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Puerto Varas, Chile

Written on: Thursday January 31st, 2008

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Puerto Varas, Chile 

Author: Kevin 


?Time to make the donuts?time to make the donuts.?  This is an expression meaning it?s flipping early and we are walking like zombies.    The night before we got in late, after our van broke down and then we had to pack our bags and wash our dishes until 3am.  This bus ride is no longer at a desired time but we tough it out and hope to sleep a bit in our seats on our way to Puerto Varas.  We made it to the terminal with time to spare and found a seat on a bench.  Walking in our direction where the two UK girls I met the day before during rafting.  I introduce Anna and Em to Julie and we all climbed onto the bus and into our seats.  Julie and I were both completely knackered and I had gut-rot, something you feel after being hungry and tired.  Our bus ride was uneventful and we sleep the whole way there.  The four of us exited the bus station and walking toward town we were discussing where we were planning on staying.  The hostels in the lonely planet had talked about a hostel Casa Azul (blue house), and as it turned out we were all hoping to stay there and luckily they had room for all of us.  Anna and Emily put there bags down and were out again, checking the sites.  They travel differently than Julie and I do, as they have a good mix of activities and fun, and Julie and I move at a much slower pace.  While they were out seeing sites and making plans, Julie and I were focusing on recharging our batteries and getting food. 

Puerto Varas has a huge German influence, which is seen in its style of housing, its deep fried foods, deserts and the general look of people.  The village is located on the shore of the Lake Llanquihue, one of the largest natural lakes in South America. The perfect cone of Osorno volcano and the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Carlucci and Mt. Tornados are clearly visible from the lakefront.. The city of Puerto Varas, also known as ?the city of roses?, was founded in 1854 by Vicente Pérez Rosales. The city is named after Antonio Varas, minister of the interior during the presidency of Manuel Montt, when the city was founded. The Montt administration offered lands around lake Llanquihue for mostly German speaking Europeans to settle and farm those lands. Puerto Varas was founded as the main port on the lake, connected by road to the nearest seaport, Puerto Montt. This homsteading program continued through the remainder of the 19th century. 

For the next couple of days we enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere of the hostel?s Zen.  The German owner appears to be fascinated with bonsai trees and Japanese gardens.  In the middle of the garden was a koi pond surrounded by while pebbles, and in front of it a sitting area with prayer flags flying over head.  Inside the two-story hostel was all wood.  The first floor had a entrance, reception, large kitchen and dining room.  In the reception were three huge fish tanks used to breed the Koi fish. The kitchen was spacious and very well organized.  In the dining room and seating area where chess sets, and various other games, and music was always playing in the back round.  A guitar hung on the wall for anyone interested in plucking strings.  This is a magical place that soothes the soul and makes you dream of owning something like it.    To add to the charm, were two dogs, Butch an older Great Dane that has had his day and a new puppy called Bodo that was a hyper Winerramner, who would pester poor  Butch to play with him.  

After two days of rest, we were interested in experiencing some culture and what better way, than with the Frutillar music festival.  Every year for the last 40 years, the neighbouring city of Frutillar hosts a classical music festival, known as Semanas Musicales. This event attracts the best international talent from Berlin to Geneva to Moscow. We decided that we were interested in going and asked people staying at our hostel if anyone else was interested in joining us.  We found out that Sandra from Santiago and her friend Will from California was also interested in going and Sandra had a car, so we they invited us to join them for the ride.  It was nice to not have to worry about where we were going as Sandra has been there before.  Tonight?s show was a three piece string group, comprised of a violoncello, a viola and a violin, which played Mozart, Dohnanyi and Schubert.  The show was being held in a gymnasium while the cultural center was being built.  Every seat in the house was great and when we purchased our tickets, the lady asked if Julie and I were students.  I put my sunglasses on and said ?Si.?, and under my breath I whispered, ?Students of life...?  The show was exactly what I had been hoping for from the trip. The lights dimmed and the crowd became silent. The trio walked upon the stage, sat down, and waited for the polite applause to quieten before starting their first piece. At the end of the first tempo change, the crowd applauded again and the musicians had to wait for quiet to return before they could continue on.  It was a lovely evening of beautiful music that floated on the air around us in the gymnasium. The two hours flew by and it finished too quickly. The other spectators felt the same way as we as there were 3 standing ovations and 2 encore performances before the musicians were finally allowed to leave the stage. They were presented with beautiful bouquets of roses and a crystal statue for their attendance.

We were a little peckish after the show and Sandra took us to the German Club, a famous restaurant in this area. The table next to us was reserved and as we ordered a round of applause broke out. It was the musicians and concert organizers who had just arrived. We returned to the hostel that night music ringing in our ears.

Listed below is the program from the evening:


                                             ?Trio Dumas?

Julian Arp, violoncello

Manuel Hofer, viola

Christoph Erhenfellner, violin



Part I


Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Germany

Trio para violin, viola y violoncello Si bemol mayor D 471 Allegro


Ernst Von Dohnanyi (1877-1960) Hungary

Serenata en Do mayor, Op. 10 (1902)

Marcia. Allegro

Romanza: Adagio non troppo quasi andante

Scherzo: Vivace

Tema con variaciones: Andante con moto Rondo.

Finale: Allegro vivace


Part II


W. Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Austria

Divertimento para trio de cuerdas en Mi bemol mayor K563 (1788)



Menuetto: Allegretto, Trio


Menuetto: Allegretty, Trio I, Trio II