We finally leave Orsono – the loose wire is just that – and a local mechanico “sorts” it for us – we are back on track and heading south! The Chilean countryside is decidedly “Kiwi” – no two ways about it – with green pastures, grazing cattle, barbed wire fences, poplar trees (just starting to turn in colour) and snow-capped volcanic coned mountains!
The side road up to Volcan Osorno is just awesome – twisty, smooth and very steep – with panoramic views out to the lake – and volcanic ash blown on to the road in sporadic patches.
We head back down the mountain and take another side road to Petrohue – for a look at another lake!
We have had a “thing” with the Pacific Ocean since Vancouver Island – touching our toes in it – or just getting a glimpse. The air freshens as we approach the coast for the last time and the smell of the sea is like a tonic. Very shortly we will fly home across this ocean – followed by our bikes – and it’s starting to leave a lump in our throats!
The road ends at La Arena – you have to catch the car ferry from here – and this is the furtherest south we will venture.
Around 6,000 German immigrants settled in Southern Chile after 1850 which has had a huge influence on society and the economy. The evidence is all around in the lakes district in the architecture and the style of farming – European deciduous trees everywhere, hydrangeas and Germanic foods.
We have our last break at Pucon – right on Lake Villarrica – with another snow-capped volcano overlooking town.
Tip of the Day
It’s a good idea NOT to leave your walking shoes under the bed in last night’s hotel – especially in a country where the largest shoe for a woman in the shops is SIze 38 – and you happen to be a Size 41/42!!
We are in Pucon – a cute and bustling small town right beneath the picturesque Volcan Villarrica – and it’s Paul’s 60th birthday!! Mamas and Tapas restaurant has a great menu and is perfect for a “special” night – and time for me to reflect on how “special” he is! His contribution to our journey has been “above and beyond” – with his meticulous route planning every step of the way – his amazing “spread-sheets” for maintenance of both the bikes – his conscientious “handling” of all our documents – but most especially for looking after me!!
We are in Osorno staying in a cabana, which is sort of like a motel, and apparently the only place to eat in walking distance is called Las Brasas. We head there in the cool evening air – getting directions from locals as we go. It appears like a “truckie” stop on a stretch of motorway – but appearances deceive!! It’s really quite formal with impeccable service – and they have one waiter who can speak quite good English. We order a litre of beer, some glasses and a menu – and while we’re supping our “coldie”, an entree – on the house – arrives. It is called sopaipillas (pronounced sew-pie-pee-yahs) and it’s a small rectangle of pastry which has been allowed to rise, then deep-fried in oil which puffs it up with a crispy outside – which ideally leaves a hollow pocket in the centre. You then fill this pocket with some “pebre” (pronouned par-bra) which is quite a “hot” flavoured salsa – oh man – such an awesome accompaniment with an icy cold beer!! I am definitely going to try cooking these at home!!
On Two Wheels
We are up Volcan Osorno and a group of Brazilian bikers are very impressed by our journey – they are on a two week “romp” around Argentina and Chile – and we meet them again at Petrohue. They all seem to ride BMW1200GS’s in these parts – with KTM990 Adventures coming in second!
The Best Sign
We now realise that there are much LESS countries in the world where you can actually flush your paper down the toilet than there are that allow it – and in light of the “wet wipe” problem in Australia, it’s not surprising!!
Story of the Week
By George, we’ve done it!! Eighty thousand kilometres, forty countries and one year!!! We are in Santiago and making arrangements for our return “down under” – and it’s starting to really sink in what we have achieved! Our KTM’s have taken us around the world – across oceans – provided hours of adrenalin-pumped riding – and allowed us to fill our minds with incredible memories. We have met so many interesting and wonderful people – shared stories and become “friends”! The last five months have been in Spanish-speaking countries – trying so many new cuisines and learning about so many different cultures.
We are ready for home now with the thought of our own bed, cooking our own food, cold beers in the fridge and family and friends! Our trip to New Zealand with the bikes that was put on hold for this journey is back on the radar…