16 November – Day 117
Pucon, Chile to Valdivia, Chile
We had a lovely (self-drive) scenic tour of several of the lakes this morning – they’re all slightly different yet equally impressive. Still no sailboats though… maybe it’s not a thing here? It’s another glorious Chilean spring day… perfect weather for being outside.
Lunch overlooking one of the lakes was a picnic of freshly-baked bread, gourmet olive tapenade (from the olive farm we visited in Maipu, near Mendoza), salted almonds and dried apricots. We were entertained by a friendly pack of local dogs who seemed to ‘own’ the park and really went for each car that drove past. I don’t know how they managed to say out from under the wheels each time; they seemed to get sooo close… but they always survived to chase down the next car. And the next one. And the next one. I was very glad that we didn’t have to ride past them on our way out of town; I’ve had more than my fair share of dog chases while on the bike and don’t feel that I need to experience any more games of chasey first hand!
We made it to Valdivia by early afternoon and went for a walk along the river here into the old town. The surprise for the day came in the form of multiple sea lions lounging around on piers just outside of the city centre! A few minutes before seeing them, I saw what I thought was a strange sign on the promenade along the lines of ‘DANGER do not under any circumstances walk your domesticated pets along here at RISK of ATTACK.’ At the time, I thought it was pretty funny that they’d warn of some sort of random attack on domesticated pets (just domesticated pets?!) and put it down to an over-zealous local council. Then I saw the number – and size – of the sea lions, sunbaking on the rocks right next to the promenade and also on some of the wharves and piers and all of a sudden it made sense. A little Chihuahua would probably make quite the tasty meal for one of these guys.