumpette84 11:12 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Valdivia and Niebla

semi-overcast 13 °C

Sunday 8th April, 2012

Valdivia was also victim to the 1960 Earthquake and many of its buildings were severely damaged in the event. The Earthquake, the most powerful ever recorded, at a magnitude of 9.5, generated Tsunamis that affected Japan and Hawaii.

By 1974, Valdivia was declared a province of the Los Lagos Region with Puerto Montt as the regional capital. Many Valdivians resented the decision, and felt theirs should have been the legitimate regional capital—while Valdivia was founded in 1552, and had resisted pirate attacks, hostile natives and several earthquakes, Puerto Montt was a relatively new city founded only in 1853 (three hundred and one years later).

Walking around the town, the German influence is apparent- the typical German architecture and Beer!!! As is Valdivia's high society. Several rivers such as Cau- Cau, Calle- Calle and Cruces, are very famous as they join near the city forming the larger Valdivia River.
Bridge over River Call- Calle

Bridge over River Call- Calle

Under the River Call- Calle Bridge

Under the River Call- Calle Bridge

I love the history of this town, but in all honesty, the reason why I've come to Valdivia is to see their most famous attraction of all- Los Lobos Marinos. At first I thought- WOW- sea wolves and then on closer inspection.... I realised it was the all too cute mighty Sea Lion.

I've come to realise that Lobos Marinos own this town!!! They are absolutely everywhere- sunning themselves, taking a dip in the water, hanging around the fish market for food, playing with the stray dogs, grooming eachother.... apparently they even cross the roads hahaha!!!
Big yawn

Big yawn


Look at them all hanging out...

Look at them all hanging out...


Me and my new little Lobo Amigos

Me and my new little Lobo Amigos


As we were watching a group of them, a stray female Lab mix started barking at them. She decided to jump over to the resting stand they were all tanning themselves on and continued to bark. One Lobo got up and with his enormous size, must've freaked her out alittle, as she backed down and started to run away from him. She couldn't figure out how to jump across back to the bank, so every opportunity she got she would run in front of him and then attempt to jump from the rest post to the bank. On her 5th attempt she made it safely across. Just to get her point across, she barked at the Lobos a few more times before finding her bench and snuggled in for a sleep.

Yea!!! You tell 'em!!!

Yea!!! You tell 'em!!!

The lab mix that got nowhere with Los Lobos Marinos

The lab mix that got nowhere with Los Lobos Marinos


After posing with Los Lobos, we walked around the bay before a boat tour company approached us for a 1 hour boat ride around the river Calle- Calle. We figured it would be a great way to see Valdivia from a different perspective and made our way to the tiny boat. Life jackets are a requirement when riding in any water vehicle, so with all our safety gear on and my winter coat keeping me warm, we started our merry little boat ride.

I am not too keen on boat rides, but dad is, so as long as he enjoyed himself, that was the main thing. We were able to see more Lobos swimming in the water and various water birds. There was the University, a school, private residences and companies which all have the river as their backyards. Alot of Chile's high profile personnel have property in Valdivia and we got to have sneak peek at the locations.
Fish markets

Fish markets

View whilst on the boat ride...

View whilst on the boat ride...

Buildings along the River Calle- Calle

Buildings along the River Calle- Calle

Fishing boats

Fishing boats

Houses

Houses


Cutesy house, although I think it's a college...

Cutesy house, although I think it's a college...

Wood chips anyone?!?!

Wood chips anyone?!?!

The view from our boat

The view from our boat

Let's go Gamble in Valdivia!!!

Let's go Gamble in Valdivia!!!

Calle- Calle

Calle- Calle

Group photo!!!

Group photo!!!

We arrived back to shore around 3pm and as it was time for lunch, we headed past the fish market, where they also had massive sized salmon and found a good restaurant that had various seafood dishes. Lunch was good, we ate salmon a la mantequilla- buttered salmon and god it's delicious. Totally recommend this. It is a very popular dish in seafood restaurants, so you shouldn't have any problems asking for it.

After lunch we headed back to the car as we were going to make our way to Niebla- home to the ruins of a Colonial Spanish Fort and Museum. Before we wen to Niebla, we did a drive by the town of Los Molinos. This is a beautiful little beach town, that has coloured house along the coast. I never imagined Chile had such picturesque towns, especially with ones where the houses are built so close to the cliffs edge. In this area, you will see many of Chile's sea bird called the Jote. At first glance, it resembles a Condor, Chile's national symbol, as it too is black, has a red bald face and quite a big wingspan, but the Jote bird is much smaller in size and does not live in the Andes or Patagonia.
Jote!!!

Jote!!!


Beach in Los Molinos

Beach in Los Molinos

Straight ahead is Australia!!! Hello Home x

Straight ahead is Australia!!! Hello Home x

Love the coloured houses

Love the coloured houses

Los Molinos

Los Molinos

An hour later we arrived in Niebla and the parking guy told us it was free today- we asked why and he didn't know why, so it was win-win!!!
We entered the museum and read the history of the site and walked around looking at the canons, armour, uniforms and weapons that were on display. The dummies they have that display the uniforms are a little freaky... their eyes are so life like. At one stage I bumped into one by accident and said perdon- My auntie just looked at me like I was crazy and laughed.
Dad and me in Niebla

Dad and me in Niebla


The Lighthouse in Niebla

The Lighthouse in Niebla

All canons aligned

All canons aligned

Some remains

Some remains

Dad in Niebla

Dad in Niebla

Dad and the Nieblaens

Dad and the Nieblaens


The Niebla museum is only tiny and you can do it well under an hour. I would go there more for the view from the hill where the lighthouse is located and also it would make a really nice afternoon drive.

We saw alot today and I met some really nice wildlife.
x

Posted by chumpette84 16:59 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Good Friday Empanadas- Mehuin and Queule

overcast 12 °C

Friday April 6th, 2012

Lucky for us, the last few days have been lovely. The suns been shining and the weather has been exceptionally warm, considering we are very close to winter. Today however, the skies have turned and the cold is being alittle unkind.

My uncle and Aunt, were off work as it being Good Friday, so they decided it would be a good day to take us on a drive to the fishing towns of Mehuin and Queule to eat some seafood!!!

Mehuin is a small fishing village and is home to a small fish market. There are also a few restaurants that sell many popular seafood dishes and empanadas de marisco (seafood empanadas- yum, yum, yum!!!)

In 1960 Queule, a tiny beach town in the South of Chile was victim to a Tsunami. My dad was 14 years old and remembered hearing about the panic that everyone experience. In more recent times, on February 27th 2010, the people of Queule, unfortunately, had to go through another Tsunami, which did alot of damage to their village.

The drive took us about 2 hours and when we got there, it was packed with tourists looking for a feed and locals selling their stock. I can imagine on a bright, sunny day that it would be quite picturesque, but the cold and fog today, weren't doing us any favours. We looked through the fish markets to see what their most popular catch was of the day was. I could see alot of salmon. And BIG ones.

We soon found a little restaurant hidden between the market stalls and was absolutely packed. We managed to scramble onto a long wooden table and we soon had the young waiter boy bring us a basket of empanadas de marisco. Along with our meal, he brought us a bottle of 1.5L coke and 4 glasses to pour our drinks into. The empanadas de marisco were very delicious. It was my first time trying this type of empanada and I tell you what, I would totally recommend it if you like seafood.
Mehuin

Mehuin

After lunch, we headed back to the car, where there was a family of dogs hanging around. Mama had her pup, which resembled Monty (then again I just say all dogs resemble my pup Monty) following her around, so I dug into my backpack and found a muesli bar. I broke it into tiny pieces and fed it to them. Atleast they'd be getting a small bite to eat today. It just breaks my heart to see so many strays.
Puppy Monty

Puppy Monty

The town of Queule is only about a 30 minute drive from Mehuin and is a long stretch of beach. My cousin Pilar who lives in Santiago, is from the area and comes here often to holiday with her family. It is a very cutesy town with little beach cabins only the coast. There are Tsunami warning signs everywhere and I can see why. There is nothing to protect this village when a massive wave hits them. All they can do is listen out for the warning sirens and run/ drive up the hills to safety.
Tsunami Warning!!!

Tsunami Warning!!!

Buildings of Queule

Buildings of Queule

Buildings of Queule

Buildings of Queule

My relos tell me just how busy it gets here in summer. Tourists have to book months in advance to secure a holiday cabin or a camping space and alot of locals open up food stalls to make some serious business. Seeing as it's winter now and the coast is quite foggy, it's hard to see the attraction, but I am assured, when summer hits, it's hard to even walk because of the masses of people that visit this part of Chile.
San Pedro- The Saint that protects the Fishermen

San Pedro- The Saint that protects the Fishermen

Town of Queule

Town of Queule

Queule

Queule

Queule

Queule

Queule

Queule

Catching fish in a bottle

Catching fish in a bottle

On the otherside of the beach, there is a small fishing port, where we stopped before making our way back home to Loncoche. There were a couple of families spending their relaxing Friday afternoon catching fish or just walking around taking in the view. The area is worth a drive by visit... and to stock up on seafood empanadas
x

Posted by chumpette84 14:54 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Getting to know the area...

sunny 16 °C

Monday 2nd April, 2012

It's a glorious morning. The air is crispy, the sky is blue and the two cabin dogs that live and guard the premises of the cabins have come out for a play. It's about 9am and I feel only ok. I woke up afew times during the night. I'm certain that jetlag will hit me again around 3pm.

This morning we got to have a real good look around the property we are staying at. The owner, Juan Carlos, came and greeted us in the morning and offered to take us for a ride around the premises in his 4 wheel drive. The property is so big and spacious and he tells us about the future plans he has for his 4 hectares of land. The cabins are only the beginning. He plans on building a resort, with more cabins and a swimming pool. He also wants to offer horse riding and fishing, as there is a river just behind our cabin. I think it will be unreal once it's completed.
Our Cabin!!!

Our Cabin!!!

another of the cabins on the property

another of the cabins on the property


The river behind our cabins

The river behind our cabins

The Stables

The Stables

I also got to officially meet the two dogs that live here. They are both males, one is a German Sheperd, called Barco, and the other like a lab/ rottweiler mix, called Black. They are both friendly, although the rotty mix is alot more playful. Juan Carlos also mentioned how he'd like to start breeding the German Shepherd with the neighbours Sheperds to create super guard puppies!!!
Braco

Braco

Me and Black

Me and Black

The area is just lovely and the scenery is so relaxing to be around. By the time we got back from the drive, Tio was already waiting for us. He was going to take us on a drive around the area, so we can do the touristy thing and take photos and get a feel for the town. We started off in Loncoche, then drove to neighbouring towns, such as Villarrica, Lican Ray, Conaripe and Pucon, a major tourist town.

Loncoche is a small, quiet residential town and just has the necessary shops, such as a grocer, banks, post office and the such. It also has a bus and train terminal, which allows many of the locals to travel longer distances. But to get around town, many either drive or use a bike. Most of my Tio and Tia's family live close by, which I think is great as they are a big family and are able to see eachother more frequently.

Villarricca is about a 30 minute drive from Loncoche. The new highway allows you to arrive quicker and the landscape that you see during the drive is so beautiful. It is all green pastures with cows, pigs and horses on them. There are old houses and new ones being built. Although it's a relatively quiet road, it has alot of bends and cars like to overtake alot.

You'll know when you've arrived in Villarrica. Volcan Villarrica stands high and mighty as you enter the very busy town. Villarrica is the main commercial area for the district and here you will find everything you need. Restaurants, internet cafes, money exchange, several banks, post office, mechanics, corner shops, both grocery and clothing stores, the car registration office, pharmacies... anything really. I really like it here because of the convenience of having everything available in the one place. I do notice though that there's alot of one way streets and you have to pay for parking. The system here is that when you park, a parking patrol guy or girl, will note your number plate. When you are ready to leave, they will come up to you and you have to pay a fee, depending on the length of time you've stayed. But in some cases when you're in a hurry and you can't see them, then you are the one that has to go looking for them!!! Which is abit silly. Once you've paid, you are free to go. I asked my Tio, what happens if you speed off... He said, you can, but then in a few months, you'll get a fine in the mail because this job works alongside the city council, so they know everything!!! dammit haha

I also noticed when we went into the Oriente, which is a grocery store (we went last night for the first time after my relo's picked us up form the Airport)) that you have to weigh the fruit/ vegetables and the bread as it's all self serve. Other countries I've been to that do this is China and Korea. In Australia, the cashier or 'check out chick' does the weighing for you. I didn't realise this, so while dad was in the queue, I had to run back, weigh the apples and bread and then take it over to the cashier to then charge. Come to think of it, Tahiti was like that too when I travelled there with my family about 7 years ago.

After our stop in Villarrica, we continued towards Lican Ray. Again, Lican Ray, or Lican as the locals call it, is a smaller, beachy, touristy town. It has a small shopping district, like Loncoche, with just the necessary shops. It has a beach or lake rather, called Lake Calafquen. The sandy beaches are made up of black volcanic sand. Even when the South of Chile starts to get colder, the Lake tends to stay warm. Surrounding Lake Calafquen are snow capped Volcanoes; the most spectacular one being the Villarrica Volcano. This magnificient volcano can be seen right along the coast and is one of the main reasons why the South of Chile receives so many visitors, both national and foreign, every year.

My Tio and dad with Lake Calafquen

My Tio and dad with Lake Calafquen

Dad, with a farmer working his cows

Dad, with a farmer working his cows


We then decided to drive along lake Calafquen and another 30 minutes from Lican, we arrived in the town of Conaripe. Again, it's a tourist hotspot and my uncle tells me, that all these regions along the coast are a nightmare to drive in the summer time. The amount of people, cars and activity is just plain crazy. There's cabins, camping facilities, canopy, horseriding, restaurants, food huts, boat rentals and more summer entertainment for hire. I can imagine how busy it must get during the warm season, but at the moment, it's very quiet and not many people around.

My Tio, also took us to an area, that when Volcan Villarrica erupted in the 70's, it's lava destroyed everything in it's path and ended up trailing into Lake Calafquen. It truly makes you realise the intense force of nature and how one day, it can all happen again.
Volcan Villarrica

Volcan Villarrica

Where the lava trailed down in the 70's

Where the lava trailed down in the 70's

We found lunch at a local restaurant, which is family owned. I ordered a casuela, which is a soup, with meat, corn, potato, rice, pumpkin and coriander to top it off. Mum makes something similar back home and dad said I would like it. My dad and Tio also ordered a casuela. The day was a little cool, so this would warm us right up. With our food, we also had ayuyas (bread) and sopaipillas, which is like a fried bread made with pumpkin. extremely delicious :)

We were so full after lunch, I could do with a siesta!!! But we continued on to Pucon. The town of Pucon is very famous in the South. This area is home to thermal spas and the ski resort which is located at the foot of Volcan Villarrica. This afternoon however, we thought we'd just have a walk around the town. There is a fery ride, which takes you on an hour journey around lake Calafquen, which I think would be great to do earlier in the day as it's alot warmer than 3pm, which is around the time we'd arrived.
Me with Volcan Villarrica in the background. This was taken in Pucon, just before the ferry terminal.

Me with Volcan Villarrica in the background. This was taken in Pucon, just before the ferry terminal.

We'd been out all day and it was time to drive back home to Loncoche. We'd be going back to my Tio's house for once (dinner) and then he'd take us back to our cabins. Today has been quite amazing. I'm really loving El Sur de Chile x

Posted by chumpette84 15:55 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile trip 2012- feat. mi papá

sunny 17 °C

Sunday 1st April, 2012

Today is the day, my dad and I set out for a 2 month trip of Chile. He is taking me to see all sides of the country. We will be landing in Santiago, then getting a connecting flight to the town of Temuco, which is located in the South. Here my uncle Lucho, will pick us up and take us to his home in Loncoche. We won't be staying with them, but instead, we'll be staying at the Punta Del Sol Cabañas, which are also located in Loncoche and only about a 3 minute drive from my Tio's house.

We had an early flight at 9.20am, which was then delayed until 11.30am. At the counter, while checking-in, the LAN staff told me that my dad and I were seating separately. I told her, no that wasn't right, as I chose my seats last night and had everything confirmed. Plus the flights were booked under the same booking reference, so there'd be no reason to why we wouldn't be seated together. She had to discuss this with her supervisor, so we had to wait a few minutes until her Sup was able to come over. After going through everything again, they confirmed that dad and I would be sitting together... I don't really know why that happened. I'm assuming the LAN lady was new and didn't really know what she was doing... After confirming everything, we settled at our cafe for some breakfast. Dad was super excited, but I was feeling abit nervous. Chile, although I've been twice before, is relatively new to me. I was younger when I came here last, and back then, I didn't really appreciate travelling like I do now. I also haven't really gone outside of Santiago. And this time round, I'll be travelling without my travel companion- Daniel; which made me sad, because this is going to be our first trips without each other. While I'm in Chile, he will be holidaying in Cambodia for his R&R, with his friend Mick.

It soon came time to say goodbye to our family and make our way to the customs lines. I should be getting VIP service due to the number of times I've done this haha!

We had about an hour before boarding time, so I said to dad, let's go to the Qantas Lounge. It'll be an experience for you- free food and drinks. He won't argue with that. While dad went to get some food, I logged on to send Daniel a message and to let him know we were doing well and that I'd try to give him a call from New Zealand, which is where we would need to do a stop over for 45 minutes.

It was time to walk over to our gate and I noticed it wasn't very busy with passengers, so we checked the TV screen again and as I suspected, they changed our boarding gate. Don't ask me when that happened because it wasn't announce at the lounge. As we lined up, I told dad that we didn't have to line up in economy, as we could line up in the Business Line. He was majorly impressed.

We settled into our LAN Chile Aircraft seats and were greeted by the friendly staff. The flight was good, but alittle disruptive due to some turbulence 15 minutes into the trip. It soon settled back down and breakfast was served. Before we knew it, we had entered NZ airspace and would dock there for just under an hour.

With the flight delay in Sydney, I was abit concerned about our connecting flight in Santiago. I was crossing my fingers we'd be alright and still have time to clear immigration, collect our bags, meet Jose (my cousin) to give him one of our luggage bags and then make it to the boarding gates... all that in 1 hour? We were pushing it, so I was already planning what to do in my head.

We soon had to board our flight, which would see us through to Santiago at 2.30pm the same day.

..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................

We arrived well into Santiago. The picturesque view from the plane over The Andes is amazing. It is so breathtaking, although this time, they didn't have alot snow coverage. It's obvious it's been quite dry here this season.

As we came out of the terminal, we had to go through Immigration to pay for our entry Visa fee, which was $90.00 per person. That line took forever, as they only had two cashiers working it. We then opted to go to the money exchange to get us some Chilean Pesos. Dad had some money saved from his last trip to Chile, but that was only going to last us a few days. Dad knew, from experience, that in the Airport and in the city centre of Santiago, always pay a better exchange rate, so we changed over enough to see us through to the next 2 weeks, which is roughly about the time we plan to stay in the South.

We then went to collect our luggage and passed customs before going up to level 3 to the Domestic flights or Vuelos Nacionales to check-in for our 4.30pm Temuco flight. So far our timing was good. I didn't quite know what to do about our tickets, as I only had our Itinerary and I wasn't too sure where we had to line up. I couldn't see the LAN Chile checkouts anywhere, and the TV screen only showed which gate number you had to go in, so not much help. In all that commotion, dad managed to get through to Jose on his mobile and he soon met with us just outside the ticket booths. I haven't seen Jose in so long. He's looking really good- happy and healthy. He said the kids and Pilar (his wife) couldn't come, but we'll be seeing them in a few weeks anyway, so it was OK. I left dad talking with Jose and I went to the LAN counter and asked them about the tickets. They told me it's all self serve, so with my ticket ID number, which was on the Itinerary, I had to go punch in the details at the self serve computers and my tickets would be printed off. I then had to go to the check-out counters (he pointed to where that was) line up and just check- in as normal. Easy. Atleast now I know for next time.

Jose waited for us while we checked-in and then hang around for 15 minutes until we had to head on inside to board. The flight to Temuco was packed, which is alittle unusual for the cooler months, but with the Easter holidays next weekend, alot of people are travelling to be with their families for those days of rest.

Like our LAN flight from Sydney to Santiago, dad and I were seated in different sections. I still don;t understand why because again, these domestic flights were booked under the same reference. I didn't bother changes seats on this flight as it was only an hour long and at this stage we both just wanted to relax. Dad's seats were called in first as he was in the back. My seats were then called in and I soon settled into my window seat. I don't usually like the window seats because I like being able to just get up without disturbing anyone, but I was so tired by this stage I just plonked my head next to the window and with my cushy pillow, fell asleep....

The flight only took an hour and we soon made a safe arrival to the Airport of Temuco. It's so tiny lol. We walked over to the luggage collection carousel and we could see our family waving at us. There was no customs or checking points. We collected our bags and for the first time, I met my Tio Lucho, Tia Mona, Milena (their daughter) who is about my age and Agustine (her baby son, who's a real cutie) We huddled into the car and prepared ourselves for the hour car ride to Loncoche.

The landscape is very green and full of trees. Like a forest really. It very beautiful and not at all what I imagine. You must understand that I've only seen Santiago and well, to me, Santiago is just like and looks like any other major city. The South of Chile is so different and a real contrast to the Chile I knew. They tell me the South of Chile or 'El Sur' is what the real Chile is. I love it already.

I manage to stay awake for the entire car ride!!! That's a first haha. We made a short stop in Villarrica for some grocery shopping at the 'Oriente' Grocery store. Here we bought some supplies, such as milk, bread, juice, some snacks and the ever important, toilet paper. My family welcomed us into their home, where we had some dinner or 'once' as it's called here, which is more of a supper, consisting of tea with ayuya or marraquatas, a Chilean bread with ham, cheese or jam.

After Once, they all drove us to our cabins (cabañas) which is where we will call home for the next two weeks. It was now late at night, around 9.30pm. We haven't slept properly for two days, so it'll be so good to have a long hot shower and then fall asleep. Tomorrow is another day- we'll be doing alot of exploring
x

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It's 3am and jetlag has hit. I can't sleep. As I force myself to dooze off, I can hear these duck type birds singing, the horses neighing and the neighbourhood dogs all howling in tune. It all feels very surreal.

Posted by chumpette84 17:27 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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