March is a great time to travel in Chile. February has ended as school starts back up and the masses move from the beach back into the fall routine. The highway and toll stations clear up a bit and prices at the hotels and tourist spots all along this long and skinny country start to decend as well. But the weather? Still nice.
As a rule we try to go south at least once a year. This year we boarded a plane to Puerto Montt, and then jumped in a rental car to Puerto Varas to spend some time on the shores of the giganticly beautiful lake, Lago Llanquihue, with the towering snow capped Osorno Volcano above.
When the view is clear it’s an impressive spot on earth and a great place to spend a few days and make an attempt at relaxation and disconnect, if only for a short while.
The getaway is always nice. Clean air, a more relaxed schedule. Even with an 18 month old it’s still a great change of pace from the work/life cycle in the capital.
Eating is, of course, one of the main attractions for any vacation. It’s the barometer which we use to get a sense of the people, the culture and the land. In Puerto Varas that means a fusion of German and Chilean cooking. Kuchen and coffee, thick juicy bratwurst and beer, for starters.
At first it’s always nice to be served. To have someone else do the planning, the buying, the cooking, and especially the cleaning! Forget about everything else just sit down and eat..and hope the kid does too.
But then those bills start to add up. It only takes a couple of mediocre meals, or few instances of bad service, for eating out to loss its luster.
By the end of the trip, I didn’t want to ask for the check, or hope that things were prepared to my liking. I started to miss not the bed, nor the internet connection, or any other worldly object, but yes, that kitchen back at our home sweet home. Just the right condiments. Our own glasses, a proper wine opener (with no service fee for opening a good bottle of wine if we bought it). The license to experiment with food, to buy at the market, to live the meals once again, in the comfort of our own home.
So just to end things…it’s been a while without a post. We’ve got some interesting things in the works. We visited some nice places in the south of Chile and have some great stories from around Santiago as well. The year, 2012, is upon us according to the 9 month Chilean calendar (which just doesn’t include half of December, January or February). Looking forward to some good eating and good company.
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