A Travellerspoint blog

Laundry Day in La Serena

La Serena, Chile

sunny 74 °F

We haven’ t seen many days like today. It is not only sunny, we are also at a hostel that has generously offered us a washing machine. Now don’t think that we don’t wash our clothes while travellíng…we do. Usually it is the “wash two items in the sink each night with the powered detergent we have been carrying round and hang in the room to dry” system. We have become near experts on hand washing in small sinks, though often I wonder if we get all the soap out. We come across a washing machine once a month or so. And we all know that there is nothing like real clean clothes.


So here we are today, watching our freshly machine washed clothes dry in the light coastal breeze. Greg is in his surf trunks, I am in my swimsuit. Each item of clothing we own is swinging on the line, dancing in the wind and we hope they will dry by nighttime so we have something to wear when we wander the streets of this sweet welcoming colonial town called La Serena.

Posted by retomer 08:04 Archived in Chile Tagged backpacking

Soaking up Some Steam

Termas Geometricas, Chile

sunny 68 °F

Imagen_1124.jpgOf all the natural hot springs, termas, in the Pucon area I, of course, chose those that were furthest away and most difficult to get to. I heard Termas Geometricas was one of the best in Chile, which is saying a lot seeing as the whole eastern part of the country is volcanic and is overflowing with natural springs. I couldn't be this close to one of the best of anything without checking it out.

Imagen_1127.jpgPucon is a little tourist hub in the Chilean lake district, which basically is an extension of the Argentinian Lake district we visited about 3 months ago. The Chilean side is a verdant land dotted with coned volcanoes jutting straight up from between lakes, and hot springs. The town itself is a bit too tourist for our liking, but we found a comfy cabana on the edge of town near the black sandy beach with our own kitchen and wood stove. The cabana served us well since we had a couple of rainy days. Nothing better than cozying up next to a fire with a good book about a Chilean film director in exile who snuck back into his country to film a documentary on Pinochet, Miguel Littin.

We set out for Termas Geometrics on a sunny day in a rental car. Three hours later we realize we are lost. Well, not lost exactly since we are on a slightly graded road that just kept going, only one direction....Argentina. We ask 3 different locals walking along the road for directions. Two of the three give us the same info, which means we have come down the wrong road for about an hour. Oh well, we have unlimited kilometers on the rental car.

Imagen_1121.jpgA bumpy backtrack and two hours later, we drive into the parking lot at Termas Geometricas and I am in pure bliss...just one other car! We pay our 14,000 pesos, about twenty bucks, yes, this seems extravagant, and it is. We check in, toss our things in a locker and step out into a red wooden walkway. The pools are situated in a most unusual yet practical way, up a ravine, with the welcoming red wooden planks leading from the bottom of the ravine to the top, steamy pools on either side. There are about fifteen pools of different temperatures, beautifully situated among natural waterfalls and hanging ferns and other native greenery. Each pool is created of slate and granite boulders, each a different shape and size, each with its individual ambiance. We soak, we frolic, we meditate, we discuss each pools qualities as we become too hot or too cool, we melt into relaxation for a few hours.

Posted by retomer 07:24 Archived in Chile Tagged tourist_sites

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

Posted by retomer 15:47 Archived in Chile Tagged backpacking

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