From Bariloche to Puerto Varas

Wednesday 18th November 2015

We woke up around 7am and had brekky. Then Annina and Claudio left for the airport where they were catching a plane to Punta Arenas. A few minutes later, I left to go to the Edelweiss hotel nearby to wait there for the minibus to pick me up for the day adventure  going to Puerto Varas. It was pouring rain outside that morning. A huge bus came and I boarded and we shoot off, picking up more passengers on the way. Inside the bus.
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The first part of this day trip was to drive from Bariloche to Puerto Panuelo and then embark on a boat on Lago Nahuel Huapi onto Puerto Blest.

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Thirty minutes later, we arrived at the pier, on the Circuito Chico road, that we had seen with Annita and Claudio while cycling the day before. This time, it was snowing!
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We paid either the maritime departure tax for the ones going to Chile or the National Park entrance fee for the ones only going for  a day trip. Then we boarded this boat, gate 5.
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The boat was pretty big and left at 10am. Paulina, the woman who had given a talk in the bus to explain how the day would go was also giving one on the boat.
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I went outside as soon as the boat departed, up the stairs to see the view. It was pretty windy and a middle of rain and snow was falling. View of what we are leaving behind.
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While going down the stairs, as soon as I put my foot on the first step, I slipped and went down the entire stairs on my butt, camera in hands. Some people shooted a big “Ohhhh” and were standing, fifty pair of eyes watching me, concerned. I was very lucky that my fall was just very impressive and noisy but that I didn`t hurt anything. The camera was fine, the camera battery fell off and was trying to escape to the sea but a crew member got it before. They were asking if I was fine and I was trying to explain that it really felt like being on a toboggan. Luckily!
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I was more careful the next times going up and down again and again and didn`t fall again. There was a nice view directly at the front too and we could see the water passing under the catamaran.
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On the top deck, the photographer was giving pieces of bread to people wo wanted to be photographed feeding the seagull.
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The fog was wrapping itself around the snow peaks of the surrounding mountains. All around the lake were those incredible snowy mountains, it was really pretty.
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A view when looking behind later on.
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We arrived at Puerto Blest around 11.30am.
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We disembarked there.
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We got into buses and drove to the next boat.

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It took us 15 minutes to drive to the next pier. Here was the next boat we took on Lago Frias.
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Lago Frias had a very pretty turquoise colour.
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On the boat
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The views were really great. Many people were taking photos.
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We arrived in Puerto Frias around 12.20pm where half of the group jumped in another bus to go to the National Park for the day, while a couple of us going to Chile waited for the Administration of the Argentinian border to open in the little hut we can see on this picture.
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While waiting, I got well acquainted with the Araucania tree located in front of the Immigration hut.

I ate the sandwiches I had brought with me. I also chatted with Esther, a Spanish girl who was travelling alone too. She had two weeks off and had spent one week visiting friends in Santiago who had told her that she should really take this adventure day trip. She had done it from Puerto Varas to Bariloche on a rainy day where the weather was so bad that it was hard to see the landscape so she had decided to take it again from Puerto Varas to Bariloche!!  Once immigration was done, we jumped in the bus around 1pm.
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We had a new guide, a Chilean guy now. Two people from Colombia were missing who had gone to the day tour bus by mistake, so we waited to hear about them before to head of. Funny. Inside the bus.
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We headed from Puerto Frias to Peulla with the bus. Here was the map for the rest of the journey.
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On the way to Peulla, it snowed again! We arrived at the entrance of the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park where some people got out of the bus
to take photos under the snow. It was 1.30pm.
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We continued our bus journey and passed the Monte Tronador that we can see a little bit in the distance.
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The weather started to clear up and we passed through an estancia or a few estancias gathered together where some llamas were grazing.

The trees were telling us how strong the wind was, and which direction it was coming from.
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The Chilean immigration and restaurant where we would have lunch before to take our last boat was in view.
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At the Immigration first.
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Next to the restaurant, I saw for the first time the gigantic nalca plant which is a type of Chilean rhubarb.
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Very pretty restaurant where Esther and me had some drinks and food around 2.30pm on a table next to the windows with a beautiful view.
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Around 4pm we boarded the last boat at Puerto Peulla for the longest and most beautiful boat ride of the day on Lago Todos Los Santos.
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Leaving the coast.
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By the time we were on that boat, it was siesta time for most people! I turned back from my seat and saw everyone…sleeping! 😀
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This 2-hour boat ride was awesome because we had an expansive view of the lake and the surrounding mountains but the best was the possibility to observe the incredible movement of the clouds constantly changing, the massive clouds forming, the rain falling in some parts and then moving away, the rainbows that appeared and disappeared. The landscape was dynamic and entertaining. Here are some photos of this boat journey. We saw a volcano to the right which had a very triangular top. Then we started seeing the Osorno volcano which was covered in snow and whose top remained mysteriously hidden in clouds. That reminded me another shy volcano I had seen not so long ago in Pucon… 🙂

We arrived in Petrohue.
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They used this massive machine to grab the boxes of backpacks.
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Then dropped the backpacks on the wet floor. Mmmm. Not sure I liked that. Mmmm.
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Then we took the bus from Petrohue to Puerto Varas, our final destination, for about one hour. Passing rivers on our left.
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On our right, we saw another volcano.
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The Osorno volcano to our right, while driving alongside the Llanquihue lake. The Chilean guide was teasing the Argentinians: “What is the name of this lake?” The Argentinians in the bus replied “CHAN-quihue”. You could see his eyes sparkle. I could feel he was doing this joke every single day and just looking forward to that moment when he would be doing it, that was funny. He was like a child. He replied “No, no, noooo. The name of the lake is “YAN – quihue. Not CHAN – quihue but YAN – quihue.” He was just making fun of the Argentinian accent which says “CHO me vas a la plaCHA” instead of “Yo me vas a la playa”. WHO HO HO HO. 😀

It was 7pm, Puerto Varas was in view and the bus dropped us in various spots of the city.
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I went to drop my backpack at the hostel I had booked in the morning that Anita and Claudio had recommended me. Then I walked a few minutes away and found this little tienda where I got some food.
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I sat on the stairs at the beach with my new doggy friend of the day.
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Contemplating this view.
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While some guys were taking long exposure shots and others practicing impressive 360 degree jumps in the sand.
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Here were cool drawings at the hostel of a couple of some cool stuff I could have done in Puerto Varas if I was staying a bit here.
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There were 2 girls from Sweden in my dorm who had just gone horse-riding and rafting and were going paragliding the next day. Puerto Varas did feel like another San Gil with lots of awesome activities to do!

But no..I just wanted to head to Chiloe! So tomorrow…off to Ancud!
I am going to repeat the same sentence as often…I wish I had more time!!!