Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Corral & Valdivia, Chile

Lately, we’ve been getting a little more daring. Yesterday, we actually took a public bus out of town! You have to understand – because we can’t speak the language and have to be sure to make it back to the ship before it sails, this seems quite adventurous! We made it to Puerto Varas, a village in the “Lakes District” of Chile whose architecture hints at its Germanic heritage. The village fronts on a crystal clear lake, across which one can see the snow-covered cones of Vulcan Osorno & Vulcan Calbuco.

Unfortunately, upon attempting to power up our trusty camera and thus provide you with proof of our adventure and its payoff, we discovered that the camera battery was still back on the ship!
So, today, we repeated the effort from our latest port, taking care to bring along everything necessary to document the excursion. We made our way, by ship’s tender, ferry, bus, and foot, into the riverfront university town of Valdivia. While we could not find mountain scenes to share with you, we did find some colorful city scenes to shoot.
Our return to the boat took us by the remains of a 15th century Spanish fort guarding the entrance to the river upon which Valdivia lies. Apparently, dangers both land and sea threatened the early settlers of this area, and they took appropriate steps. Now, the stone fortifications sprout springtime wildflowers, and the canon niches look out on squadrons of geese and armadas of fishing vessels.

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