We left our comfortable bargain cabin at 11am, anticipating a modest drive to a two night booking in similar comfort at Lago Ranco to the north east.
Mount Osorno dominates the sky. It also blocks navigation services on the mobile phone for a time which frustrates. As we drive away from lake one the scenery becomes less spectacular.
Like Tuscany without the yellows. Or Switzerland without the Alps. Dairy farm after dairy farm. And a severe shortage of restaurants for lunch.
We find a lakeside resort that’s shut. It’s winter. The one cafe also closed. The lake is pretty the beachside accommodation less so. There’s a dead end so we turn back and rejoin the road to Lago Ranco.
The road is terrible. Rocks and boulders strewn across a surface that often narrowed to a car width. A workman in a CAT empties roadside sludge into a truck. Ten minutes later the truck is full and we can recommence our journey on a still dreadful road surface.
Eventually Google Maps tells us we’ve reached our destination. A lie. A lady stares at us from behind a fence. Chris completes a complex reversing manoeuvre. Google refuses to change its mind. But we are not at our cabana. We drive away down more narrow stony roads. Stop a local with a friendly “hola” and ask for directions. He nods enthusiastically and tells us nothing. Similar results at the petrol station.
Approaching panic I ring the contact number. A Spanish out of office message plays and cuts off. Very worried now!
Then, as the dusk falls, a sign appears on the road, hundreds of yards away from where Google said it should be. We follow it and as if by magic we’re greeted at the gate. A warm Spanish speaking welcome but we comfortably understand the instructions about the fire and wifi! Irritatingly there’s a washer dryer and my smalls didn’t have to spend three days drip drying in our Easter Island bathroom.
Due to tiredness we decide not to eat out and down a home made cheese and ham toastie along with some cereal. The fire fades. A lack of wood inside the cabin so we open the door and in surge the manager’s two huge dogs. Friendly, yes, but keen to stay. When we eventually dragged them out they parked themselves at the door next to the firewood. Chris injures a dog’s nose and his own head in failed efforts to retrieve the wood. Distraction techniques fail too.
Then the genius idea of turning the lights out. The dogs eventually wander off and we rescue six blocks of wood, hopefully more than enough for evening and morning, before slamming the door and locking it. That should keep the over-friendly mutts at bay!
The location? Oh, it’s fabulous. And home for two nights. The bits between the lakes haven’t excited. The lakes themselves are wonderful.