From the commercial (not tourist) town of Osorno, Chile I set off north towards Pucon. While looking at the map I realized how close I was to the South American Pacific, and figured I would not be any closer on this trip so I took a left from the highway and rode rolling hills through conifers and a seemingly thriving timber industry. The cloud cover was strong and the entire landscape reminded me of the Pacific Northwest of the US. I passed the port town Valdivia, crossed some bridges and followed the inlet to the sea past numerous fishing communities until I made it to this beach with a view of the Oceana Pacifico.
I was starving and circled back towards Niebla, the closest village, for some fish. Stopped at this little spot for fried fish, tomatoes, rice and a peculiarly spicy cold soup. This charming little girl came straight out and stood right next to my table, but when I spoke to her it was clear that although curious she was muy timida. But safe behind the glass she would make faces and blow kisses.
On my way back to Valdivia, I took a wrong turn down a dirt road and noticed some Chilean Huasos (cowboys) and some sort of event. This is one of those opportunities to truly explore a country. At first I turned around, thinking of Pucon, then realized that this is one of those experiences that I could not get from "Lonely Planet" guide book and I needed to stop and see what was going on. I went in and parked my bike in front of this barn. The fellas above where curious and although Chilean spanish is difficult for me to understand, we spoke a bit. The informed me that I had stumbled upon a traditional Chilean rodeo. AWESOME!
I was very interested in the attire, as I was completely different from the gauchos of Brasil and Argentina. I followed them to the bar and retail area where I bought some exquisite hand made leather goods.
I spoke with these inquisitive cops as this gentleman is used resin for wood to seal this sombrero.
After the rodeo I made my way back to the highway, headed north for a bit then split off on a side road towards Pucon. I stopped along the way, went up a dirt road for a better view of the volcano and had some berries by the side of the road. Bliss. This town is famous for the lake, the volcano and the plethora of outdoor activities. I look forward to returning.
This town is famous for the lake, the volcano and the plethora of outdoor activities. I look forward to returning.