Dom - Back on the Pachamama-by-bus we set about trying to make new friends. Our first stop was Valdivia. This place is notable for having a number of rivers converge here, and also an old fort. I'll always remember it for the sealions. We stopped at the fish market and were told to check out the sealions. I assumed that meant they catch them as well as fish and you can buy it by the kilo. The sealions were actually alive, really alive. They were honestly quite scary. The pictures won't convey their size as when I approached to give the photo some scale, the nearest sealion got angry, started roaring and tried to climb over the rail. They were 8 or 9 feet long and about 4 foot wide. My head could have fit in his mouth! I never knew they could grow so big.
Back at our hostel for the night one of our new friends, a Canadian girl, persuaded me that Chilean water was absolutely fine to drink. I'd been erring on the side of caution for our time in South America and drinking bottled water. As a sign of trust in our new friend, and because we were spending a lot of cash on water, I switched to tap water. My mistake was probably my throwing-caution-to-the-wind attitude, as I gluggled down a couple of litres of it over the evening. The next morning I was chucking my guts up. The Canadian girl felt terrible and so she should.
The next few days saw my popularity on the bus slip as we made repeated stops so the sick boy could go to the toilet. I vaguely remember passing some beautiful lake vistas. We passed through Puerto Montt, which is the starting point for ferries down into Patagonia. We'd have loved to do this but this time there was no time. We stayed in Puerto Varas for a night. This place has a very German influence. The Catholic Church is classic German architecture according to the guide book, not that I'd know, or care.
C - The sea lions in Valdivia really were huge. Obese I think in fact as they hang around the markets waiting to be thrown some scraps and get their way regularly. There were also river trips you could take here but it was raining and a nearby brewery caught our eye instead so we sampled beer for the afternoon instead. Via the 5 litre pipes.
At both ports I ate a wonderful but ridiculous amount of seafood, yum. There were plenty of restaurants all around the old fish markets.Puerto Varas was actually a really beautiful town, sick boy doesnt know because he had to stay in bed. I went out with the others to check out the town. Usually I would stay with Dom but im getting bored of him being ill all the time so I drugged him up and sent him to sleep! Quite strange actually, before this trip I dont think ive ever known Dom be ill in the 4 years ive known him. Ha. The Church was the most bizarre I had ever seen. It looked really modern and from far away it kind of looked like a toy model. Across the lake were two more snow capped volcanoes although the weather had turned crap and once again obscured our view. Apparently they are really beautiful?
Puerto Montt is the furthest point south we will be going on this trip. Patagonia has now topped my list of places to come back to, I think next time we will go there from Argentina - already thinking of the next trip! Would have loved to have had the time or money to go there on this trip.. but got to get back in time for our Easter Island flight so Its not so bad I guess. We will start to head back North on the bus now.