Keep Calm and Carry On

A dramatic mix of fog and mountains was the first thing I saw when my eyes popped open this morning – ahhhh….if only this were my daily routine.  I’m sure I’d never tire of it as the sky changes daily, the clouds and wind doing a new dance, the sun playfully casting its light and playing chase with the mountains’ shadows.

Well, I guess that’s where my head was today…in the clouds, looking for condors.image  If I had been looking in front of me on our hike to Lago Todos Los Santos, I would have noticed that nasty hole that tried to swallow me.  Luckily, it was a small hole and only caught my ankle, twisting it nicely.  Poor Wes had to help me hobble back to the hotel but Mother Nature provided us with a strong bamboo stick along the path – with my new walking stick, I feel like Gandalf.

After returning to the hotel, getting ice on my foot, and eating lunch, a kind woman asked the desk clerk if they could give us a room so I could prop up my ankle. Since we had already checked out, I certainly appreciated her kindness.

At 3:30 we met back up with our tour group.  Our new guide, Carlos was very helpful along with some of the other members of the tour group who were mostly from India.

Today we sailed for an hour and a half on Lago de Todos Los Santos, a beautiful emerald lake discovered by Jesuit missionaries on November 1, 1636  – All Saints Day (thus, the name).

The fog drifted in and out thoughout the day, but the sun and the wind were our friends – the sun’s rays never failed to stream through the clouds and the wind continued to pull back the veil so we could catch brilliant glimpses of the volcanoes.  First, there was Punta Aldoro, dormant for 1000 years.  Around the next bend came Osorno volcano which last erupted in 1835. Both were massive.

After our lake crossing, we loaded the bus and drove around Lake Llanquihue.  From there we could spot Caltuco volcano which erupted in 1961.  We also stopped for about half an hour to view a water fall.  I couldn’t make the hike to the falls but I was okay with that – I had seen a few small water falls on my infamous morning hike and also, Wes took a video of the falls to share with me (the next best thing).  The best part of these falls was the color – a beautiful light blue.

By the time we reached Puerto Varas, Wes and I were quite tired and were happy to see our Airbnb host, Juan, rushing up the sidewalk to greet us.  We had phoned ahead and asked if he could pick up an ankle compressor for me.  He kindly obliged and had insisted on meeting us in town so that we didn’t have to pay for a taxi.  So first thing he did was to give me a big hug and the bandage.  I liked this guy immediately – his bushy hair and eyebrows reminded me of Albert Einstein.  He  spoke little English so I knew Wes and I would get in a lot of practice.  Wes is actually quite proficient so he and Juan conversed freely.  I could also see right off that they had the same sense of humor!

And Juan loves Puerto Varas!  It’s easy to see why.  It’s a sleepy, quaint town on the shore of a pristine lake, the majestic Osorno volcano centered perfectly on the far shore. I was anxious to explore but igt was late so knew I would have to wait until mañana.

First, we drove to Juan’s cozy abode and settled in – not fancy, but homey with a wooden bar and old iron fireplace, a welcoming fire glowing within.  Our room was small but comfy and had with its own private bathroom.  I felt at home right away.

Juan offered to drive us to a restaurant so of course we invited him to eat with us.  The food at La Chamaca was muy delicioso and I am becoming a big fan of Merluza, a white flaky fish (this is the 3rd time I’ve had it in the past 3 days!). In English, it’s called hake – much better than the type we have in the US.

Before returning to our hacienda, Juan stopped at a drugstore so we could buy some pain/inflammatory drugs.  That should help me sleep!

Today was a good day despite my slight mishap.  Thank goodness for Wes, Juan, and other kind people along the path.  I shall keep calm and carry on.

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