Cycling above the Clouds

Riding the Andes by Bicycle


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Volcano hunting around Lago Llanquihue

Returning to the mainland after our visit to ChiloĆ©, we now made our way back to Puerto Varas in the Los Lagos region. I’d found a cheapish hostal when I’d visited a few days earlier, just a couple of blocks round the corner from the hotel where mum and dad would be staying. My hostal had a garage so I’d been able to leave the bike there with peace of mind whilst we went off our on road trip. My room there was a little damp though, so it was very nice to be able to take our afternoon breaks at mum and dad’s much nicer hotel (who kept us plied with cups of tea:).

The weather was a little better this time round and we set off eastwards round Lago Llanquihue to hunt out the best views we could find of the volcanoes.

Famille Brindley: at a mirador in front of Volcan Osorno. Mum and I looking very colour-coordinated.

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Lago Llanquihue

I had a lovely couple of days ride skirting Lago Llanquihue from Osorno to Puerto Varas, where I would then meet up with my parents. This was definitely a great location for cyclists and also joined me up again to some of the route I rode in this region 2 years ago. That trip is partly what prompted me to come back and make this whole 9 month journey down South America.

The route took me through the small towns of Puerto Octay and Frutillar which border the lake. The communes were originally formed in the 1850s, when the Chilean government encouraged Germans (who were struggling to survive due to the effects of the industrial revolution in Europe at the time) to come and settle and develop the region. In Hamburg, the area was marketed as being ‘like Lake Geneva’ although when they arrived, the settlers found that life would be very harsh for a good while, as they cleared the land, built houses and mills, and began farming the land all from scratch.

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