So we are now in Pucon, having driven from Las Cruces to Pucon. We needed a place to stay and the 1/2 way point is a spot in Chillán – so we went about finding a place to stay. I wasn’t really paying attention when Cindy was making the reservation(s) – we usually trust each other – and she’s great about finding places to stay. All I heard was “I booked a place with a picture of a Goat…” – ok… So we found our spot – after driving 6 hours through Route of the Fruits (Ruta del Fruta). There was fresh fruit everywhere – honestly we stopped and bought a 2 lb package of strawberries – the best I’ve had in my life – which we promptly ate about 1/2 in the car. The quality of the fruits and vegetables has been unbelievable – especially if you are gettting local. We had a watermelon in Las Cruces that was great. Ok, back to Los Vilches…
GPS – Siri Where are you?
So I brought a portable aviation GPS with us that connects to a very cool app on the ipad that we can download maps to it when connected, then use our position on these maps when not connected. It lets you be anywhere in the world and see where you are on a map. So the GPS coordinates for our “hotel” were basically in the middle of a field – which we stopped before we turned left into the field. I’m thinking – uh-oh – that’s the only directions we have… so we kept driving a bit – and about 1/2 mile later there was a sign for our place – to turn down a road. So we turned, it said 2500 mts – so we drove down this crazy gravel road (say yes to 4runner) – went past 2500 mtrs thinking we missed it- found a gaucho on his horse – asked if he knew where it was – he did and we drove about 600 meters more and found our place!
Ok – this is “rural tourism” – this place we found was 185 years old – but an awesome experience. The owner was a little lady who was unbelievably nice to us and our kids – and took us on a tour of the property. They do eco-tourism sort of events and teach kids about animals, and more. Our kids greatly enjoyed it – and even got to milk a cow this a.m. before breakfast. Of course when done the guy handed us this warm foamy glass of milk to Cindy, who promptly handed it to me. I can read her mind – thinking “you gonna try it?” – so well I did. Yes warm milk, directly from the cow – I had some and then handed to Cindy who had some. 8 hours later if you ask “how was that milk?” both of our toes curl up and we get a really funny look on our face. I have to say I won’t be doing that again!
Our room was very small and simple – but we watched chickens running around outside our window – and outside our room door. In the a.m. the rooster started about 5 a.m. doing his thing – and mooing from the cows about 6. The boys got to hang with the pig, play with the local dog, and see lots and lots of chickens – that I believe are probably not intended to be pets like ours are – and are regularly ‘re-purposed’ for other things. In our world – chickens are our pets – here chickens run for their lives. But you’d walk around a corner and have a hen with 10 very small chicks, another and a hen with medium chicks, and then around another some very young chickens hanging out.
We left Chillán around 10 a.m. after a very nice breakfast and made it to Pucon around 3:30. Interstate – 5 all the way – with toll booths costing ($4) about every 50 miles. Overall we averaged about 60 MPH which is pretty good. The car is getting about 19 mpg – which is great since gas is about $4.50/gallon. The driving was very easy – honestly driving in Costa Rica was worse with more people trying to pass & being aggressive drivers. The cars here are very nice – it’s not like Mexico or other places where you see “beaters”.
Here are some photos of the place we stayed – and the last one is from Pucon, where we are now – will write more about that and our new home for three weeks tomorrow.