Puerto Montt is a town in southern Chile known as the gateway to the Andes. It began life quite late, not until 1853.
For a ship’s tour of nearly eight hours the cost would be USD $169 per person, so it was research time to cut the cost.
It wasn’t long before I found GV Tours, a tour company that has several offices across Chile. They were easy to deal with, and they were prompt in answering all my questions. The cost for a three-hour tour, which is about our limit, was USD $55 per person, with the use of a small bus, driver & guide. Other people on the ship had the same idea and I think we ended up with about twelve to fifteen passengers in total.
We wished to experience a scenic drive to Petrohue Falls, see alpacas, and visit places of interest during the drive. The ship docked on time, but it was raining.
On boarding the bus I looked out of the window to make sure that I would be able to take a few scenic shots as we traveled to Petrohue Falls.
Not the ideal way of photographing the scenery – and it was summer time.
The scene as we arrived at the main gate of
Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.
The park is named after Vicente Pérez Rosales, who organised the colonisation by Germans and Chileans of the area. He was born in 1807 and died in 1886.
To reach the Petrohue Falls we had to walk along a muddy track & with additional hazards of slippery rocks in the pouring rain, but one can not blame the tour company for the weather.
This might give you some idea of the conditions, umbrellas were the order of the day, and wet gear was required by everyone.
The water was wild and dramatic as it poured over, under and through small gaps in the rocks.
This what we’d hoped to see in the background, but the mist & rain defeated us. . . .
Even in the rain the falls were impressive.
I wondered if we would see anyone trying the above . . we didn’t, I took a photograph of a poster of what you can do at the falls.
Far more peaceful, I doubt that the fish would agree with me.
From Petrohue Falls we walked a little further to Laguna Verde, which is a lake hidden along a pathway in a thick forest of Coihue trees.
You can see the rain on the water, which is green due to the algae and minerals in the water – they do say who ever drinks from this lake will have good luck for the rest of their lives . . . I had the feeling that drinking from this lake would shorten my life some what, so perhaps it is true . . . as long as your life is very short.
What we’d hoped to see.
Lake Ilanquihue –
We’d hope to see Osorno Volcano, across the lake – the above is what we saw . . .
We left Petrohue Falls and drove to a lookout point for more photographs of the lake, but the weather was still ‘uncooperative’, so we crossed the road to check out a few wet animals.
Alpacas are gentle and curious as to what is going on around them – they followed our movements without fear and as I pointed the camera they looked in to the lens as if they all done it before.
Alpacas are smaller than lamas, and are bred for their wool. Lamas are are bred as pack animals.
Our next stop was Puerto Varas and the weather was a lot kinder.
The town was colonised by German migrants who had answered the call from the Chilean Government in 1853 to open up the area, which at that time was a vast wilderness. Many of the houses that we saw had a strong German influence.
German Club dated 1885
The town had a pleasant feel to it, and I don’t think it was due to the blue sky, which helped to brighten our spirits.
We found a small market that was selling mainly clothes, and many were made from alpaca wool. Although light in weight they were bulky so cramming them in to an already full suitcase was out of the question.
Puerto Varas was built on the banks of Llago (lake) Llanquihue. We walked along the shore line and came to Teatro del Lago (Theater of the lake). The town has a festival of music in January and February each year but when they don’t have a concert the building is closed, although we were able to walk around the outside of the building.
In the largest auditorium it can seat 1200 people and is made completely of wood. From a distance it has a stripped appearance, and at first I thought that it was painted metal, but once you get closer one is able to distinguish the different types of wood.
Main entrance area – this part faces the road.
View from the side of the theater
The walkway around the theater is also made of wood – the railings are metal.
At last a view that we were able to photograph, even though we couldn’t see the volcano. Took this from the end of the walkway around the theater.
Overall we enjoyed our day out, but must admit I am pleased that we didn’t fork out USD $169 each!
Thanks to http://www.sharynsstudio.com for the video.