Along Lago Panguipulli to Pucón - A Patagonia Adventure - CycleBlaze

January 29, 2019

Along Lago Panguipulli to Pucón

It was an unusual day – morning clouds and promises of no gravel!  The route followed alongside Lago Panguipulli on a well-paved road with an ample shoulder. As traffic was fairly light, it was a delightful, stress-free ride up and down the lakeside headlands. The low-hanging clouds over Lago Panguipulli provided a welcome relief from the hot, sunny days we’d been having – but the lack of blue sky resulted in somewhat muted photos.

Wonderful paved road winding up and down the headland of Lago Panguipulli
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Low hanging clouds over Lago Panguipulli
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At Callumapa, we headed west before stopping for a break on the western edge of Laguna Pulingue. We then immediatedly encountered what was described as spotty gravel, intermittent gravel stretches apparently due to resurfacing of the tarmac. The road was uneven, but firm – the major problem being the dust kicked up the moderate traffic. As I began the final climb of the day, one longer and steeper than the rest, the clouds began breaking up and the sun beat down on the newly blacktopped road. When I finally reached the top, I was greeted by my first view of Villarica Volcano, rising in the distance and filling the open space between the trees. I hopped off the bike to capture the image, but clouds had moved over the top of the volcano.  Nonetheless, I still had that magnificent first image seared onto my own hard drive. Excited by what lay ahead, I headed downhill with a big smile on my face. I was soon zipping by Lago Calafquén with Villarica Volcano in the distance and Coñaripe village visible ahead. In 1964, an eruption of Villarica Volcano destroyed the northeast section of town, resulting in 22 fatalities. Today, Coñaripe is mostly a resort town, and the streets were packed with cars, pedestrians, and an abundance of small tourist shops and eateries. I made my way through traffic to lunch, after which we were transferred to Pucón, another resort town laying in the shadow of Villarica Volcano.

"Warning End of Pavement" - and not a moment too soon!
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Cloud-capped Villarica Volcano barely discernible in distance, but clearly captured on my personal hard drive
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Villarica Volcano rising above Lago Calafquén
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Scott AndersonWow, is that amazing.
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6 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Scott AndersonThanks Scott! I want to also thank you for pointing me to the Lumix LX10. Your photos are always first rate, and led me to purchase the Lumix when the lens on my Cannon Powershot got stuck. I've enjoyed playing around with the various features of the camera, as in this shot. I also like the fact that you can physically adjust the fstop and ISO, a rare feature in a compact digital camera. It takes me back to the days of my Nikon FE2.
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Susan CarpenterI’m envious of your knowledge of what to do with ISO and fstop. My formative days were spent with a Kodak Instamatic, and I haven’t learned much since then other than what to look at. I’m pretty sure that at this point the built-in computer is smarter at photography than I’ll ever be.
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5 months ago
The clouds scattered as we neared Coñaripe, visible on the far shore of Lago Calafquén
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Pucón is not only a popular spot for those seeking to relax on long sandy beaches or thermal springs but it is also a destination for adventurous sorts whose tastes run to rafting, kayaking, zip lines, parasailing, and volcano hiking. We were to have a free day in Pucón to pursue such adventures, although my thoughts were tending towards a massage and relaxation, and perhaps a chance to catch up on the journal. While other group members went off to book the volcano hike, I opted for ice cream and the ultimate Chilean food experience: completos – a variation of an American hot dog loaded with such extras as tomatoes, avocados, mayonnaise, bacon and cheese.  Although my dog was not “complete”, it was a tasty example of fast-food fusion of North and South American cuisines.  Sated, I headed back to the hotel as the sun set over Pucón.

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 260 miles (418 km)

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