A Travellerspoint blog

Making Friends and Learning Spanish

Puerto Varas, Chile

all seasons in one day 65 °F

Puerto Varas is a small town perfectly situated on a lakeside, with three volcanoes visible in the distance. Only 15 minutes away from the larger port city of Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas is populated by middle class Chilenos. In the high tourist season I can imagine the 10 main streets of the city centro are crawling, though now, it seems a typical Chilean town.

We ended up in Puerto Varas on kind of on a whim….we thought one night here would be a launching point to Cochamo Valley, a trek to a little known Yosemite like valley.. Turns out that this town is pretty cool . We found a small Spanish school that literally sucked me in on first approach…..there is a standing Wednesday night happy hour where both Spanish and English students are invited to mingle and share languages. Turns out this is a perfect launching point for us.

Almost two weeks later we are saying goodbye to our friends in Puerto Varas. We have been spending a LOT of time with Alex. Alex is learning English and we meet him almost every evening to practice our languages. We speak a mix of the two languages over coffee OR beer, and every time we meet there are lots of laughs as we teach each other slang. Our California words of cool, sweet, hip, wingman are met with Spanish words con onda, bacan, genial.

We spend a Saturday with Alex at the wheel of his cool 4x4 and tour the areas’s prominent sights, Petruheue and Volcan Osorno. All the while Alex and Greg make jokes and I am surprised that Alex can interpret Greg’s unique sense of humor between languages. It is comforting to know that we have made some Chilean friends!

Here´s some photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33556067@N07/sets/72157617268096175/

Posted by retomer Fri 1 May 2009 15:47 Archived in Chile Tagged backpacking

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