Monday, 26 November 2012

From Shore to Shore - Chaiten to Puyuhuapi, Chile

 Ash from the volcano covers the beach at Chaiten...
 and the volcano continues to erupt.
To the west a Matterhorn lookalike.

 There is a short 13km stretch of wonderful paved road today.

 Forest fuchsia, known locally as Chilco, line the roadsides. Hummingbirds drink the nectar.
Charles Darwin took samples of these forest fuchsia to Britain in the 19th century and varieties are now seen in gardens worldwide.

 A Taranaki gate in Patagonia.

 This riverbed resembles a large proportion of the remaining 180km.

The expression, 'the middle of nowhere' has no meaning for me now. Wherever we are is somewhere.
People are living and working throughout this wilderness landscape. 

We stopped for a break at Cafe Violeta. Coffee, home made bread, cheese and jam.
A wonderful warm welcome in the Valles des Frios (the valley of cold).  
The roosters crowed, the calf moo'd, the dog barked and the cat mewed.
 Freddie and Violeta have created a haven for travelers.
Over the bridge

along the road which my driver says that it is like riding on marbles.

through a 31km stretch of road works. 
The intensive phase here involved spreading fill which contain fist-sized round stones. 

to Puyuhuapi.

We succumbed to the temptation to stay in Puyuhuapi for the night.  It is a small, pretty,  coastal fishing village.

Mella and Ebony rest for the night in a magnificent Rhododendron garden with lovely perennial borders..

and a guard dog!

' Forget me not'
I remember wandering the gardens in Dunedin in springtime when I was a student. Rhododendrons like candy floss. Happy memories.

We went walk about.
Puyuhuapi was first settled in 1935 by folk from Rossbach in Sudentenland. Now part of the Czech republic. Access was by boat or by plane until 1982 when the General Pinochet Carretera Austral was built.

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