Thursday, October 24, 2013

Come for a walk with Thomas

It is not a hot steamy jungle here like the Amazon as most think of it in the USA. Here it is a temperate rain forest. Cool and rainy are the typical winter days. In the low 40s. Rarely do we go a day with out a little sun shine, but rare is the day we do not have rain as well. Also the north wind is warm, and the south wind is cool, fresh, clean air that has come from Antarctica that has never been breathed by man! Well, maybe a little...
This is the highest point on our road right next to the gate at our house.

This is our neighbor next to us - nice entrance gate and the house behind the bushes
They must live in Santiago because they are rarely around

Here is a view into the ravine towards the lake
It's very jungly and instead of kudzu we have a vining bamboo

This is the tasty Nalca plant - the flower is on the left and you can see how big the leaves get in the next picture
It adds to the jungle effect
We have seen this plant offered for eating at the feria so we tried some
The main stalk is eaten after peeling and it has the same feel as celery though with a more astringent flavor

The sides of the ravine are rock in some places and there are lots of small waterfalls that come down and follow the creek that runs along the side of the road

This tree has small red tubular flowers which the hummingbirds love
It is blossoming heavily now  though there are flowers all winter
Here is Thomas creating a "little boy dam" in the road ditch. The water runs this fast all winter long here in the ditches. It is more like a creek than a ditch and the water is coooooolllllllldddd.
The average rain fall for this part of Chile is 90 inches a year, and most of that falls in the winter.

This is the lowest point in the road though we are still quite a ways above the bottom of the ravine

Now we are headed up to the ridge

This is really deep! A scary 200 feet deep. The picture is very deceptive.

They do have Pumas here in Chile, and Thomas in this picture looks like a "Puma Snack".
The maintenance guy actually has seen a puma on our road within the past 2 months.

Can you imagine hacking your way through this to create a farm and a life for your family in 1840? This is what the Germans faced when they came here and settled this area. Many German settlers died cutting and clearing for their farms.

By now your legs are really aching and you are breathing hard but it's not much farther
and the view is really worth it!

Almost there!

Volcan Calbuco

Volcan Punitagudo

Volcan Osorno

Looking back where we came from is our neighbor's huge house!
Otto & Christel Kusch - a german immigrant family from the 1860's. They own 2000+ acres of land and have 400+ polled herefords. Jim went and introduced himself and Christel speaks english so she took us on a tour of her farm.

As we come down the other side, there are 3 houses tucked into the hillside
One belongs to the General of the Chilean Air Force and the other to his Colonel friend

In this cove is a fish farm - the baby salmon swim in cages here in the lake until they reach a couple of inches long and then they are transported to the ocean in tanker trucks to reach a mature size for harvesting

One of the homes. Our friend said it was on the market a few years ago for under $250,000.
Not bad for nice large house with incredible views in a private gated community!

Glad I bought those galoshes! We head up another smaller ridge before heading down to the lake

This part of the road reminds me of the farm I grew up on in Connecticut

Our final descent to the lake

A glimpse of the lake through the trees

We are finally here!
A view back towards the ravine

The lagoon faces south but no mountain views here

There is a dock here but someone stole the floats from it so it sank :(
Wow, thanks for holding out with us. That was a long post!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Museo Colonial Aleman Frutillar

Yes, another german museum! This one is in our favorite little town of Frutillar Bajo. You may remember a picture of it from the street in my post about this town. This museum is 4 buildings constructed  like the originals.

A little covered wagon to carry your goodies into the wild of Patagonia and here's my goodie!

One the first buildings was always the mill so people could grind their grains which was a staple food.

The mill wheel does not turn anymore.

The other side of the mill

The mill stone has grooves so the flour could come out. Then it was sifted for fineness.

This round barn is the threshing house so they could thresh even when it was raining which it does quite frequently

I'd love to go for  ride in this!

 Cool roof!

 An apple press for making cider (chicha)

And this is for digging up potatoes
You can see the forks on the bottom right hand side of the machine

lovely spring flowers!

The blacksmith's house

 An old fashioned coffee grinder
 I thought the stove top was interesting
from the left is a warming casserole dish- a pitcher - a very heavy iron!
a tea kettle - a pitcher with mug on top - and a very beautiful waffle iron
 This little woodstove heats the whole house
the stove pipe runs through the second floor to the roof and heats the bedroom
The blacksmith shop is underneath the house

the lovely knot garden with herbs and flowers
the view from up the hill
that's Osorno in those clouds on the bottom left

 the well to do farmer's house on the hill

nice enclosed porch with nice views of the lake