Coyhaique, Chile. Tuesday January 10, 2017

Steve took a day off from fishing to tag along on my adventures!

The day started off with another beautiful breakfast spread of eggs and fruit. There were many kinds of juice combinations that rotated daily. Always orange, but sometimes apricot, pineapple or banana mixed it with the orange.

This was an interesting hill outside of town. Our trip today is to see Cerra Castillo, a very picturesque jagged peak.

Cropped pictures make the mountains look much closer. We had spurts of rain on and off. The weather was around 40 degrees. We still have to wear sunscreen due to the high elevations.

Look! It’s a Mate museum.

We will not get too close, but drive in the area.

My layers are as follows: cotton top, quick dry fishing shirt, Patagonia nano puff jacket and rain jacket. We were told to dress in layers!

In today’s adventures Steve and I are going to check up on a separate property owned by Gaston (who owns the lodge with his brother.) Gaston is very handsome and not mean like Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

There are lots of fences in Patagonia!

C and Juan were going on a longer hike today. We will meet up with them later this afternoon. Steve and I would check out the lodge and then go on a shorter hike.

I’m not stupid. Get a chance to snoop around at someone’s house or go on a long hike? I’ll snoop. Gaston gutted the original house and built an addition to the side of the house with four bedrooms. It’s primarily used by small groups, or Gaston’s family at Christmas.

There is a similar wood fired hot tub at Coyhaique.

One of the four, bed room units. This one has two queen size beds. The blankets were made by local artisans.

Wood burning fireplace and bathroom with shower.

The main room in the house has a bar. A ladder for kids to climb to get access to the television in the loft. The kitchen and dining room is in the back.

I loved these pillows on the couch. They were as soft as they looked.

Wonderful fireplace. A beautiful place to get together with the family. Hiking, fishing, reading, relaxing, just a great place to hang out.

More neat views of the mountains.

This lake looked very green.

More fences.

Much of the land was clear cut for farming. Cattle raising is very popular.

As is sheep farming. Just like the United States in the 19th century, land was available for cheap and people homesteaded.

Gaston opening the gate for our hike. It was to be a very easy hike with only a little up and down and a waterfall to look at.

I almost gave up on the hike. It was not flat, nor short. I spend most of the walk looking at the ground to make sure I would not trip on rocks or roots.

Steve was a good sport spending the day with me instead of fishing.

I declined the offer to go further and see the waterfalls. By this time I had added another fleece jacket and rain pants.

Steve said the hike was pretty, it was not an easy hike. There were many scrambles over rocks, and much up and down. He said that I made the right decision not to go further.

On the way back we took a picture of a Russian Jeep. We had been joking at dinner about Steve traveling to Kamchatka Russia for a fishing trip. That’s what the vehicles and helicopters will be like. Held together with wire!

It was time for lunch. Gaston is unloading the truck of food supplies.

Tomato broth.

Mystery sandwiches.

Steve and I each shared a sandwich. Lots of mayo with tough beef.

We saw some gauchos while we ate lunch.

We were almost as high as the mountains before we descended to the valley.

Now we get to cross the bridge to get to the other side of the valley.

Oh, oh, did any one tell us we were going to cross over a one lane bridge in a vehicle just a tad smaller than said bridge?

View from the side window. The water was blue due to certain minerals in the glacial runoff.

This is the view of the bridge from the back window of the truck.

We passed another stream, that was rich in minerals also.

We ascended another mountain. It was so windy we could hardly get out of the car. We were in hysterics laughing because it was so windy.

The wind was blowing us toward the camera. Steve’s hair is blowing straight up. I am trying to keep the hair out of my face, and also keep my shirt down!

Steve versus the wind.

We finally met up with Juan and C. We had a choice of looking at a small local museum about the early settlers, or hike to see some petroglyphs. Can you guess what I chose to do?

Steve hiked with C and Juan. I looked at the museum. Steve says C left him in the dust. These are some of the petroglyphs, they do not know who left them or why.

After the petroglyphs we got back in the van to go to C and Juan’s starting point for their hike.

C saw this lake view on her hike. We got to see it in our truck ride! That is Cerro Castillo in the background.

This was such a pretty picture with the Andes mountains in the background. That’s C with us! Her husband does not take days off from fishing!

Here is a short video of the falls. As Steve’s father used to say “That’s not Jitterbug water!” A Jitterbug is a fishing lure that makes bubbles on the surface. It is used on extremely calm water.

The waterfall at Rio Ibanez. Glacial melt!

On the way back to the lodge we saw some rocks that were scoured by retreating glaciers.

There was a town below us that had ferry service to other small towns. There are many poplar trees planted as wind breaks. It is so crazy windy here.

Good bye Cerro Castillo!

Back to the lodge for dinner. Creamy cheese crab soup with eggs and toast baguettes!


Our entree was salmon with a potato latke.

Dessert was many layers of dragon fruit mousse and tulle cookies. Yes, the mousse was speckled. It was served with an orange sauce.

Since I haven’t mentioned numbers of Steve’s fish that he caught I will update. On Sunday, his first day out he caught 24 trout. On Monday he caught a eye boggling number of fish. It was as he calls it “A Rock-em sock-em day of 52! As he was with me all day today, he caught 0 fish, as we didn’t fish. There is always tomorrow!

Two of the guests were photographers. One was a sports photographer, who had attended many Olympics. The other was a wildlife photographer. That photo of a tree frog on the mailing from National Geographic asking you to subscribe? He took it! He sold his catalog of pictures to Getty Pictures and is retired now. I don’t want to get into trouble for copyright issues, but I can link his webpage.

Would you rather hike, or check out someone’s house?

Isn’t it a good thing Steve doesn’t wear a toupee?

Wouldn’t it be really funny if he wore a toupee, and it went flying off?

Extra bonus question: Do you think I would post a video of his toupee flying off?

Santiago, Chile to Coyhaique, Chile Saturday January 7, 2017

Good morning from Santiago Chile!

Breakfast was from the buffet at the Club Lounge in the Ritz Carlton.

There was the display of fresh fruit.

Juices. The raspberry juice was very sweet, it tasted just like-you guessed it! Raspberries! I am sure it would taste great in a fruity martini!

Cold meats and cheeses.

Fresh honey and the honey comb!

After breakfast, JP and Maximo picked us up to take us to the airport and make sure that we were on the right flight to Balmaceda where we would be picked up and brought to Coyhaique River Ranch.

Santiago is in a valley and gets quite smoggy. You can barely see the mountains in the background. My throat was getting quite scratchy, I thought I was getting a cold, but it was the smog!

Lots of agriculture in the Santiago area. The Spanish were looking for gold here. Hardly any was found, but the climate was great for growing fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture went up as far up the mountains as could be done.

A snow covered volcano.

My snack. Chocolate chip muffin, raisins, and a Coke, straight up.

Steve picked the cheese muffin. Very dry.

Flying over the Lake District. We will visit here next week!

Ohh! A bon-non! How exciting. I have always wanted to sit on a couch and eat these!

No flavor. Airy with crunch inside and smooth milk chocolate. Will think about passing next time I am offered one.

The Andes! Let’s hope we get some better pictures than this on our trip!

A view from the window of the plane as we near Balmaceda. It has been raining, and the streams appear to be very muddy. This may put a damper on Steve’s fishing plans.

We landed at Balmaceda and picked up our luggage. We weren’t sure who was going to meet us. Finally I noticed a gentleman wearing a Coyhaique River Lodge shirt. This was Gaston, one of the owners. Two other guys joined us. They were boyhood friends, who decided to meet up and fish together for the week. They were going to meet their wives in Santiago at the end of the week. One guy was from Alaska, and it took him a really long time to get to Balmaceda.

The water was very muddy, Steve would not be able to fish this river, the Rio Simpson, which is supposed to be the best river in the region.

The farmers set the woods on fire to clear the land for cattle grazing.

The view of our valley in the late afternoon. Off the deck is a wood fired hot tub!

Here is Julio offering us a bacon wrapped date. Delicious! In the background is K, a non fishing spouse. I am to hike with her. She is into hiking and mountain biking. I am into reading romance novels while on the recumbent bike at the gym. I have asthma, she doesn’t. She will enjoy the hiking. I will last as long as I can!

Deep fried salmon and dipping sauces was another canapé.

This was a Chilean soup. It was very spicy. There were chunks of tender carrots and tough beef.

Squash with cheese, pork that looked like ham and delicious apple sauce. Steve doesn’t eat apple sauce, so I got to eat two applesauces!

Dessert was gorgeous but oh so sweet. Dulce de leche sauce, a fried dough spiral, and vanilla ice cream with crunchies on top. I did not finish this!

The view from the windows in the great room. The rainbows didn’t photograph well. It will stay light here until about 9 p.m. One of the wonderful parts about visiting the southern hemisphere during our winter.

Do you drink your tea with honey?

Do you honestly believe there is gold in a pot at the end of a rainbow?

Where do you eat your bon bons?