24/04/2015 I was making my way out of Chiloé, pretty excited to see the still erupting volcano Calbuco from the ferry. I would soon get very close in reaching the town of Puerto Varas, without a clue if and when I could make my way towards the border to cross into Argentina.
Hitchhiking towards Ancud in the north of Chiloé, I met a nice couple in their rented car to share the excitement of getting closer to the Volcano. Once we boarded the ferry, we could actually see the smoke in the distance for the first time. Calbuco was about 60km away from us at that point and we got a much better view on it after stopping in some fields on the way to Puerto Montt. We took some pictures of the non-stop erupting volcano and even though the activity was decreasing a lot since the first two major eruptions, it was still a pretty impressive sight. They dropped me off in Puerto Varas, where I joined my Couchsurfer friends for the night. It turned out that their friend Walter was actually the only person on the volcano at the time of the first eruption, quickly becoming popular with the News Channels and papers and giving lots of interviews while we enjoyed our Asado. The news channel reported that a third major eruption might happen any time, possibly even destroying most of the volcano in the process. Well – if those aren’t some great news to fall asleep to!
Nothing happened in the night other than the usual smaller eruptions and we spent the next day touring around the area with the car. First off, we stopped in Frutillar in the north, enjoying a great view on Lake Llanquihue with both volcanoes Calbuco and Osorno in sight. Usually they are covered in snow at this time of the year and it was strange to see them so “naked” after the eruptions. Frutillar was a great place to take photos and stroll around the beach front and you should not miss it if you are in the area.
We stopped in Llanquihue as well on the way back, just in time for the sunset. The view was similar to Frutillar, but the atmosphere completely changed when the sky turned purple, resulting in a pretty spooky sight with the erupting volcano in the background. It felt like it was the last day before the apocalypse! However, nothing really happened and the authorities decided to open the border to Argentina again. I used the opportunity to make my way towards Puyehue in the north of Chile to finally cross over to Villa La Angostura in Argentina’s Lake District. Getting there was hard without any public transport operating and I had to hitch hike in five different cars and walk through ash-covered landscapes…
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