Puerto Varas, Chile to the Airport Monday January 16, 2017

Good morning!

Once again a lovely breakfast spread.

We didn’t have champagne at breakfast, but we might have if we wanted to.

The rain clouds rolled in and their were no volcanos to be found anywhere. You can’t expect beautiful weather every day while on vacation!

Good bye to one of the staff. She was the waitress at breakfast this morning and not the bruja. Notice the lack of broom.

Good bye beautiful front gardens.

Open Sesame and good-bye Quincho.

We are off now to see Fruitillar. This was a community like Puerto Varas that was settled by Germans in the early 19th century. After the Napoleonic Wars Spain had little money left and said to Chile that they could have their independence. It costs too much money to take care of you!

So the government of Chile asked people to come. The British and Germans came gladly to settle the country. The British stayed in the cities and the Germans went to farm in the country. They fell in love with the Lake District as would you if you came to visit.

This farm had the cows grazing right next to the house!

The farmland goes right down to the lake. Farming has so many challenges and it is difficult to earn money as dairy farmers. The farming life is not so popular and many of the farmers are selling some of the land for vacation homes, or for those that want to start new businesses in Puerto Varas.

This house was being gutted from the inside and the frame was kept. These. are not tear downs as the owners want to keep the historic outside.

Another house in need of repair.

So we arrive in Fruitillar. This house is owned by someone very wealthy. They have a great view of the lake. The living room drapes were up inviting passers by to cross the street and admire the furniture.

Of course I would cross the street! Here the lady of the house would sit with her friends and eat Pflaumenkuchen (plum cake) and keep up with all the news. I think I could fit in very well. I could seriously have a good time here!

(The New York Times has the recipe. Google-Recipe Original Plum Torte New York Times. It is easy and delicious)

So Isabel is explaining to Steve why Fruitillar is so well preserved. Something about some wealthy families who own a lot of the land and don’t want development. Or at least I think so.

Really neat old houses.

This one was also an inn.

More explaining. If I didn’t take so many pictures, I would know what is going on!

It’s a cake store, but not open yet.

It was cool and the weatherman predicted rain at 11:00.

See how visible my new red Patagucci jacket is? Now Steve will always be able to find me.

Isabel is short, but the hydrangeas are still big!

Yankee-Way! Now you can speak Chilean also!

Orsono is someplace behind the clouds!

Red Hot Pokers?

Love it!

Off to the museum to see how the German immigrants lived. museoastral.cl

A closeup of the famous shingles that the area homes used in their. construction. These were from a tree that was more widespread in the past, but is now a protected species. They no longer make shingles with this wood. You could get a lot of money on a tear down of one of the homes with these shingles.

This map shows you the development of the community on Lago LLanquihue. Lago is Spanish for Lake. The dark brown is the original town.

Steve giving you a demonstration on how light the slats were. He does have the top of a head, I just didn’t center my picture properly.

A fuchsia bush!

A carriage from a later era than my Regency Romance novels. This gentleman was rich, the seat cushions look well padded, and the carriage looked like it was well sprung!

These hydrangeas are even bigger than I am posing in my lovely red Patagucci jacket!

The kitchen in one of the old house replicas.

The bedroom upstairs with the bed warmer sitting on the coverlet and the chamber pot on the floor.

Somehow Isabel got me to climb a small hill and some stairs.

Here are some of the blossoms, all on one Hydrangea plant!

By this time I had enough of wandering around in the cold. “No Mas!” I told Isabel. So Fernando brought the car around and we went off for coffee.

Our next stop was the Performing Arts Center in Fruitillar, Teatro del Lago. It cost $25 million to build. The outside is a replica of the wooden sheds that the Germans who bounded this community built to store their boats. This picture was from a cover of a book in the lobby of the Center.

So off we went for a coffee.

The outside of the building looked so pretty with many types of wood.

A Cappuccinni Cappuccino! It tasted as good as it looked!

Steve was so happy.

Isabel was pretending to be interested in what Steve had to say.

We had a plane to catch, but first we had a tour of the building scheduled. We were getting worried. In Chile you don’t have to be too early to catch your flight. We were still worried.

This art work hanging form the ceiling represents piano keys.

The man on the right is the artistic director for the center. He got us into see the main auditorium instead of having to wait with the rest of the big group. Check out the leg room and the width of the seats!

The main theatre seats 1178 people.

Upper floor seating is best for seeing the dance patterns in a ballet. The front is best for seeing the hands of pianists and the musical instruments. All seats are equally great to hear the music.

We got to take a peak at a youth choir practicing. Children from all over Chile receive dance and music scholarships. On a beautiful day you can see the lake and the volcanos through the glass windows behind this stage surround.

Good bye LLanquihue Lake!

Goodby German Museum.

Goodby humongous white hydrangeas by utility poles.

On the way to the airport Isabel showed us some pictures of the volcanic eruption that they had a view years ago.

Incredible.

Isabel’s husband on LLanquihue cool as a cucumber.

Neat!

This is from Isabel’s girlfriend from Puerto Montt. It looks like computer generated images from a movie.

Hello pouring rain on the way to the airport.

We finally got through all the airport lines and got to our gate to wait for the plane. Isabelle had asked her favorite baker to make us a lunch with love. Steve wanted to eat it in the car, or at least check it out, but I shook my head no. I told him we couldn’t, we had to check it out at the airport. I didn’t want Isabel to see unhappy faces if we hated the lunch.

I had a sneaking suspicion that I would not enjoy the sack lunch. I was right, it did not appeal to me at all. Dark bread, cream cheese, tomato and dill. Where is there a good deli when you need one?

The pumpkin muffin was meh.

I saved the raisin nut mix for later.

Of course the water bottle that I opened was not still water, but water with gas. So much gas, that the water bottle gushed water all over. My pants got wet, but not my upper body as that was protected by my Patagucci Gore-Tex jacket!

Steve bought some almonds for his lunch. He didn’t eat any of the sack lunch Isabel provided.

Our plane finally showed up. The gate for our tripmkept on changing and we had to keep a sharp eye on that.

We were amused by the snack cart. I can’t imagine anyone buying a cheese wheel to bring with them on the plane. Perhaps it was a gift to be brought to someone when you got off the plane.

What I did find amusing was this lady trying to bring pool noodles on the plane!

Steve was happy the lady with the noodles wasn’t sitting next to him.

What time do you usually have your first drink made from alcohol?

When was the last time a cow was in your front yard?

Don’t you thank God everyday that inside plumbing was invented?

This will be the last part of the South American trip for a week. Steve and I are off to Abaco again, so I will be blogging about that. We are bringing our friends M and G with us. Hopefully M will get in lots of interesting situations that I can blog about.

Puerto Varas, Chile Sunday January 15, 2017

Here is a recently active volcano. It is called Calbucco. It erupted two years ago. It spewed ash, not lava. Unlike Orsono is does not have a glacier on the summit as it has erupted frequently. No one died as all residents behaved properly and evacuated.

You can see how unafraid we are. We have a very fast and competent driver!

This is the ash.

The pumice was quite light.

Today we are going to see the first national park of Chile, walk in the lava fields of Orsono, and go to see some waterfalls!

Next we drive to the first National Park in Chile. The Green Lagoon.

Very tall beech trees.

The water was so green.

I loved the reflection of the trees.

The Laguna Verde has gotten stagnant due to the lowering of the lake levels. As this is a national park they can not enlarge the channel.

Here Isabel is telling us the myth of LLanquihue.

Once there was a beautiful maiden. Her head is the right part of the mountain. She was laid to to appease the spirits of the mountains. (Her breasts are in the cloud bank.) Her heart was removed and tossed into the volcano. Her loving prince who couldn’t save her in time turned himself into a condor and circles the volcanos to this day looking for her heart. Very sad.

Orsono is in the background. Getting closer!

We stop to examine a fissure where excess steam can escape. More husbands need this. This is a linear volcanic vent through which lava erupts, usually without any explosive activity.

Here is what is called a false volcano. It is not the main eruption point.

Almost to the parking lot where we will start our hike.

The parking lot elevation, longitude and latitude. We’ve are at almost the exact latitude as Poughkeepsie, except south of the equator. It could be downhill from here, but of course it is not.

The ski area on the side of the Volcano Orsono. It’s summer now, so only hiking, no skiing.

Volcanic ash.

Let’s follow the ash road and see where it shall lead us.

Steve in his sexy floppy hat to keep his face protected from the sun. Mine is just as bad!

There was a rain storm and much of the ash eroded.

They call this the iron hill, due to the iron deposits.

Some of the steps were tricky. You had to watch where you were going or you could get your foot twisted in the log supports and take a tumble.

Steve admiring the view on the way up. That hat doesn’t look so bad from this angle.

Slow and steady and I just might make it to wherever Isabel says is as high as we will go.

Yay ! We are done! No why didn’t someone reframe the picture so that lady wasn’t in it?

This is as far as we got. Thank heavens! Not the top, but who carries ice crampons in their luggage? That hat looks especially bad from this angle.

Our high point. This ascent was enough for me.

So here Steve and I stand with Argentina behind us. That is Volcan Puntiagudo behind us. Do you know how long that took me to learn? It even looks like we are above the clouds!

This lady is waiting at the zip line jump off spot. No thank you, although I was awfully tired of walking.

Steve and Isabel just before we make a left to head down to the parking lot.

Take that you volcanic pile of dirt!

Isabel is leading us down. She is in terrific shape as she takes guests on this hike a couple of days a week. Maybe this is why she said it was such a short walk!

Here is a lousy job. Volcanic ash shoveler.

Just a little bit more down the hill! Ha!

Wait! Nobody told me we could take the chair lift up!

I swear I am going to kill Isabel!

They are leaving me in the volcanic ash dust.

Almost to the parking lot as we can see plants.

Isabel is telling us that the parking lot is just ahead.

Steve’s sneakers were full of ash.

In the background on the deck is the actor Anthony Daniels, who played C3PO in the Star Wars movies. He had been on the same hike that we did to the Verde Laguna. I did not recognize him as he wasn’t wearing his gold costume from the movie!

Good bye Orsono!

Down to sea level from the slopes of Orsono, we see bamboo trees again.

Lunch will be at Don Salmon.

Isabel leads the way in.

We were ushered to a table with a lovely view of LLanquihue Lake. It was too cold and windy to eat outside.

Empanadas with pico de gallo.

One must always look at the dessert bar first!

Food!

Food!

And more food!

My mixed assortment of a lot of different stuff to eat. No dessert pictures, they were hard to plate and I made a mess.

Steve liked this display, I wonder why!

Gaucho hats used by the staff to wave people driving down the highway into the restaurant parking lot. On our first day in the town of Puerto Varas we noticed many people with signs stating “House to Rent”. Can you imagine? You have no idea what you are getting into. The place could be a dump! Even worse, you could find an axe murderer waiting for you in the house you want to rent for a weekend! No thank you!

This place was similar to an upscale Cracker Barrel Restaurant, except it was a buffet.

Shirts for sale imported from China with Gander Mountain New Jersey label!

Parking lot was halfway full when we left. An hour later when we drove by again it was totally full. The hat wavers had returned to other duties.

So we get back into the car. Francisco our trusted driver will hopefully step on the gas and get us out of trouble if their are any volcanic eruption warnings!

Our next stop is to the famous Chilean waterfalls named after the horse fly! Thankfully we were not bothered by them.

This is an illustration that is hard to read as I had a bad reflection from the sun. The lakes flow from left to right and then into the inner Chilean sea that then flows into the Pacific. The Andes mountains are in the background.

This is just a side channel of the real falls.

The best is still yet to come. This creek was dry a few weeks ago.

Orsono to the left middle. Lago Llanquihue on the bottom. The falls drain from Lagos Todos dos Santos. Aqui is where we are.

Notice the German on the sign. The area was settled by German in the 1850’s. More on that tomorrow.

Todos dos selfies y el Rio in elbackgroundo. Doesn’t that sound Chilean?

Now how pretty is that?

I’m trying to get you to ignore the railing.

A double volcano with double waterfall and double Lant shot. Can this be topped? I don’t think so! Don’t forget the double sunglasses and tan pants! If only I had a plaid shirt.

It was crazy crowded. Isabel says every Chilean visits here once in their lifetime. It was not a bad walk at all. Lots of pretty waterfalls and rushing water. Plus volcanos in the background!

That water was a lovely shade of green.

There were a few guards around to prevent people from being stupid and standing on the fences to take selfies. No guards in this picture, they must have been chasing away somebody else!

Doesn’t Steve look like he is crazy in love with me? Or do you think it is gas?

Can you figure out what this means?

Obviously these Chileans don’t follow the rules. They could be Argentinians on a day trip. Isabel was always shaking her head about people that that. She thought they were from Argentina. Steve’s feet are fully behind the red line. Both of us are sticklers about rules, especially me!

Many salmon live here. Fishing is only allowed further downstream.

Isabel is explaining the rock formations. The lower rocks are in a fan shape. The upper layer is in a horizontal layer. This shows you that there has been geological movement of the rocks.

We headed back to the car as we have had enough hiking.

Isabel needed a pick-me-up, so it was Mate time.

You knew I would take some if offered, didn’t you?

Hmm, looks like I was in need of an upper lip waxing when I got home!

Steve tried it also, he didn’t go for seconds.

We needed to drive back to Puerto Varas before we returned to our hotel as I somehow managed to leave my rain jacket in Coyhaique. I emailed our travel agent to see if it could be located in Coyhaique and then sent to me care of the Ritz Carlton when we returned to Santiago later in the week. We knew that if we brought a new jacket mine would be found and returned. If we didn’t get one it would pour on our trip to Easter Island and the Galapagos. So since I might have accidentally on purpose (not) left my jacket in Coyhaique we went to the Patagucci site in town and got me a beautiful red Goretex jacket. It is so beautiful and has many special flourishes (hidden pockets, an elongated hood to protect my proboscis from the rain)! It is bright red so that Steve will always be able to locate me! I am so in love with it. It was even on sale! Only 219,000 Chilean dollars! I do wish they would do something about all the zeros in their prices!

We never did dip our toes in Lago LLanquihue. It did look very popular, with many people frolicking on the beach.

Isabel was enjoying her Mate break. The drink is not served hot, but very warm. It has an herbal taste to it and gives you quite a jolt of alertness. It used to be given to the miners, to keep them alert and happy while they were on the job.

We returned to Quincho with my new love, a red Patagucci rain jacket. In case you don’t know or already know, and want to be reminded, Patagonia products are affectionately or derisively called Patagucci. I must admit that I am not as cool as I thought, as I did not know they were called Patagucci until I met Isabel. It’s a play on the words Patagonia and Gucci!

Let’s take a walk around the grounds before dinner. Come along. Let’s start in the back.

One of the fence posts covered by lichens.

Our room was on the second floor. It had a lovely view of LLanquihue.

Another view of the back of the house. We were the only guests staying there Sunday night, so it was as if we had the whole house for ourselves!

Gorgeous hydrangeas!

There were some red bushes down a path. I told Steve we would not go down the path, as that meant we would have to go back up on the way back!

Another view of the back of the house. I looked up our room on the internet and we are staying in the honeymoon suite!

Pretty pink and whites.

They don’t have deer problems here!

This purple color I am so crazy about!

Steve enjoying the view. He told me we should buy property here. I told him he is nuts. Better to vacation and not have any worries.

Purple.

Purple pink?

Lilac colored.

Fuschia.

These yellow flowers were in a vase in our room. Isabel used to work here and she called the woman on the housekeeping staff a Bruja-a witch who does magic and straightens everything out.

We have now moved to the front of the property.

They even had a soccer field where the young children of the family played when they lived here ten years ago.

The barn where the crew shells were stored. Maybe they had the barbecues here?

The front of the house.

Window on the right is above the jacuzzi in our room and the one on the left is in the walk in closet. The room was humongous!

It was just the two of us at dinner tonight.

The blue white hydrangeas on the dinner sill.

Fresh rolls.

I had the sweet squash pie with blue cheese.

Steve had Chilean Hake Seviche to start.

Steve had the grilled trout, corn pie and grilled vegetables. (Yes, that does look like an omelette!)

I had veal filet for my entree with vegetables, potatoes and Chilean sea weed (bull kelp). I circled the bull kelp for you as I knew you were curious!

We had creme brûlée for dessert. I have never had one so soupy before, but I still finished it!

What color purple do you like the best?

Are you team Star Wars, or team Star Trek?

Did you think bull kelp was seaweed or something else entirely?

Puerto Varas, Chile Saturday January 14, 2017

Our driver and our guide Isabel meet us at the airport in Puerto Montt to bring us to the town of Puerto Varas located on the shore of Lago LLanquihue. Lago means Lake. Llanquihue is pronounced “Yankee-Way”! The town has become quite a popular place to live and the townspeople tell all their friends who don’t live here “You don’t want to come here, it is a terrible place to stay!”. They are hoping that the place does not get bigger and change in a bad way.

We drive down the driveway with beautiful purple hydrangeas to our hotel for the next two nights, Quincho Casa. Quincho means Barbecue, and there is a large barn on the property where the former owners used to host barbecues. Now the house has been renovated to be a four bedroom hotel.

We enter the main room and are offered a glass of Sauvignon blanc.

We are staying in the Ibis room. This is the former owner’s master bedroom.

In the entry way is a tray of fresh fruit.

Too pretty to eat!

Our room before it is trashed with our clothes strewn all over with me looking for my rain slicker that I seem to have misplaced.

The bed with beautiful woven pillows and blanket.

Fresh flowers from the gardens.

Our view of the Orsono Volcano from our room.

Here’s a closer view. You can see this volcano from town also. I think it would be exciting to live near a lake the size of Lake Tahoe, with active volcanos nearby. Orsono is inactive, but there are other active volcanos nearby.

The view towards Lago Llanquihue.

One side of the walk in closet. I am not sure what the racks on the lower left are for. Since I don’t have such a fancy closet at home I wouldn’t know.

The two person bath tub.

Here is a picture of the bathtub. It even has a mirror in it in case you want to shave or reapply your lipstick!

The sink area, no picture of the toilet or the shower that looked like it was big enough for four people! I love those heated towel bars.

We descended the stairs to go to dinner. The staircase was a work of art, with a beautiful curving handrail. This place must have cost a fortune to build!

Our table awaits. It is so nice to be able to eat dinner at the hotel and not run into town and look for a restaurant.

We had a lovely view of the volcano from our table at dinner.

Fresh rolls. We had four, but Steve grabbed one before I could take a picture!

Fresh greens.

I had the venison with squash. It was so tender and yummy!

Steve had the salmon with quinoa.

Dessert was apple strudel and lingonberries with vanilla ice cream. We went upstairs to our room after dinner.

We were told to watch the Volcano Orsono at sunset.

The colors would change every few minutes!

So pretty!

Good night!

Do you prefer your rolls fresh or stale?

Do you have a fancy closet in your house?

Do you think the porcelain sinks above the counters look dated already?

Goodbye Coyhaique, Chile Saturday January 14, 2017

Sorry for the delays in posting. Steve went off skiing in Maine with his buddies. I am not allowed to post with out his proof reading, as I might write something that I could get in trouble for saying. He is back, so here is South America 2017 continued.

Last day at Coyhaique, we really enjoyed ourselves here.

Breakfast! I love banana bread.

The lemon meringue tart in another arrangement.

Our last breakfast. Dinner is served at the table behind us.

Fresh eggs with mushrooms at breakfast.

We stayed for lunch as our flight was not leaving until 5:30 pm.

Chicken with rice. I am trying closeup food pictures, can you tell?

Fruit plate for dessert. They drizzled it with honey.

Good bye pretty valley at Coyhaique River Lodge. Steve and I hiked down to the river after lunch. It was very strenuous and I got started wheezing very badly on our way back up. Steve got scared, but I told him that if I rested, I would soon catch my breath. It confirmed my previous decisions not to go on the strenuous hikes with C, she walks her dogs an hour a day and is in very good shape. I do exercise daily, but I don’t hike every day!

Goodbye poplar trees.

Good bye neighborhoods with lots of fences.

We got to the airport and it was a madhouse. We found the right line and eventually boarded our plane. Steve was quite nervous that they would close the bag drop before we could deposit our bags, but no worries. We said good bye to Tito and Ericito as they were going to journey to Santiago and meet their wives who were flying in to meet them.

Good bye Balmceda airport.

Good bye fishing streams.

Hello Andes Mountains. The green square is an alpine lake. The minerals in the water cause it to look so green.

Those are all mountains in the background.

There are so many mountains that many are unnamed.

Hello Bon-Bon. You didn’t taste any better this time around.

Are you sick of mountains yet? That doodle shows a gigantic glacier in a volcano.

This picture shows where we will be staying the next two days. The volcano on the left is snow covered. The volcano on the right erupted a few years ago. Don’t worry, nobody died. Did you know that Chile has 3000 volcanos, and 60 are active? Well, now you do. The mountain peak in the back is in Argentina. We are not going there on this trip.

We have almost landed and you can see how different the countryside is. A warmer climate here. Many more crops growing.

Next stop Puerto Monttt and then a drive to Puerto Varas!

How do you like your eggs?

Are you a nervous traveler?

Do you prefer your banana bread with or without nuts?

Coyhaique Chile, Friday January 13, 2017

Today is our last full day at Coyhaique. We will learn all about sheep farming and attend an Asado-a South American Barbeque!

What better way to start the day than a a lemon meringue tart at breakfast? Well maybe if I had a raspberry Pisco sour also! I am trying to get Julio to make me a raspberry Pisco sour at dinner tonight. I think it gets lost in translation as he nods his head, yes to me, but always gives me a regular.

Gaston and I are off on our adventure. Cathy and Juan will hike as she doesn’t care to ride. On the right you see poplar trees that are so popular here. That and fences. Those are the key factors that I use to determine where I am. The country side is similar to New Zealand or Montana. They may have fences, but not in front of all the properties in town! Nor so many poplar trees!

Here you can see the effects of the constant Pantagonian wind. Tree growth is stunted on one side of the tree.

Off to the hills above Coyhaique we will go.

Our destination was Fundo Panguilemu. http://turismopanguilemu.com/en/ One of the products of the ranch is baby greens that they sell to local restaurants, inns and local markets. They also sell strawberries and fresh eggs.

This gentleman works on the farm and was packaging greens. He is from Denmark. That’s a long way from home. He also had a beautiful blonde man bun. I did not flirt with him. I might have wanted to though!

Here I am all saddled up. I forgot the horses name, but he was a delight. He looked intimidating as he was very dark. But he was a sweet heart. I got to wear chaps, to protect me from the prickers and gloves as it was very windy and cold. I also wore a helmet.

And we are off. Jose who owns the farm led us on the ride. We would be gone for three hours.

This was a wonderful horse riding experience. The scenery was tremendous and listening to Jose was incredible. He had been involved in consulting on sustainable agriculture and breeding of sheep. He finally got a chance to buy a ranch and put his ideas into action.

Here I am in Patagonian heaven. Shoulders back, heels down, toes up, chest open, head up and a big smile on my face!

Here is a photo showing the differences in farming methods using sustainable agriculture versus traditional methods. Field on the upper part of the screen is farmed using traditional Chilean methods. Grass appears brown and sparse. Field on the lower part of the photo shows thick green grass and flowers. Jose’s property used to look like the brown property. In just four years he has changed the land with his methods!

Jose’s theory is to have large numbers of sheep on smaller parcels with a shorter rotation. The poop fertilizes the ground, the weight of the animals compress the plants into the ground which enriches the soil. He feels you don’t necessarily need large amounts of property, just the proper number of animals and the right rotation from feeding area to area.

Such gorgeous scenery.

This is the sheep shearing shed. It was constructed to minimize animal stress when shearing.

Here I am avidly listening and thinking up my next set of questions.

Here is Gaston. I hope to find out if his wife’s name is Belle.

I would call Jose’s outfit half gaucho.

The dirt is so rich looking!

Jose and his wife Lizzie own approximately 2000 sheep. They have eight Pyrenees dogs to protect the flock from predators and rustlers. Unfortunately 20 sheep were recently stolen. The dogs lead the sheep from pasture to pasture.

There are 50 rams that are kept in a pasture until it is time for sheep sex. Pregnancy lasts about 5 months. There is only a short time that the male and female are allowed to get together. Lambing is controlled, you don’t want birthing to last for many weeks. It can’t be too early as it might be too cold, and the lambs will die. You don’t want it to late, as the fleece might not be ready for market. A ewe (mama lamb) often has twins.This is Jose giving us a demonstration how the dogs herd the sheep. Some of the sheep were not rounded up when the group was moved to the new pasture. So Jose got his New Zealand herding dog (who had accompanied us on our ride) to send the sheep off to the other herd. Jose used a series of whistles to get the dog to move the sheep and then return to us. The Pyrenees dogs lead the sheep.

Here are hundreds of sheep , it was magical.

All those white dots are sheep and a few dogs.

Running and cavorting all over!

Just spread my ashes here when I die.

Rio Simpson. The ranch goes all the way down to the river. I was too polite to ask how many acres the ranch is.

A closeup of a healthy field.

Come on down! We will go see the cattle and the chicken sheds. The chicken sheds are the little white buildings on the right. Jose has a very large ranch!

The chicken coops are on trailers that move. They are moved every week or so. The ground beneath becomes very fertile. The chickens are free to come and go into the coops. This is considered pasture range chickens. Free range only means that the chickens can go outside. These guys get a fenced in large yard, with plenty of bugs and grass to eat. Healthy chickens produce eggs high in omega 3. The doors are shut at night so puma and mink can’t eat chicken for dinner.

Many happy chickens. About 500 eggs are collected each day at three different times. There are too many eggs to be gathered at once!

These cattle will not be happy much longer. They have just arrived at the farm. They will be castrated and then join the rest of the herd.

These cows and a few oxen are in the happy field. What happened to them, happened a long time ago!

Gaston leads the way to the yurts where we are to warm up and have some coffee to warm up. The Patagonian wind is fierce!

We cross the little bridges and go down hill. It’s hard to walk after a morning riding a horse.

Gaston says “Lindita, come inside!”

The interior is set up for a small snack.

This is the communal living and dining area. Jose and his wife Lizzie have ecotourists who can also stay here.

Do you need to wash your hands before lunch? Come along with me.

Toilet, sink and shower, but no cell coverage.

Who wants to sit for awhile? Doesn’t this room look cozy?

I did perch here before snack, that was really lunch.

The ceiling of the yurt. A gentle fan kept the air nice.

This is zucchini jam with almonds, I have never had that before. Delicious.

Warm rolls!

Scrambled eggs, the eggs were collected only hours ago! We also had Ham and local butter and cheese.

Jose has hair! I have helmet head!

Strawberries with whipped cream.

Beautiful flowers! This was a top notch operation.

A warm brownie with more whipped cream. I am calling this my Volcan Hudson that I didn’t get the day before.

Jose and Lizzie. She is from New Zealand. She always wanted to live on a sheep farm. I told them each how lucky they were to be married to an attractive wonderful person whose careers matched what they wanted to do!

Some fine wool in the making.

We are off to see the inside of they yurts that they have for guests. Are you curious? I was.

Just your basic yurt with bathroom attached.

A romantic bed set up for two.

Julio says “Gaston, you must see the view!”

Insert “awesome” in Spanish!

A full shower and toilet.

Heat and electricity, but no cell service!

My hips say no more horse back riding! I will ride along with Lizzie in the beat up car.

This is called the monkey puzzle tree. Araucaria. It is very prickly. It is considered sacred to the natives. It brings good luck to those that plant it.

Alas, it’s time to head back in the fancy jeep and return to Coyhaique River Lodge.

A final good bye to the farmhouse.

Good bye!

Our last gate. This has been one of my favorite rides. The scenery was breathtaking, and the lessons I learned on sustainable agriculture were very interesting.

Cattle on another ranch.

Another one lane bridge, and incoming on the bridge. We must wait our turn.

Rio Simpson, due to all the rain, the river has been too turbid to fish in. Perhaps we will come again so Steve can try his luck. Part of this river flows through Jose’s ranch.

I didn’t show you the kitchen in the lodge. Lots of garlic!

Do you want to see where they are roasting the lamb for dinner? Vegetarians avert your eyes! We will have dinner in the shed tonight.

Julio says “Si! You may take a picture!”

The split lamb is near the fire. All the fat drips away, leaving only the meat.

I can’t wait for dinner! Think that will be enough wine for dinner?

Raspberry Pisco Sour, Julio came through!

Steve was back on the smaller streams today and caught 34 trout. All in all he had a great week fishing, and is looking forward to fishing in South America again!

Here is one of his beauties that he caught.

A montage from his pictures.

These are some of the flies used by the anglers. This is the coffee table in the great room.

I mentioned before about adding ito or city to names to give nicknames. I inquired of Gaston and Francisco (Pancho) what the nicknames for all the guests would be. Steve=Stevito, Linda=Lindita, Gaston=Gastonito, Tim=Timisoara, Dan=Danilo, Cathy=Cathacito, Dave=Davito, and Eric=Ericito. Poor Bert was told no nickname for you, but Gaston and Pancho said that he could be called Tito!

Salud! Gaston’s wife did not show up, so C and I held court at our end of the table. Her husband had a conference call and had to miss dinner.

The Coderoelpole was ready.

The appetizer was empanadas. I thought mine was empty at first, and then realized that I was supposed to fill them with the pico de gallo.

The carving of the beast.

A few pieces got a little more cooked.

The lamb and a potato. The lamb tasted like roast pork. It was very good, but I thought that it would taste like lamb chops. It did not.

I told C that she got the Patagonian oyster.

Here is Steve telling C another story about a fish that he caught. C was very attentive to Steve’s story; as a fishing spouse, she knew when to nod her head and appear interested while Steve nattered on!

Alejandro, one of the guides does not like lamb. He likes potatoes. I asked if he was part Irish. Yes, by then I had drunk many Pisco Sours, and much wine, and thought that my question was exceedingly clever!

More Saluds!

Here is Tito, one of the guests doing the wine flask drinking game. He is a pro! Have I mentioned yet that I hate the sound of my voice?

Gaston is a real pro also!

Steve was a good sport and tried it also. You can tell that he was not a party animal in college! I kept him on a tight leash. I tried it also, but as Steve was taking the video, there was no usable video!

Yes, we finished many bottles of wine. This is halfway through the evening!

Dessert was a fried donut with caramel sauce. It was piping hot, and delicious, but if it were served with vanilla ice cream then it would have been spectacular!

Here I am, making the moves on Julio. I asked if he had a wife? No. A girlfriend? Gaston said that he had several! And now, one more!

More Saluds . As it was our last night there was a lot of toasting!

After dinner snackling of the Carcass . (You read that right, in our family we call snacking on a roast snackling).

Me and Julio. Girlfriend numero seis!

He looks totally unsurprised by my actions!

I left the men to discuss world issues. Like what fly is their favorite.

No questions today, as the post is long enough already!

Coyhaique, Chile. Wednesday January 11, 2017

It appears that I posted Thursday’s blog post before Wednesday. Oh well, here is the proper post. Reread Thursday’s again before I post Friday and you will be all set!

Wednesday morning! Since Steve was such a good sport in spending the day with me yesterday, I told him I would tag along with him today. I always say that I don’t want to get between him and a big fish. Steve says that he doesn’t mind. I hope I catch at least one fish and he gets the big ones!

Here is an exposed copper cut in the rocks. See the green? That is oxidized copper!

Steve and our guide for the day, Troy. They are looking for fish.

Steve looking at the condors. They are somewhere above us.

The two black spots above Steve’s head are condors.

Here is a video of them. Don’t worry about the above picture being sideways. The video plays normal.

Armadillo road kill. These guys are very hairy. This one was very flat and hairy.

Steve casting. I fished a little bit, but as I had no luck I found a nice log and leaned against it while I read a book. It sure was difficult getting back up again! You can see why Steve enjoys fly fishing so much. The countryside here is gorgeous.

Here is Steve landing a fish. Did you know that in 2016 Steve caught 2028 fish? C’s husband is a big fisherman also. His goal is to go fishing for a week every month of the year. So this is how Steve started his goal (he says I started the goal) of a fish a month until he is too old and decrepit to fish. This is why we are always traveling! So far on the three days he has fished at Coyhaique he has caught 114 fish!

Steve and his nice fish.

The fields were filled with pretty flowers.

Part of our adventure was crossing the barbed wire fence.

Foot placement and hip elevation is important in crossing the fences in your waders and fishing boots.

Steve was more graceful than I was, but he has been doing this for years.

Up and over.

When I went over the fence I was sure I was going to fall on my butt! But I didn’t. Ha Ha!

The signage for roads is great here. You would think with all the gravel roads, they would have lousy signs, but that is not true at all. This is where we will stop for lunch.

So here I am beat and tired and waiting to sit down and eat lunch. I almost caught an 18 1/2 inch fish. I lost him just at the end as the guide was unable to net him. Steve and all the other guests at the lodge say that the fish counted as it was operator error by the guide in not netting the fish. Steve caught quite a few fish in the morning. I only wanted one little fish. I was not happy to have the big fish on. When you don’t understand what the guide is saying because you don’t know the lingo it makes it difficult to land the fish. For some unknown reason, this is one of Steve’s favorite pictures of me!

This was my throne at lunch.

Steve is showing a gate where some sheep wiggle through. That is sheep fleece on the fence.

Appetizers at lunch.

Asparagus soup.

Lunch was potatoes, and pork with tomatoes and onions.

Our fancy lunch set up. Now ordinarily Steve does not look like an 80 year old man without his dentures. I must have taken the picture of him mid chew.

Dessert was rice pudding. It looked even worse in real life.

Here is a grey may fly. This is what the fish are eating. The fish eat them up like crazy!

It’s time for Pisco Sours! Can you believe it is 8:15 pm? The sun won’t set until 9:30!

Here is Julio with tonight’s snackies.

More empanadas. These are meat, not cheese. I am making Julio a star!

Deconstructed chicken Caesar salad.

Beef with salsa and some potato corn glop.

Tonight’s dessert. Dulce de leche with broiled meringue.

Almost 10:00 pm and it’s still light out!

Julio brought me an after dinner drink tonight. Manzanilla! I think he really enjoyed me taking his picture all the time!

Today Steve caught 29 fish, he would have caught more, but I was fishing also, and enticed some of the fish from his flies.

That’s it for today!

Have you ever seen a dead armadillo?

How about a live one?

Should Steve continue his streak, or just go cold turkey and stop the nonsense?

Coyhaique, Chile Thursday January 12, 2017

Today C, Juan and I were going to take a trip to Puerto Aysan and hopefully see the fjords!

As I mentioned before, two of our guest are acclaimed photographers. Dave took this a photo of this view, so I thought I would do so also. It was raining, I am not sure what kind of views we will have on our adventure, but come along anyway!

Today’s juice selection included raspberry. Back home raspberries are so expensive. I can’t imagine how much a quart of raspberry juice would cost.

Another breakfast under our belt and we are off.

Rain and no views, I hope the anglers catch some fish today! Even with rain gear on, the inside of your wrists get soaked while fly fishing. So the guys will probably be cold and wet when they come back. Let’s hope that they all get to catch some fish!

The waterfalls were spectacular with all the rain. Often times what I only thought was a white rock, was actually a waterfall!

This is the waterfall dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

C decided to go with the less formal shirt untucked look. I was a little more uptight and tucked my shirt in. However, I was not wearing a belt, even though I had belt loops. Did you know that on the runways of Milan they are showing suits and no belts? The things I tell you…

Here are some of the offerings left at the shrine.

Another one lane bridge. It looks ominous doesn’t it?

The landscape really changed when we got to Puerto Aysen. Rich humongous green ferns, different tree varieties.

Here is C with her fancy camera trying to switch her lenses. Meanwhile she missed the shot of what she thought was a condor. I missed the shot also, as my iPhone woulnd’t be able to have the condor visible in my picture! There was some activity on the pier in the background, and we hoped to be able to investigate.

No entry!

We saw some divers that looked like they were having a training session.

Wrap up discussion. The water looked really cold.

More waterfalls.

Some sailing vessels. One of the boats was named Don Francisco. One of the guests here is called Francisco. His nickname is Pancho. His son is called Panchito, but as he is now taller than Pancho he may need to change his name. I asked earlier in the week if he could be called Padre Pancho-but as that means a different father that wouldn’t work either. I will have to suggest Don Pancho at dinner!

The harbor. On a day with good visibility you can see far. Not today though! You can’t tell that you are in a fjord at all!

The three amigos! C, Linda and Juan.

The clouds looked like they might lift a little.

We had lunch at Patagonia Green. It was a very colorful building!

I saw a very interesting object d’art. It was carved and had a lot of dimensionality.

You could put you hand under the tail. Steve would either love it or hate it!

Juan had called ahead to reserve a table for us.

Juan said that he ordered steak. I think he meant pork!

C and I ordered the fish soup. It was very hot temperature wise. Clams, salmon, calamari, two kinds of mussels, shrimp and potatoes.

I didn’t finish all of it as I was hoping to save room for a dessert called Volcan Hudson. That was going to be sponge cake filled with hot chocolate, a tough of orange and vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately you had to call ahead to order it. I was very unhappy!

This is a photograph of a photograph of the restaurant on a clear day and you can see the glacier on the upper right of the picture.

After we finished lunch the clouds began to lift and we could see the mountains.

The swirling clouds were very dramatic on the way back to the lodge.

The white gash in the middle of the picture was a waterfall.

We must have seen 25 waterfalls today!

On the way back we stopped at an overlook for a view of Coyahique on the left and the snow capped Andes on the right.

After Steve came back from fishing we decided to try out the wood fired hot tub. Not one to be shy, I jumped in.

One of the guests was going to take a picture of Steve and myself. I thought it would be cute to have a kissing picture. No kiss, just me making the moves. Something I have been doing for over 40 years, since I proposed to Steve so very long ago! He did ask me out first though!

You can see Steve gritting his teeth!

We call the plastic tarp in the back the green monster. It would have been nice if I had thought to remove it before the picture was taken!

Here are Eric and Bert. Bert has no beard, and Eric has the beard. I got confused at first and thought that Bert=Beard and Eric=no Beard, but I was wrong. They, like all the guests this week will leave on Saturday. They will meet their wives for non fishing adventures in Santiago. Bert had a very long trip arriving here as he came from Alaska. Bert’s journey was much easier as he came form Brooklyn.

Julio among his other jobs was putting the wood in the stove that was under the brown lid.

Time for Pisco Sours and canapes. Julio is serving pita chips and guacamole.

Beef and onions skewers.

Shrimp, cold green mashed potatoes and seviche.

Conger with rice and asparagus.

Chocolate dessert!

Moon rise groupies!

10:10 pm and the moon is rising while the sun is setting!

Steve caught 10 fish today. No, although the numbers were smaller, he was not disappointed. He was fishing a different type of water. These fish were much larger than the ones he had caught on previous days.

Do you have a fancy camera?

Do you know how to work it?

Isn’t the only good dessert a chocolate dessert?