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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
We saw some divers that looked like they were having a training session.
Wrap up discussion. The water looked really cold.
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.
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.
No rainbow this morning. We could see snow on the upper elevations this morning. It’s about 40 degrees with a chance of rain. The anglers have all gone out, nothing stops them! I do have rain pants and a rain jacket so I will stay dry. One good thing about the wind here, is NO BUGS! The little black dots in the field are cattle.
Good morning! No breakfast spread for you as you have a hike to accompany me on!
Here is a view of the Simpson River that runs through Coyhaique. Steve was hoping to fish this but due to the rains it looked like he would be unable to do so.
This is called the haunted house. It represents the building styles of the early European settlers of the area. The houses were erected so quickly it was said that they were built by witches. The haunted aspect is due to a mistranslation to English!
A view of the city of Coyhaique. The city is the capital of this part of Patagonia.
Snow capped Andes Mountains!
C went off with Gaston today for a more strenuous hike. I stayed with Juan who promised me a more relaxing flat hike.
Our first hike hike was around Laguna Verde. Green Lake.
Juan was well prepared for any eventuality. He even had hot water in his backpack in case I wanted hot tea!
There were piles of pine cones many layers deep.
Here is Juan in front of a grassy bush. Juan was not tall, but this was still a very large plant!
This means trout bridge.
No trout live here, maybe once upon a time.
Here are some wild strawberries that Juan pointed out to me.
We next visited a fragile ecosystem trail in an old growth forest. Steve should come next time, he likes to look at really old trees.
Juan leading the way.
Juan said that all the lichens on the trees meant that the air was very pure. I always thought that lichens were a bad thing.
More tree growth of a different sort. It looks really healthy!
There is a trail here!
Juan really liked this part of the trail. I really liked it when he said ten minutes more and we get to turn around. I can imagine this being a place of ceremonies by the native peoples. The trees were really huge!
Yay! Turn around point.
On our way back to town. More views of the mountains.
Here is a statue of a hand holding a cup of mate. Mate is a drink that many South Americans drink all day long. We were told that it is not caffeine based, but it is. It is a communal drink that is poured into a metal cup, with a metal straw that is part of the lid. You don’t wipe off the straw when it is passed to you. You just hope that no one with communicable diseases drank just prior to you. You are not to say thank you when it is passed to you either.
You didn’t think I would not try to find a grocery store and explore did you?
Front desk. This is also where you exchanged the empty display boxes for the real boxes that held the bottle of Scotch.
I love the brand names of toilet paper all over the world!
Some of the bottles of wine were quite dusty. Although who would want to drink Yellow Tail from Australia when you could drink a nice Chilean wine?
The world loves potato chips!
There was also a big display of Pisco mixes!
We returned to the lodge for lunch. Lunch was a chicken cutlet, mashed potatoes and a glass of white wine. I was able to catch up with C. Her hike was an equivalent of 113 flights, I am happy I didn’t join her!
Dessert was vanilla ice cream.
After lunch, I rested while C went out on another hike. I think she went on another 100 stair flights on her trek.
We had two beds in our room. Many of the guests are guys who don’t want to share a bed with their fishing companions.
The great view from the bedroom.
This is a picture of the great room. The couches were great for reading and enjoying the amazing views.
There was a gift shop above the dining area with local crafts. I bought this beautiful top for Sally.
Steve did catch some fish. Here are two trout that he caught on one cast. The technique that he used had two flies on the line. It is unusual to catch two fish at once!
After Steve came back he showered and changed for dinner. Let’s eat some Chilean food!
Chopped up something or other. Tasty.
Lamb prosciutto, fresh greens, onion marmalade on toasted bread.
For some reason, staff thought that I didn’t eat seafood, so I got tender chunks of beef. I coudn’t figure out what the nuggets were made from. Dessert was a poached pear in a pastry, crumbles, and fried dough with vanilla ice cream on top.
Are you tall?
What is your favorite brand of potato chips?
Shouldn’t liquor stores in America have a better Pisco selection?
I need to photoshop out the little bit of scrambled egg that escaped!
Here is a beautiful mural on leather in the dining room. The artist projected the design unto the hide and then scraped off the hair.
We are to go on a hike with K and Juan. Off we go through the gates.
A beautiful view. I am told that an even better view is only thirty minutes more of a walk. Will I make it?
Five minutes past the last picture and I change my mind. The part of me that says an eight mile hike is not my idea of a vacation says “yes!”, that is my throne, and it awaits me! K and our guide Juan will hike for another twenty five minutes to see the view.
My view. 4965 steps is enough for me. I will have 4965 steps on my return.
Lo and behold a hearty group of mountain bikers chug up the hill. Hola! They are past me before I realized what a great shot I could have had. This is them farther up the hill.
C and I returned back to the lodge for lunch.
Potatoes and chicken.
I settled down with a book while C went hiking again.
What was under my book? In the coffee table was a display of flies.
Around 5pm a beautiful rainbow appeared.
It’s time for a Pisco sour!
Here is Julio offering me some empanadas!
The mushrooms were not pickled, but warm and sautéed in spices.
The bar in the dining room was very interesting.
Soup with conger, which is a fish, not an eel, although it looks like an eel.
Hearts of palm, corn, asparagus and some tough beef.
Currant mousse, with crumbly pieces of meringue. It was way too sweet for me, but several guests finished it!