Friday, December 9, 2011

Conguillio National Park

Last weekend we went to Conguillio National Park. We had an amazing time there. The park is a beautiful place and we learned that hiking is serious business, the hard way, of course.  We took another long bus ride and this time there was a clown entertaining us bright and early in the morning. After his "show" he walked around demanding money from the passengers.  Funny-sort of.

We arrived to the park on a grey and rainy Saturday. However, we still took a short hike. Guiding us was an adorable dog that we trusted completely to show us the way. Perrita (the dog’s name I created) stuck with us the whole time, barking to keep us moving and stopping every time there was a great view or a photo opportunity. Perrita came in handy at the end of our hike when it was dark and we had no idea where to go. 

 Our Cabin
 Arden and  OUR dog Perrita
View from the Sendero

The next day we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the La Batia and traveled to hike the Sierra Nevada. On the way there we stopped at the Laguna Arcoiris, a lagoon that is totally clear to the bottom and breathtakingly beautiful. The pictures (see below) create a perfect reflection of the Andes and the Llaima volcano. 

Our Cabin
La Batia

Laguna Arcoiris
Reflection of Llaima in the Lagoon
We then began to hike the Sierra Nevada. The weather was warm and the trail was well shaded. It began as a fun uphill trek. It later turned a bit steep in the snow! Some how we managed to climb all the way to the top. 
 A little home.

 Fab Views from the look out points
 Araucaria Trees, the famous trees our region is named after
 Andes Mountains
Happy in the Sun

The closer we got to the top the more the weather began to change. We got to a pretty dangerous part of the hike where Arden convinced me to climb up the side of a mountain while digging into snow with my bare hands in a tee-shirt. Luckily a pair of REAL hikers (they had poles, cool clothes and everything) offered us some help and showed us the easier path...Finally we made it to the top! 

After climbing down we went to the Playa Linda beach. We enjoyed a picnic of turkey sandwiches and snickers bars. It was a great way to celebrate our accomplishment. 

 Playa Linda

As we left the park we explored the Lago Verde. It is a green lake; however it has no natural water source. All its water is subterranean. The water is green because the water is so clear; the green color comes from the plants on the bottom shining through.

Lago Verde ( super green, just not showing in my photo)

It was another wonderful weekend in Chile.

I think we are really becoming “nature” people... 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November in Temuco

In November we decided to stay "home" and enjoy all Temuco had to offer. 

At the beginning of the  month we went to the SOFO with friends. It was a beautiful day. We had a picnic and enjoyed the animals. The SOFO is best described as the County Fair. There are animal competitions and a real Chilean Rodeo. We discovered that we like horses and after touching all of them... I of course had an allergy attack and nearly died.  

 Winning Cow
 Chilean Cowboy- Huaso

 Best Buds

We attend the wedding of one of our co-workers. It was a beautiful ceremony. The groom Andrew`s, parents flew in from the States and the ceremony was in both Spanish and English. His fathers is a minister and he performed the wedding ceremony.
The Happy Couple

Amber`s birthday
We celebrated my birthday by renting a Quincho, a party house located outside of our apartment. All of our friends from work came and we partied the  night away. Arden and the boys grilled and  the ladies danced. It was wonderful the celebrate my 26th year with all my new friends. 
The Cake
 The Boys
Jardin de los Reyes

The next day Arden and I walked down the street with our suitcases to the Dreams Casino. It was amazing! We spent the weekend being treating like Kings. We spent our time at the pool, the saunas, the casino, eating and relaxing. 
 Happy Birthday to me!
 My Present from Arden in the Sunshine
Birthday Dinner

During the last weekend we enjoyed spending time outside. We went to the Feria Pinto. A HUGE farmer`s market. The energy of the place is amazing. There is so much hustle and bustle to sell you the freshest and biggest fruits and vegetables. 

Our load of fruits and Veggies, Arden almost broke his arms carrying this stuff. We made some great meals with all the food!

All in all, November was a great month! Bring on December and the Sunshine!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More beer! (..and volcanoes, waterfalls, flowers, etc.)

This weekend we traveled to the picturesque town of Puerto Varas to celebrate our one year anniversary. 

After a comfy five hour bus ride we arrived and were delighted to discover yet another Octoberfest.  So naturally, we made a pit stop, backpack and rolling suitcase in hand.  Before we knew it, one beer turned into three and the seductive smell of chorripan (traditional chilean sausage with sour kraut on bread) was too much to resist.  mmmm...
     We took our beer to the dock to enjoy the amazing view. The crystal clear blue sky made for a perfect view of  the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes on the opposite shore.  Lake Llanquihue is the perfect shade of blue and is the largest lake in the lake region of Chile.

After a fabulous day of seeing the sights we headed out to dinner at La Olla,  one of Chile`s most famous seafood restaurants. A.MAZING

On Sunday, after complimentary Chilean style breakfast at the hotel, we boarded a standing-room-only mini bus for the 1.5 hour ride to the famous Saltos de Petrohue (waterfalls near the base of the Osorno volcano).  The spectacular vista of the falls against the volcano skyline made it well worth the ride.

On our hike we found another "mini" waterfall

From the waterfalls, we took another short bus to Lago Todos los Santos, another lake nestled between the Osorno volcano and neighboring mountains.  From the black sand beach on the west shore we could see the peaks of three volcanoes and the snow capped Andes to the east.   From this lake, it`s possible to board a three-day boat to the Argentinean side of the Andes.  Needless to say..another spectacular view.

On our final day, we decided to head to the quaint town of Frutillar. We took another mini bus and got there around lunch time. Frutillar is a beautiful German village located on Lake Llanquihue. The architecture is amazing and all the buildings are wonderfully preserved. We heard wonderful things about a "casa de te`" and decided to check it out.  Little did we know, we had embarked on an uphill 5K on a dirt road through the country. The hike could not have been more beautiful. We passed pastures, old farm houses, beautiful flowers and fresh air.

Here are some of the views from the road:

Almost there!

Finally we arrived. The Lavender Tea House is one of the most beautiful places we have been in Chile. The sun was shining and the atmosphere was perfect for a meal in the sunshine. The tea house is modeled in traditional English fashion. There are lavender fields overlooking a cliff with a beautiful view of the lake. We dined on lavender lemonade, lavender sours, potatoes, chicken and the richest desert EVER. Oh, and Tea.

It was a fabulous weekend, filled with nature and good food.