Puerto Varas, Chile. 1/16/2017 M

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.


Isabel’s husband on LLanquihue cool as a cucumber.


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. 1/15/2017 Su

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!



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 pink?

Lilac colored.


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?