Where are we?

Chile - Country #40 and 6th in South America

Wow! Just realized coming into Chile makes it #40 for countries we've visited and only about 8 of them before we had retired in June 2009.  Yup I love retirement and so glad we did as soon as we were able 😍

Think it's time to replace the flag that is on the back of Vanna with a new one
We end up spending another day and night in Villarrica since Dwayne needed to work on Vanna and we need to do some laundry. Found a place that has self use machines so drove there this morning and got all the laundry done in 1.5 hours :)  Then back to the beach to park so Dwayne can work on Vanna.  The fridge has not been working well on propane so that’s another thing he needs to try and repair :)  He did check online and read that it needs to be removed, turned on it's side for an hour then on the other side for an hour. So he was been doing that while waiting for the water to drain out of the tank to try and get that damn crack fixed! He also found a wire that was burnt so had to cut his extension cord to get some wire to replace it. That’s my MacGyver guy :)  He also went to another hardware store here, on his way to a plastic tank outlet which unfortunately was closed 😩 and was given another epoxy that should work. It might work but because of the movement of the van, the fix ends up cracking.  But maybe this stuff is different. 

It’s very warm here in Villarrica, nice summer day. But it does cool off nicely at night because of the wind. Seems the kids must be out of school for holidays since the town is still really busy which I thought yesterday made sense because it was a Sunday.  We end up buying groceries and wow it is expensive here! Hoping it’s only because it’s a resort town!  Guess we’ll find out once we leave and continue thru the lake district. Had another dip in the lake, again hard to get out because of the slippery lava rock we have to walk on before getting past our knees in the lake. Nice and cool out here 😃

Tuesday we drive on to Lago Calafquén - lake #2 in the circuit of seven lakes. We stop to find a cafe for a coffee and cake on the beach, but had to walk to the main plaza of town to find that, nothing along the beach.  But first we stopped to try some sopaillas- a deep fried bread, very similar to bannock but served with salsa :) At least they were cheap - 4 of 1500CP($2.55) We continued our walk to the main plaza and after awhile we found the cafe! It had yummy German kuchen pies!! Couldn't resist, so we had some along with a latte and americano. Again expensive 8700CP plus the 10% tip added on 9570CP ($16) Guess it's like going to Vi's for Pies in Edmonton!! But always think things should be cheaper in SA - but not in this country!  At least this should keep us full until supper :)

Beach at Lago Calafquén - gravel not sand 

Beautiful rose in the park

Lots of hostels in the lake district plus nicer cabanas 

Can't get over the size of this beauty!!
Street across from the park, stores and private homes
At a viewpoint looking at Lago Calafquèn

Opps! lost a tube rider!
Another view of Lago Calafquén with Volcáno Villarrica in the background
House in the woods with nice deck -again so NA :)

Usually only see ruta de evacuación for tsunami 
Then it was time to get back on the road and head to the next lake which is Lago Panguipulli. This was a smaller lake, but also still busy! Didn't stop here for anything. Want to get to the next lake to spend the night there. Which is called Lago Ranco, we end up on the south shore of this HUGE lake! 160 sq miles with a number of islands in it, 3rd largest lake in Chile. The area where we want to park since there is suppose to be free wifi, is packed solid! So we move further away and will try again later. The spot we find still has lots of lava rock we have to get over to get into the water. Hard stuff to walk on because it has silt and algae on it! Same as our spot at Villarrica. But there I wore runners to get in and out! Forgot to wear them today and the van is parked up high on the bank, so will try without. It's slippery alright! But I manage to get in without falling on my face or butt! LOL!! Finally I get deep enough to just float, even though there are still move lava rocks below me. Of course the hard part is getting OUT! No way to just "walk" out, I swim in until I'm just about dragging on the rocks, then get up and slowly walk out, holding onto some high rocks that aren't wet for balance. Again I get out without slipping on my butt!! The next time I go in I wear Dwayne's flip-flops so makes the walk in much easier! 

Driving down the tree lined highway

We even find blackberries along the side of the highway! What a nice treat :) 

Housing development in the town of Panguipulli

Panguipulli Church built in 1947 and inspired by Swiss models

Lago Panguipulli

Look a field of giant marshmallows!!! :)
harvest time for wheat

Lago Ranco with the tricky "beach"

Before we know it it's already 6:30 and the sun is still shining! But guess it's time to go make supper. Once we get everything put away Vanna is to hot to cook in today! We'll go to a restaurant instead. We find a nice one along the beach and stop in there. This area was settled by many Germans years ago so there are lots of German type beer here or also known as artesian beer. We order 2 different types and the one I get has blueberries mixed in. Wow it tastes really good!! Dwayne's is a regular pale ale but also tasty. I order chicken breast and Dwayne orders the hamburger. When the orders came we couldn't believe the size of Dwayne's burger!! It was half the size of the plate! Had toppings of cheese, tomato, onion and guacamole! WOW!! Price for beer 3000CP ($3.80) each,  Burger 6500CP ($11) my chicken 7000CP ($11.50) Total with tip (which is always added on of 10%) 21,500CP ($36)!! It is expensive here!! At least we got on their wifi so when we parked on the road outside the restaurant for the night we still had some wifi to check things out :)

WOW!! Can you believe the size??

And my huge chicken breast!

The night was a little noisy here, people just stay up really late here! Even kids because a family walked by and were talking pretty loud and I could here a kid talking and it was 1:15am!! Anyways, our next stop it going to be by the ocean so hoping to find a quiet spot there :) 

Still find it so hard to believe we are in Chile with all these wooden built homes! No cement block house or adobe houses here. Guess when there is so much timber in this country it makes sense to use it instead of cement. I also read that Chile exports 11% of it's wood and 65% paper products with China being it's biggest client. Plus I read that the government had put millions in US$ away for a "rainy day" so when the markets crashed in 2008 Chile still had money squirrelled away and was able to use it to build infrastructure to keep people working. Smart country! Such a beautiful area to be driving through.

We drive through the large city of Osorno to find propane, but not able to get the 20lb tank filled.  We also filled up with water and seems that the crack has been fixed but hopefully it won't crack when we are driving on rough roads. Also the fridge fix seems to have worked. So guess Dwayne has all his chores done for awhile! LOL!! We find a mall and go in to have some lunch, nothing really great to chose from so had some fried fish, salad and fries.  Both had the same and came to $8400CP  $14C. We walked around the mall a little and then headed back to Vanna since there is no free parking here, costs about $1.20C/hr to park on the street. Then headed to the Lider which is a Walmart store in Chile, to get some groceries.

Dwayne also wanted to get the front tire looked at to see if we need a wheel alignment.  Ended up at a Goodyear dealer but he didn't have big enough equipment for Vanna so sent us to another shop that works on trucks. We found it and within an hour had the front tires rotated and balanced all for $41C.  Now it is to late to continue our drive to the pacific, so instead drove to the Claro store and bought a SIM for Chile, we can use it again when we return in May. Bought it along with 2GBs for 2000CP $3.40C!! Again cheap cheap!! And so much easier then trying to find free wifi. 

Now it's time to find a place for the night. I find there is a spot at the park near the river that seems to be good, only about 2km from central area.  When we get there we find a nice quite looking spot, no one else is around.  After supper we decide to go for a walk around the park, turns out it crosses the river over a walking bridge and then back around again where we started.  It feels so good to get out since it's nice and cool out and we haven't been doing much walking lately. Always hard to just get out and walk where we are parking in most cases, but this spot has a great walking path and felt so good to get out. I even used some of the "outdoor exercise equipment" that they have in all the parks. Only the rowing and walking machines were working, plus I used the sit-up bench.  We should stop at a park like that everyday and use the equipment, ya right!! Always more interesting driving and seeing things 😊

Tomorrow we will head west to a small town called Maicolpué on the pacific coast.  Need to see the ocean :) 

Not sure why this would be in English? :)

The local Walmart store 

Even a large John Deer dealership

The Good Year shop
Most of the houses here are really kept up and look beautiful

And others are past their time 


  1. When Len was in grades 6-9 he had a good friend Louis. His parents had immigrated to Canada a few years before and Len used to love going to his place after school. Louis' mom would make sopaipillas for an after school snack for them. But she always served them either with sugar & cinnamon or with honey. Len was crazy about them. She sometimes would send a bunch home with him. Len asked for the recipe!! And I still have it -- though I only made them once. :-(

    1. Yes they would taste good with sweet topping :) Then more like native bannock which is also yummy!!