Patagonia – the first stops

We are taking about a month to travel through the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. At first, we were travelling quite quickly likely because we were mildly panicked about the amount of ground to cover. Now, we are only a couple of stops away from the most southern (inhabited) city in the world with about 14 days to go. Leaving us time to relax, hike and enjoy the solitude of this beautiful area.

Our route has been criss crossing between Chile and Argentina (make the most of the fact we had to pay reciprocal fees for both countries).

From Santiago, we took an overnight bus to Pucon. Pucon is a small very touristy town whose main attraction is Volcano Villarrica. It is still an active volcano and is truly the centerpiece that you are able to spend a day climbing. Dani was still on hiking strike at that time and I feared it would be a bit too difficult and technical for me. It sure was pretty to look at though.

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I was also totally wiped from not being able to sleep on the bus. Dani on the other hand slept peacefully as she always does. Speaking of, Dani’s ability to sleep never ceases to amaze me. For her birthday, we went to the thermal waters outside of Pucon. They were so peaceful and lovely. Dani, honest to goodness, fell asleep on a rock in the water!

Next stop, Puerto Varas! This is a small little tourist town as well. A major difference about this town is the huge German influence. There are many European style homes and an enormous church. The biggest benefit to us was the abundance of cakes! (Obviously I don’t have any photos of those…because that would be evidence I ate them)

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We were originally going to stay two nights but changes our minds because we were so excited about Chiloe.

Chiloe is better served with photos. It truly was a magical and so different. There is a strong folklore culture that still exists and many of the paintings in the churches reflect this (Jesus on a dragon?) I wish I could have captured photos of this but out of respect did not.

From Chiloe, we traveled to Bariloche, Argentina. This was our first stop in Argentina. Bariloche is part of the lake district and again a wonderfully beautiful city. The lake was so pristine. Again, a very heavy German influence. Bariloche made news some years ago as being a haven for Nazi war criminals. It always surprises me when I am in one country and there are things that I associate with others. Bariloche has huge St Bernard dogs for you to have you photo taken with and a bazillion chocolate shops. We spent three days here hiking, taking a gondola to a mountain summit and preparing ourselves emotionally for a 30 hour bus ride. To be continued….

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