Dec 23rd Friday
Road: Frutillar to Puerto Varas.
From Ruta 5, a two-lane paved road takes you into Frutillar and through to Llanquihue. There are gas stations en route each end of town. A paved road connects back to Ruta 5. What appears on the map to be a dirt road connects to Puerto Varas from Llanquihue and runs closer to the lakeside.
Christmas in Puerto Varas:
Rode the hour back to Osorno, and then took highway 5 south towards Puerto Varas for our 3 day Christmas break. We had our first look at the very substantial Lake Llanquihue at the town of Frutillar. We heard the lake is pronounced “yankee way”.
There are a lot of the –hue and –pue suffix around here, not the sort of Spanish I know, which is very, very dispiritingly little. I wonder if it is Malpuche influence (the locals before 1492).
Very pretty ride along the lakeshore to village of Llanquihue (see, you can say it now). Still surprised at very light traffic pretty much everywhere, even 2 days before Christmas. Despite a few decorations here and there, most shops and homes show no sign of the holidays.
Frutillar is like the guidebook mentioned; wood mansions with gingerbread cuckoo clock turrets and cupolas meets the Black Forest. More modern architecture still has plenty of half –timbered fronts, gables, and that distinctive pitch to the roofline. Looks like a Bavarian town, c’est tout. Though it is a small town, Frutillar does have a $25 million performing arts center. It is a great looking building, and from what we hear it hosts many world class acts.
Puerto Varas and the three night stay….
We arrive later in the afternoon, still no rain despite forecasts. It is comfy in the Cabano del Lago, with expansive view over the lake. Elegant and modern 4 star place. Assured at desk that all services operating at normal levels through Boxing Day, which is when we leave. One or two discreet Christmas decorations spotted in lobby but otherwise this could be Christmas in North Yemen. How do I convince Sharon we should come here next year?
Cloudy all day and very grey evening, although light here till 10pm. Bikes in underground parking, Pisco Sours in a warm bar watching the lake swell in the wind.