March 10, 2008
From Villa la Angostura it is only 40 km to the Chilean border, so we figured we’d give it a look. We drove around the lake a bit more and then headed toward a low pass in the mountains. I had this vision that we’d be getting high into the Andes by crossing the border–and the range–but we stayed below tree line the whole time. None the less, it was beautiful and the high peaks made a stunning back drop.
We went through customs leaving Argentina, then drove another 17km to go through Chilean customs. More than anything, they seemed concerned that we had the correct paperwork for our rental car. Also, they are pretty strict about bringing any fresh food into Chile. So, we had our papers in order and Anders ate the last banana as we awaited the border crossing. That kid would be happy eating only bananas all day long.
The Chilean side of the Andes was much more lush and heavily vegetated–as you would expect the west side of the range to be. The rivers were bigger and more ferns lined the road.
About 30 minutes into Chile we arrived at Termas Puyehue–Chile’s only 5 star resort. I kind of want to move in there. We got the day pass (the cheap rooms run around $300 a night) to use the hot spring pools. Our pass also included a fabulous lunch buffet and tea service. Apparently, we could have taken advantage of the activities and other amenities since it is all inclusive.
As we soaked in the pools I dreamed of staying there a few nights, getting a massage, hiking the trails that leave from the property, enjoying the gardens, utilizing the babysitting service and generally living the good life.
But, instead we had a great afternoon and left when Anders lost it during tea. When you’re tired, you’re tired.