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And so our third week in Chile begins. We awake to find one of the collie dogs patiently waiting at the door for snuggles. We really are going to miss such hospitality, especially as I suspect that we’ll not visit Chiloe again, only because life is short and there are so many other places we’d like to see. Perhaps I should have learnt by now though never to say never. We don’t know what’s around the corner. At least we’re departing the island with wonderful memories.

The manic Chilean driving style is on full display today and we witness a taxi aggressively ‘encourage’ an elderly man to pull off the road. Why frighten and upset other people for the sake of getting somewhere a few minutes earlier? If your journey is that important, why not allow more time? I don’t think I’ll ever get used to aggressive driving. It un-nerves me when I’m on the receiving end. But then I am a sensitive soul. We also watch with baited breath as a German family who were also on the ferry from Chiloe, proceed to travel the wrong way up the motorway near Puerto Montt. Had it been me, I’d have done the fastest u-turn in history. But oblivious to other cars having to swerve out of their way, and lorry drivers pulling on their horns, they carry on to the next roundabout. I suppose it could be easily done on strange roads. Would love to know what the drivers wife was saying whilst it was happening though. Perhaps she was too busy screaming. They need a Dervla. You wouldn’t do that to me, would you Dervla? Actually, don’t answer that.

We’re headed for Puerto Varas and our next stop off – Bordemundo. Run by the very welcoming and well traveled Javiera, the site consists of just two cabanas surrounded by long grass, and a steep hidden track down to a small private beach beside Lago Llanquihue. We’re back in the Lake District. And yep, it’s still raining. Whilst the temperature was apparently 30 degrees C this time last year, we’re still wearing our thermals and waterproofs and the volcano is wearing its cloud hat. It’s still a few degrees warmer than on Chiloe though, so we should catch some more sun as we go further north. The spacious cabin sleeps 4 with a double and two day beds, and has a very powerful wood burning stove. Rich’s eyes light up when he catches sight of the liquid paraffin. Someone is going to end up losing their eyebrows.

We’re only about two miles outside of Puerto Varas, but the town itself is busy and a bit too touristy for our liking, with the kind of sterile hotels and gimmicky shops that you find in our own tourist traps. It’s the Pucon of the southern Lakes, and we avoided Pucon for that very reason as it’s where most Europeans seem to flock. There are some beautiful buildings but it doesn’t seem to have much ‘soul’, and Javier tells us that come peak season it’s horrendous for the locals as there’s very little room to even walk down the street.  Parking is a nightmare so to get to the local Lider we have to park on the oustkirts and walk in, and the Lider is heaving. It’s also quite small so we grab what we can and get out of there as quickly as possible, heading for the sanctuary of the cabin.

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