Some lack of energy in the Chilean agricultural valley let’s you down. It doesn’t provide the rich smells, colors or pastoral comfort that you might expect. After thinking about it for a while, it’s just that: the green isn’t green, the gold isn’t gold, you can’t smell a thing and you don’t have the urge to roll around on the ground. Not even the season can be blamed. Oh well.
Here’s the way it went to Temuco. Cattle
Best foot forward
Miles of this
A good blue flower by the roadside. Not cropped so you can see how close it flowers to the crown relative to plant size. This flower shape hinted of the huge prize to follow the next day
Through an agricultural town, big rain threatening
Always fun to watch
Another good Chilean river. Stuffed with big trout they say
Into Temuco The next day we went on a wandering route to a few of the lakes between the Pan Am and the Andes.
Maybe it was because we were moving further south, towards a wetter climate, but for some reason everything greened up suddenly
The first lake we arrived at
A seawalk with every contraption imaginable in special lanes. Very festive
The Andes to the east
Behind the town I came across the unique sight of two sidecars with German plates. Sorry to say I lost the piece of paper with their names and email addresses on it, very bad form in this small community. So if you’re reading this (they have this website address) I sincerely apologize. Please drop me a note!
I looked in one of the sidecars when she opened hers. Luxury! they have everything I guess you could possibly need. No wonder.
They’d shipped their bikes to Buenos Aires from Germany and had just arrived. They have another pair back home, one presumes the newer pair for the easier European riding. These two were strong-looking and experienced.
His rig, box full of stuff, great guy
His wife and her ride
Winding roads, encouraging speed
Pretty lake views
Miles of this roadside
It had that settled-turf look you see in Europe, that only comes from being trampled, grazed and fertilized by decades of cattle and sheep
Lucinda waits while I pee and look around
Very nice, very old. More on why in a following post
The next lake at the town of Panguipulli
Looking back at the town
Back into the countryside with the Andes beyond
Across a fast flowing river. The color looked like glacial
Looking down from the bridge at the colour
Later, another river through an oxbow valley
Then extraordinary luck – native Alstroemeria. I’d been hoping to see this. Possibly the most common grocery-store cultivar worldwide! The two principal varieties come from here and Argentina
Then, no more than 10 minutes later, beside the road, a shrub with pink bursts flashed by me. I turned around
I’d had a trigger from reading years ago. Just the briefest of glimpses had dug deep into my memory and retrieved a single memory of an image I’d seen maybe 30 years ago in an RHS book I still have. I remember where the image sits on the page, everything. I couldn’t remember where it the world it came from, but the name was easy to remember: Mutisia. And here we are together at last.
So, what makes Mutisia so interesting is that not only is it an extraordinarily beautiful climber but that it grows as an epiphyte, growing over and eventually killing its host shrub. As far as flowering epiphytes go, this is unique. That it should be so beautiful is one of botany’s ironies, and an interesting thing to consider, generally
Later an orange Alstroemeria
A hedgerow of them
To the third lake
We rode down to the water. It rained a few minutes later, the few families left quickly
A long and great day. It ended in Osorno, which I wouldn’t recommend as a stop. Except I had to.