Sunday, April 8, 2012

A taste of Patagonia

I (Mark) traveled to Patagonia before it got too cold down south.  (Thanks Becky for working hard in Santiago!)
It was a nice break from the big city.
The photos can be seen in a larger format on my photo blog here:

My trip started with a 10 hour $15 overnight bus ride from Santiago to Pucón. 
While traveling solo, I met some people at my hostel for some day trips.
  Playa Blanca, in Caburga.
Sean leaps off the the Ojos del Caburgua waterfalls.
I saw some Araucaria or Monkey Puzzle trees for the first time in a private reserve called Santuario Cañi.

Land of the Volcanoes through the Villarica Traverse

I hoped to do some hiking and luckily I met a group going for a 3 day trek in the Villarrica National Park.
The volcanic landscapes with craters and lava fields were spectacular.

 Oz leads the way.
Meike looks out to the active Villarica Volcano.

 Walking out to Laguna Blanca.

Max recited morning prayers wearing traditional Jewish prayer vestments.

Puerto Varas and more volcanoes

I sat on the shores of Puerto Varas watching the dusk fall on the Osorno Volcano across Llanquihue Lake.

Jet-boat tour for a closer look at the Saltos del Petrohue.

The water really was turquoise.

I sat for a few hours and read by a lake called Todos Los Santos.

The Island of Chiloe

After a few hours bus/ferry ride from Puerto Montt I arrived in the town of Castro and checked into a hostel.  Normally there are penguin colonies nesting, but they are out to sea for the winter, so I hopped on a local bus/ferry to another island east called Quellón.   The next day I explored the beach and rain forest in Chiloé National Park.

Massive shell fish smothered in cheese.

Salmon with local purple potatoes.

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