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!


  1. He looks to be in kid paradise! Pools creeks and ponds to explore. I'd be a bit nervous regarding the puma. Perhaps he should tazke a sheep along just in case he runs into a puma.Have yall been fishing? Looks lke a great place to ccast a line.

  2. How far to the nearest store? Are there any megamarts in the southern regions or grocery stores, furniture stores...Where do you buy things besides the Faria?

  3. Eric

    The pumas are not a problem as they are very scared of humans. Our neighbors Otto and Christel Kusch who have the humongous farm next door said that one of their workers found a puma kitten in the drainage ditch and that it would have drowned had they not took it in. After a year they released it 50 miles away in a national park. Also I bought the boys fishing rods and Andrew promptly lost 2 lures in our lagoon. No bites, but we are still a little early for the season they say.
    There are good sized stores in Frutillar just over the hill, but there are big stores in Orsono, Pto Varas, and Pto Montt. There are also two large malls in Pto Montt as well as one in Orsono. After the Chileanos need furniture too.


  4. Wunderschoen. Based on my travels, I am reminded of both Bavaria and Alaska. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So beautiful! I really enjoyed Thomas' Tour! I wish I was there...but what would I do to earn a living?

    Peace to you all! In the land of peace!

  6. To earn a living here you really need to speak spanish though many come as english teachers but the pay isn't that good. Jim is looking to buy a distributorship with Rain-X products. He has a chilean business partner which really helps!
    There are many opportunities here but you have to think like an entrepreneur to find a need. The government is encouraging of small businesses and foreigners.
    Thanks for the comments, Stacy and Benson!
    I've never been to Alaska or Bavaria but this place is awesome!

  7. Woooohhhhh! What a surprise. You all are great! I am speechless...really!

  8. That was a fantastic string of pics on your walk. How long does that take you? distance/time?

    The views you have are sensational -- some of those pics remind me of Western NC. I am in love with the little waterfalls you guys stumble across on your excursions.