Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas station
Puerto Varas station

After a cool rainy start, it turned into a warm sunny day, spent looking round the town and determining how to spend the next few days. Accepting that Christine wasn’t up to cycling over the Andes to Bariloche, we opted to ride around Lago Llanquihue and booked a hospedaje in Ensenada for tomorrow night.

I looked up details of the railway and was surprised to read in wikitravel that the town is served by trains from Puerto Montt to Victoria, from where there is a service to Santiago. The Chilean Railways website had no details of such a train, which would be a more interesting option than flying back to the capital, so we walked up to the station to investigate. We found an abandoned station with steam age turntable and water columns, heavily graffitied. Quote from another site: “The Ferrocarril del Estado, between Santiago and Puerto Montt in Chile, runs for 700 miles along the Andes, passing snow-covered peaks and volcanic cones and through towns settled by groups as dissimilar as Temuco Indians and fifth-generation German immigrants.”

Since the cooking facilities were rudimentary at Hostal Azul, we looked for somewhere for the evening, then visited a heladeria for ice cream, back for a shower and out to the restaurant we’d found… which was closed. So we bought food at the supermarket and cooked.