Petrohué, the Lake District, Chile

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We read about this little village Petrohué, which is at the foot of Volcano Osorno built on the ashes from the Volcano.  The village is right next to Lago Todos los Santos, or Lake of All Saints, which according to Footprint guide – “the most beautiful of all the lakes in southern Chile”.

So early next morning we caught the first bus around Port Varas going to Petrohué. When we got here we found this is not a village, it’s just a port connecting Bariloche, a big Lake District city on Argentine side, to Port Montt, the southern Lake District city on Chilean side.  The town consisted of about 5 working buildings, a campsite, and a couple rows of residential housing for those who work here during the season.  The village has 28 residences all year round.

We walked around clueless till we found a ranger station behind the port, we asked if we could find any hostals to stay, he pointed to the other side of the lake, “you have to take a boat, there is a little hostal behind the trees, the boat trip costs about 1000 pesos each person (US $2).”  I don’t feel like paying so much just to get to the hostal.  So I asked if we could stay with any families on this side of the lake.  He hesitated, “knock on house #1, and they might know more.”

So we walked to the rows of residential house, found #1, knocked on the door, an elderly church-sister-looking-lady opened the door.  As we asked if we could stay with any of the families in the village, she led us into her room – tonight, we are sleeping on her bed.

After settling everything down, we proceed to hike around the park around Volcano Osorno.  Midway up there we got caught in a storm.  It got so bad that we had to took shelter under a tree for a while before we could manage to continue our hike.  Since we could not find any stream as we had expected on the way here along with a bad storm, we decided to head back home after reaching the first view point.  Coming back we bumped into the woman, “you must be Jenny!”  Ah it turned out that the Norwegians from my Antarctica cruise were also hiking around here.  The guy already headed back to his tent as soon as he realized the weather wasn’t ideal, and the girl is still here continuing to try to finish up the trail.  We also bumped into a big family of Chileans who asked us if there is any stream ahead of us for some more water – no, there is not.

After that eventful hike, we were quite worried about our kayak plan for the next day.  If we caught a storm while kayaking, it would be much worse than when we were up on the trails.  As usual, there was really no telling about the weather since it is usually very cold in the morning and in the evening.  We heard rain that night and in the morning I saw a quite misty grey, “perhaps it’s not a good idea to kayak, Pavel”  I was not very happy when he was so determined to set out on the kayak.

But the day grew better around 9am.  So we went out on the most beautiful boat ride in my life so far.   As we glide our kayak on emerald green lake backdropped with the snowcapped volcano, the sun eventually came out.  The Margrita island seemed not too far away from us, so we rowed our kayak to there in about 3 hours.  We stayed on our island for a while, ate a bit, and came back.  Coming back we went for the direction beautiful volcano, but the wind started and along with it came the big waves.  We had the hardest time paddling our kayak.  So we struggled to get our boat along the coast.  Pavel wanted to continue but I told him there is just no way we could go back the same way as we came.  We were already very exhausted and we weren’t even a third way home.  So we found a camping site and Pavel found the only guy with a working boat around the area and he helped us to get back to Petrohué.

From Petrohué, Chile, posted by Jenny Zheng on 6/24/2012 (85 items)

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