Chile 9

It is March 4th, 2006, and we are on our own again.  No rush to squeeze as much into each day.  Time to slow down a bit and relax.  We are going to stay a week or so in Puerto Varas (about 10 miles north of Puerto Montt) and do some local dirt-roading and sight seeing.  We are also waiting for the ferry to transport us and the bike to Puerto Natales, Chile, which is about 900 miles to the South.  We also visited Bariloche, Argentina for 3 nights.

We are planning to stay at Hotel Wilder, owned by a lady from Germany.

Her ex-husband built the furniture and building.

As is typical in Chile, breakfast is included in the cost of the room.

Our home for the next week....

That is our window above Sandy....

The homes across the street from our new home.
We take a 3 day break to visit Bariloche, Argentina.

Volcano Osorno is always in sight, if weather permits.

A church, on the road to Bariloche.
We cross the Andes for the 11th time, but this time we don't have to climb nearly as high. 

Good thing, as we are much farther south, and it is much colder now.

Crossing from Chile to Argentina (3rd time).
I almost feel guilty having these roads to ourselves!
Although Chile is known for it's "Lake District", there are also many lakes on the Argentine side of the border.
The Plaza in Bariloche, Argentina is different than any other we have seen in South America.

Very Bavarian.....

If you like chocolate, you will think you have died and gone to heaven.

It seemed that every 3rd business was a chocolate store!

Bariloche sits on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, with the Patagonia Mountains in the background.

On the 5th of March, we drive around the area of Bariloche.

Typical architecture of Bariloche, Argentina.
Bariloche also has a Teleferico (like Quito and Santiago).

View as we head up the hill.

View looking down.
Patagonia and the lakes.....
Sandy, looking for a tree.....
We have been following the backbone of the Andes for over 2,000 miles.
Heading back down....
The gondola travels right over homes....

Notice the shadow of the gondola....

Modern home, and gondola shadow...
The primary style of the area is Bavarian.
But modern is also popular....
Many of the homes are very large.

We have been traveling for over 6 months in South America and have not yet been discriminated against, because we are bikers or Americans.  We have been permitted in places where visitors typically are not allowed.  We have been granted access to Government buildings with heavy security.

But the clean record ended today.  This is the resort of Llao Llao, located about 10 miles west of Bariloche.  It is known to be the nicest resort in all of South America.  It is also known for having the best setting of any hotel in South America.  We asked the "Suits" at the gate for permission to enter for lunch.  They stated we needed reservations and that it was full.  We responded that we would like to enter to make reservations for tomorrow.  They stated that they were also completely sold out for the following day. 

I could see that it was going "No Where" talking to the "Suits", so I starting the bike and starting heading up the long drive way as I yelled  "I will make reservations for the "NEXT AVAILABLE DAY"!

Another suited guard, with an earpiece connected to his radio, stopped us at the front door.  He had apparently been warned by the guards at the bottom of the hill, that some bikers made it past the outer perimeter!

As I walked by him stating "No Espanola", he tried to stop us.  I keep walking to the reservation desk.  I was told that we could have lunch at 2:00 PM.  What happened to the "We are completely full today and tomorrow"!   We made a reservation, then walked around and took photos... Then left! 

Beautiful place, but LLao Llao's snootiness was screwed!

Sandy on the back patio of Llao Llao, as we waited for our reservation time... 

Yeh sure!

Lakes abound in this area around Bariloche.
We are getting used to the scenery, and may be taking it for granted.
Sandy, and the snooty "Llao Llao" in the background.
We stopped for lunch on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi.
St. Bernard's, in the town plaza of Bariloche.

Kind of tough on us, as we have had 2 St. Bernard's (Pixie and Fifi), and miss them dearly!

The weather is starting to deteriorate in Southern South America....

But it is pretty...

On the 6th of March we take a short ride south from Bariloche, to El Bolson, a hippy community 60 miles south.

Old wharf, on yet another lake.
The Andes seem to go on forever!
The roads are excellent in Argentina....
Quick stop for our 4th oil change of the trip.

The owner held his 5 day old baby girl constantly, so I changed the oil myself.

Sandy did not mind the time for the oil change, but it did induce a little homesickness, missing the grandkids.

Yep.. Another cute kid!
We stopped for lunch in El Bolson, and another couple from England approached us.

Chris and Sue Nurse landed in Buenos Aires and purchased a used F650 BMW to ride through Argentina for 3 months.

It was fun exchanging stories.

And Back to Bariloche....

On the 7th of March we head back to Puerto Varas.  It was very windy for the first 40 miles (winds over 50 mph), then it rained for the next 140 miles.

That is Bariloche and the Andes hiding behind the rainbow.
My excuse for looking like a sausage is it was cold, and I was trying the "Layered" look!

On the 8th of March, we kick back and just walk around Puerto Varas and rest.
The buildings are very interesting.

Sandy is a happy camper today. 

Is it because we are not riding in heavy rain?

We end the 8th, with a little music in a dance hall in Puerto Varas.

It was a 4 piece group, with xylophone, bass, drums and a female singer.

Kind a Brazilian/Jazz style.

I was pleased!

On Thursday, the 9th of March we take dirt roads around the Lake of Llanquihue, on which Puerto Varas sits.

As we circled the lake, we noticed that it was primarily small villages, homes and cemeteries. 

I wonder who is going to mow the new grave top lawn?
This boy was using grave stones as a ladder to reach the berries he was picking.
As his sister watched.....

And it did not seem to make the kids nervous that they were in the children's section of the cemetery!

We visited the village of Frutillar, which is very famous for it's music festival, which we missed by 2 months.
A quick stop for a Salmon lunch, which so far, was the best lunch of the trip.
Another cemetery, and Volcano Osorno in the background.

If you had to be buried somewhere, this is not a bad spot!

Nearly all the names in the cemetery are of German descendants.
The village of Puerto Octay, also on the shore of Lake Llanquihue.

We are staying in Puerto Varas, on the shores of Lake Llanquihue.  When we circled the lake on dirt roads we could not help but notice the wide variety of architectural designs used in the homes of this area.

The homes of Lake Llanquihue.

Home near Puerto Varas.
This home looks as though it could have been from Iowa!
Flower gardens next to homes is very common.
I sure wish the sun would have come out so the colors would have been more brilliant.
Not sure of the style, but very interesting.
Something you would see in Cape Cod or Nova Scotia.
Maybe a few ghosts?
All galvanized home....
All these homes were on a 40 mile dirt road ride.....
This house was on a bluff overlooking the lake....
This one has seen it's best days....
As stated earlier, many of the houses are very large.
The rounded trim in the eaves is very popular in southern Chile.

On the 10th of March (Friday), we ride south to Puerto Montt, then southeast, following the shoreline of the coast.

Is spite of how modern it is in Chile, you still see horses used for transportation.
It is a very tranquil  environment, in the Lake District.

This home is on the ocean, in the Lake District.

Fishing hatcheries are extremely common....
Sandy, waiting for a ferry to cross a 5 miles inlet.
Sandy did not want to ride onto the rusty ferry, so I rode it alone.
Old trusty!
The landing, 5 miles later.

Very similar to the Cascade area of Washington state.

The coast line is dotted with small fishing villages.

There are NO roads to this area.  The only access is by ferry.

Country side church.
And back to the ferry for the return trip.

We rode about 50 miles of gravel roads, which was a nice break from the asphalt.

The view from the ferry.
More dirt roads and a bridge which reminded us, again, of Simon and Lisa's experience on the Amazon.

Here in Chile, they block the BAD bridges.

We rode back to "Parque Nacional Alerce Andino" on a dirt road.

Well, that is it through the 10th of March, 2006.  We are relaxing in Puerto Varas, and waiting for our Monday departure on the ferry to Puerto Natales.....  We will be 3 days on the ship, so communications will be minimal!

Hope all is well with the family!

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