We changed our minds again this morning and decided to stay an extra night. The owner was out but the maid said the room was available so after breakfast we went for a leisurely stroll round the town and visited the small museum dedicated to the German settlers who colonised the area in the second half of the twentieth century, encouraged by the Chilean government. At midday, heavy rain drove us back to our hospedaje, Triwe, where the owner broke the news that our room was actually booked so we lunched, packed up and took our bags out to find… yet another rear wheel puncture.
It was in exactly the same place as last time, I’d stuck duck tape over the area in case there was still something tiny and sharp in the tyre but I still couldn’t feel anything through it. I bent the tyre to examine it from the outside and spotted a tiny metallic glint. I dug in with my tweezers and pulled out a very thin shard of metal. That proved to be the cause and we suffered no more punctures, the worst I’ve ever had to deal with.
As we were loading up, a young French couple came up for a chat. They’d stayed at Triwe the past two nights though we’d not seen them, but like us were unable to extend their stay and had decided to camp. They’d stayed the previous night at Hotel Haase, a building that intrigued me, looking like something from the American Wild West. It was built as a hotel around 1894 but in 1910 was bought by Luis Haase and its new name has been retained through successive ownerships.
It didn’t appeal to Christine so we set off for Frutillar, only 25km away but it was already mid afternoon. We hadn’t gone far before the deluge drenched us, at which point we turned round and booked in. It’s a strange place, bedrooms arranged around a communal area, wood burning stoves keeping it cosy. Outside the rooms were tables with chamber pots and washstands, presumably original fittings. We had a very basic ensuite room with ill-fitting door and only cold water to the hand basin though the shower worked fine. It clearly hadn’t been decorated or updated for many decades, hanging on a wall was a tea towel with the calendar for 1975.