Holiday in Chile (5): San Pedro to Puerto Varas

Friday was a day of leisure and it was an opportunity to explore the little town of San Pedro de Atacama. Overlooked by the Licancabur volcano, the town itself only has a population of about 2,000.  Essentially it is one Main Street, which is essentially pedestrianised, with a few smaller streets running off it, plus a square and a church. 

Entering the town in early morning is a bit like being Clint Eastwood’s character at the start of “A Fistful Of Dollars”, but things soon pick up as more and more (mainly young) travellers stroll around the dusty thoroughfare. Besides cafes, clothes stores and craft & souvenir shops, there are lots of outlets offering local tours and activities and other outlets providing bicycles and equipment for walking, hiking, cycling and so on. I’ve seen similar streets in larger towns like Kathmandu in Nepal and Queenstown in New Zealand.  

Drinking, eating, strolling and a bit of shopping as a group or in smaller units happily filled the day. We all had lunch at “Lola” where Silvia & I ate on Wednesday. Since lunch was so large and we had such an early morning ahead of us, we had a light evening meal at the hotel. 

Saturday was an early start for a full day of travel.  Having been to the capital Santiago in the centre of Chile and the Atacama Desert in the north of the country, we were off to the Lake District south of Santiago.  

So Silvia & I set the alarm for 5 am and our minibus left at 5.50 am when it was still dark. The day was then a road journey from San Pedro back to Calama (1 hr 30 mins), a flight from Calama to Santiago (1 hr 40 mins), another flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt (1 hr 20 mins), and finally another road journey from Puerto Montt to Puerto Varas (30 mins). So we arrived at our new hotel by Lake Todos los Santos at 3.50 pm 10 hours after leaving our previous accommodation. 

The Cabana del Lago Hotel is located next to the lake with sweeping views from our room of the centre of Puerto Varas and the lake itself overlooked by the Osorno volcano. Most of us had a splendid dinner in town at a place called “Las Buenas Brasas”. This restaurant specialises in steaks and sea food. I had a 300 mg steak (the largest on offer was 500 mg) while Silvia had salmon. 


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