December 22, 2005
I got into Puerto Varas early today after being on a bus for twelve hours overnight. I was able to find a nice hostel run by a German family. In fact, it seems that more people speak German than Spanish here. This small town is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Santiago, and I think it will be a good place to spend Christmas.
About the only thing I did today was take a walk around town. Puerto Varas is in the lakes district of Chile, and, not surprisingly, located on a lake called Llanquihue. On the other side of the lake sits Volcán Osorno, a volcano that resembles Mount Fuji with its perfect conical shape. The entire area is quite beautiful and is starting to resemble the northern latitude where I grew up instead of the tropics, where I have been most of my trip.
It's cooler here than it was in Santiago, which is a good change of pace for me. It hits a comfortable 75 degrees during the day and 60 or so at night. The only problem is the constant wind that seems to plague the area. I've heard that all of Patagonia is cold and windy, and since I'm just at the gateway of the southernmost region of the planet, I think there will be a lot more bad weather in store for me in the weeks to come.
As usual, I didn't get much done today because the overnight bus ride left me exhausted. However, I did meet some fun people in my hostel: Carolina from France, Magnus from Sweden, and Sam and Kim from Alaska. Sam is originally from Indiana, and Kim is from Janesville, WI. There has been some talk of having a Christmas feast here, so I think it will be a good time.