Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Futrono to Puerto Varas

On Tuesday morning we set off from our lovely cabaña near Futrono and drove around Lago Ranco, through incredible farmlands, past more lakes and reached Puerto Varas just before night set in.

We took a quick detour shortly after leaving the cabaña to check out a side road. In this part there are cliffs near the road with lake on the other side. We'd spotted a river on the map that looked worth checking out. We delighted in the skinny waterfalls dropping from the steep, densely vegetated cliffs - almost obscured by low cloud and the light drizzle.

Back on the main road, we took another short detour (200m) to a playa (beach) on Lago Ranco. A divine pebble beach. We spent a while walking on the pebbles and checking out the interesting colours.

Continuing the clockwise loop, we pulled off again to check out a waterfall (Saltos del Nilahue) marked on the map. We discovered this to be kayaker territory and the waterfall is certainly run at higher levels. We walked around on the rocks above the falls to check out the flow and features. Celliers was delighted with this sighting. The top part is, he says, really nasty (and probably so at higher levels too) so the kayakers may put in just above the drop.

Back in the car we continued towards the town of Lago Ranco. Our Footprint guide book mentioned it as an "ugly little town" but it is certainly not that. Neat and tidy, we found.

From the town we decided to take a cross-country route on back roads instead of heading for the highway. We were definitely fine for a bit and then without taking a turn we ended up off course where our road eventually came to an end at a farm gate. In my broken Spanish I spoke to a farmer and found out where we were and how to get back on the right road. With these back roads on our maps, junctions are sometimes not turning-type junctions (or they don't look like turns but should be). We were a few kilometres off and it was easy to fix.

The detour proved to be a good one because we saw some great farms and also a few locals riding horses - in the rain and wearing ponchos and wide brimmed hats, coiled ropes on their saddles... Lovely.

It really is one gorgeous farm after the next. Large fields with cattle (happy dairy cows mostly, lots of fluffy calves around too) and sometimes sheep grazing, bright green grass, huge trees standing alone in a field, dense vegetation on the perimeters and surrounding hills, wood stacks everywhere and hundreds of kilometres of fences with wooden fence posts. What a job digging all of those in!

The older fence posts in this area have moss growing on them. We stopped many times to take photos. Sometimes the tops of the fence posts are painted - we've seen black and white mostly and then a cool blue at one property. Another had red and white bands.

From a small town on Lago Rupanco we looked out across the lake. On a clear day we would have been able to see four volcanoes. We think we saw the one only (number 1 on the board). We did take a photo of the view and an information board showing us what we were missing.

And then it was through to Puerto Varas and the lovely home of my friend Mane and his girlfriend Raini. We had a wonderful dinner and a very late night talking and talking and talking.  Tomorrow... sights to enjoy in the area.

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