My travel in Chile is almost at its end. Last night was spent in Valdivia, where I told my budget to go straight to hell....
During the last two months I have either stayed in a crowded dormitory or a tent (yes, suffered a lot). So for a change I now stay in the 3-star Di Torlaschi. It's such a nice hotel and very good value. I accidently stumbled upon it when looking for a hostel in the same area.
Valdivia is the most attractive city in the Lakes District, mainly because of its suberb location along the river. Yesterday I visited the fishmarket and rest of the Feria Fluvial waterfront. I have never seen so many wild sea lions before. They were everywhere along the river, either waiting for food, or mingling with the tourists. A big and ugly one even attacked the tourists, but a guardian prevented any nasty scenes.
Today I visited Niebla and Corral Fort, both Spanish fortifications from the 17th-century. I went together with a Dutch girl, who is backpacking in South-America for six months. She is half Spanish and speaks the language perfectly. Thus I could relax while she, on our behalf, managed all communication with the locals (such as the taxi-driver, bus-driver, ice-cream-seller etc). Sometimes I really wish I could speak the language as well. It would make daily life in South America much more simple. So far my impressive vocalubary is limited to 30 words or something. At least I managed to order my own beer, when we later visited Kunstmann's brewery in Valdivia. Kunstmann is one of the most famous beers of Chile, and I've certainly drunk my share of it during the last two months in this amazing country....
Later today, I will take the nightbus to Santiago.
Adios Lake District !!!