Monday, August 13, 2012

Back on topic

Pucon is a good town for knitting.

There's lots of yarn, knitting, and weaving! The yarn I saw was all hand spun and hand dyed. Many were single-ply and some 2-plied. I always like the natural wool from colored sheep, too. Do you see the crazy art-yarn in the last picture? Wild!
There are arcades like this full of artisans and their crafts all over the city. Here's another day's adventure:

Dublin helped me pick out some yarn to teach her and her mom how to knit. Her mom is making fingerless gloves out of the pretty pink in the second picture. I chose the soft, 2-ply natural brown Dublin is holding in the second-to-last picture. Dublin picked a cheery variegated for her scarf. She was a fun student!
Kurt and I stopped into her parents' cafe pretty much every day.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


To continue the saga...

Kurt and I headed to Nevados de Chillan for a week of skiing.
The mountains are incredible!

You can see two big volcanoes right next to each other. We made an attempt on the double cone in the middle and also another one further to the right.

Here we are hiking across steam fields. The volcanoes here are so active! We got pretty high, but neither time did I make it all the way to the top.

It was still a lovely ski down.

And here's a gratuitous picture of hand knits from a local ski shop.

They had some interesting needle-felted cowls. Kurt found a dress in his colors. ;)

On a final note in Chillan, there is a big hot spring right in the parking lot for the ski area. Awesome!

Our next destination was Pucon, adventure playground of Chile. It's much more developed, really a little city.

It's quaint, on a big lake, and - yeah - next to a giant volcano, Villarica.
We spent over a week in Pucon, but since this is the "Adventuras" post, I'll tell you about the volcano.

We tried twice to climb Villarica. The first time we were blown away by the fierce wind.  The second time we fared better.

We got to within 100 feet of the top, but I don't have any pictures from that high. It was intense. It was very steep, precariously icy, and buffeted by wind. We had to abandon our hopes to see the steaming lava crater, but there was still plenty of adventure ahead.

We skied off the backside, across a vast glacier, and down a creek into the temperate rainforest.

After more than 10 hours of adventure, we finally reached...

... Geometricas, the most beautiful hot springs I've ever seen!

And they fed me hot, delicious soup.
The end.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Wow, we've been doing a lot! I'll try to recap the past few weeks by concluding our time on the farm, revisiting Valparaiso for a moment, and recounting some ski adventures in Chillan and Pucon.

The farm:

Rather than complain, I'd like to say some things about what I'd hoped for from our WWOOF experience. I love the idea of people choosing to live a simple life in harmony with the land, creating harmony between people, and searching for better alternatives to our lifestyle of industrial consumption. World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming connects volunteers to organic farms all over the world where you can exchange labor for room and board. Ideally, you are contributing to a community, supporting a beautiful effort, learning, and sharing. When I volunteered in Mexico at Bosque Village it was so much fun -- like summer camp for adults. I ended up feeling a deep connection to that place, and also met great people from all different places.

There were some highlights at El Fundo. We went for a nice hike in the hills.

That's Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.

There were horses roaming free in the forest.
They also had sheep.

The last picture shows the llama, though she's hard to see. Kurt did not fully understand the importance of getting clear pictures of the woolly animals. These buddies make wool for the wealthy, absentee doyenne of the estate, who apparently knits.
Hasta la vista, El Grillo.

Do you remember beautiful, decrepit Valparaiso?

Kurt also went over to Vina del Mar one day while I worked.

We tasted some organic champagne.

And to include something knitterly...

A tiny herd of street sheep!

Ok, skiing in the next post...