Among the Wildflowers

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Chile, Nov - Chile

Stop 5 on the Carretera Austral: Puerto Río Tranquilo
Population: 400

Puerto Río Tranquilo was of the same character and build as Puyuhuapi; roughly the same size, same types of minimarkets (including limited available produce), same cultural flavor of kindness and seriousness from the locals, and also the same weather with bouts of sunshine and rain (a little more wind here). The biggest difference, however, is the absolutely spectacular and ginormous wildflower-lined lake it is set on, which was carved by glaciers thousands of years ago. The lake, called Lago General Carrera in Chile, is split between Chile and Argentina and is around 125 miles long, so we traveled alongside its turquoise colored waters, surrounded by Andes peaks, for a large section of the Carretera. The base of the lake and surrounding cliffs are almost all marble which gives it the aqua hue you can see in the photos. Our guest house was steps from the lakeshore, which provided quite the view, and also created also quite the challenge in narrowing down pictures to post (life is hard).


  • We had surprisingly decent Internet, although zero cell service, for Skyping into Thanksgiving with our families, which meant a lot (see this post, which was written from Puerto Río Tranquilo, for more thoughts on our Thanksgiving abroad,).
  • We teamed up with Konrad for a boat tour to the nationally protected marble caves on Lago General Carrera, where we took a ridiculous amount of photos. The water has carved out incredible rock formations and caves into the marble. The boat driver squeezed the boat inside a few of the caves, and in some areas we could even see the marble under the water. The lake was pretty choppy and windy, especially on our way back when we also ran into some rain, making the boat ride itself a little more exciting than anticipated.
  • Walking through town we stumbled across a pig wandering around and a memorial to Father Antonio Ronchi, who looks eerily similar to Coach Ditka, at least in the depiction we saw (pic below). Was Coach secretly doing missionary work during the off seasons, and can you prove that he wasn’t?
    -Yet again, amazing views from on the bus between Coyhaique and Puerto Río Tranquilo, including a massive valley surrounded by snowy peaks near the tall, jagged Cerro Castillo peaks (we took a few pics even though the bus windows were really dirty).

Below are some of our favorite photos from Puerto Río Tranquilo, for the full album on Flickr, click here.

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