Patagonia day 5: Puerto Octay to Puerto Varasby Lindsay Brust - Thursday, March 3, 2011
I woke up in the middle of the night to a banging sound. I had left the shutters open in the bathroom to get a little air flow through the cozy bedroom on Lake Llanquihue. A rain storm had rolled in during the night and was still going strong in the morning. Our ride wasn’t suppose to be too long so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while the tour leaders checked the forecast and decided to push back the departure time about an hour. Sure enough, by 11am it was still lightening up outside. Most of us bussed to the top of the hill just off the peninsula before getting on our bikes.
The morning ride took us through the country side on the west side of Lake Llanquihue with beautiful views of the Osorno and Calbuco Volcanos. We stopped in Frutillar for lunch, a historic German colony. I visited the Pioneer Village Museum of German Colonization that features several old homes, a water wheel, and a thrashing house, in a park with flowers, ponds, walking trails, and dogs running around.
The afternoon weather had a slight cloud cover and was a little cooler out than it has been in the afternoon (perfect riding weather) so I decided to put in a few more miles on the bike despite the aggressive hills on the profile for the route. At one point – and for only about 10 meters – the pitch on the second large hill reached 18% Maria Elena warned me not to pull up on my handle bars or I would run the risk of tipping over backwards. I followed the white chalk arrows to the end of the route and jumped on the shuttle for the remaining 10km to Puerto Varas. The tour leaders wisely decided we probably wouldn’t want to ride on the Pan-American Highway, the only route the rest of the way to town.
Dinner was “on your own” so I chose to try a local favorite with a couple of people from the tour and the tour leaders. My dish of crab casserole was one of the best things I ever ate. I’ll update this blog about what it’s called as soon as I can get someone to remind me. I’m also going to try to get the recipe, so be sure to check back. You won’t regret it!