Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Patagonia - Puerto Varas, Chile

Puerto Varas was our first visit to Chile and we decided to take it easy and enjoy the town instead of going on more sightseeing excursions.  We had traveled 11 hours the day before and will have another extended travel day following so it was great to relax in the quiet town.  It was again intermittent sun and drizzle; we took advantage of the sunny periods to explore and took shelter in stores and cafés when it's raining. It was great to catch up on some people watching and food tasting.

We found a chocolate store in the morning - the brand store of Chilean choclatier Varsovienne.  The 85% dark was exceptionally good as was the dark chocolate ginger.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw on the box the warning label "Alto en calorias - Ministerio de Salud" (high in calories - Ministry of Health) when I got home.  The Chileans must be very health conscious people!  

The most visible landmark in Puerto Varas was the Church of the Sacred Heart at the top of the hill.  A wooden church clad with iron on the outside, a design based on German churches, it was declared a National Monument in Chile.  

At lunch we ate at Café Mamusia, where we saw lots of locals. It served Chilean specialties including the famous corn casserole "pastel de choclo".  It was delicious but very rich, with minced meat, chicken and egg besides corn - the corn was almost an afterthought! The place also had a bakery with all varieties of cakes and pastries. This being a town with a strong German presence, I knew we wouldn't be disappointed by the desserts and we were not.

We checked out some of the interesting houses in town with their scalloped sidings and managed to return to the hotel without having to open our umbrellas.  Dinner with the group at a restaurant near the hotel confirmed our guess that the Chileans enjoy food and are particular about their quality. It had been a good, relaxing visit.  


Puerto Varas waterfront

You can tell from the pavement we were in Puerto Varas!
Note the warning label!

Interesting buildings at the waterfront - note the thick carved pillars

Neat café truck
The Church of the Sacred Heart - we were surprised at the metal on the outside

Pastel de choclo (corn casserole)

Charming little girl playing with toy trucks - she entertained herself for more than an hour while her mom was on her phone

Some interesting buildings in town...

Note the scalloped sidings on these houses

The old style Hotel Cabana del Lago where we stayed

We were surprised to find quite a few birds around town!
A Southern Lapwing on the roof
A caracara lolling on the hotel fence

View of the town from the hotel

Good night, Puerto Varas!

Next post: Torres del Paine National Park

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