Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 22: Hacienda Vira Vira

Day 22:  Hacienda Vira Vira

The star of the morning show

Weather:  Cold at 8am, high 40s, increasing throughout the day to the mid-70s; clear
The volcano in sunrise glow

Quotes of the Day:  Do helicopter pilots really wear their jump suits to breakfast?

Department of alt-answers to the Pictorial Pop Quiz: for those of you that answered "compass" give yourself 1.5 times (or is it 2.5 times?) DJT credits:

Angie hasn't had much luck getting this device to work (and she thinks only Macarena among the guides has the magic touch)

THB got his compass/binocs/magnifying glass/telescope for $7 at REI...and it does way more than this cafe' device

The breakfast pastry display is beyond even Arizmendi Lakeshore. The pastry chef comes out to take a picture of her handiwork and THB gets a pic of her, and a pic of the helicopter pilot who is also admiring her work. 
THB got this shot in the early evening

The pilot tells me that there is an outing today to tour the volcano and then hot springs that are 2.5 hours by car each way, so the helicopter is the way to go. Room for three…is THB tempted? Nope
Angie (short for Angela)

Our guide for today, Angie, is right on time at 9:15 and the kayaks are loaded in the truck. Off we go for a big doubleheader: kayak across a lake, take a hike to two different waterfalls and back to the lake, kayak back to the truck, a picnic lunch, and back to the Hacienda. Wait, maybe this is a triple-double!
There was a mist burning off just before we set off, it was good to get an early start

How clear is the water? this barrel is 3 or 4 feet below the surface

The lower cascades; just after leaving this spot, THB thought maybe his thighs were too weak, stopped several times to "catch his breath"

No stamps!!!! Oh well, they craze hasn't caught on here

For those of you who can't read en Espanol, the map says: Ustedes esta aqui...you are here

Combo beetle-tarantula-crab?

We don't got no stinkin' weak thighs! Taken at the second waterfalls, just moments before we hike back up and out 400 meters, a breeze for THB (who knows why?)

Amazingly, THB keeps up! So, maybe that necrotizing myositis is now in the rear view mirror. There was one uphill on the hike that seemed very challenging, otherwise it was pretty much business as usual. The kayak in the morning on a crystal clear, smooth lake was very easy. The kayak back around 2pm was into a gentle breeze (the wind was only on the lake, the trees around the lake weren’t moving) and we conquered that.

As always, the picnic tastes a lot better after the hike

The guy next to us? He's having porridge...

A quick dip in the cold lake water, then Angie has set out a very nice (and way too much food) picnic from the Hacienda and we proceeded to chat away about her life, life in Chile, life in America, etc. She lived in Canada for a year and a half, and is committed to turismo, as her partner; they have been together for 6 years, he leads mountain trips.

Back at a bit after 5pm, feeling the sun and the exercise. THB has a local brewski and some pistachios. A rest up, and off to pre-dinner drinks.

G&T for THB, pisco sour done the traditional way for DB, olives, cashews and cheese to accompany us on the outside deck: lovely!

Dinner same-same but different: DB subs out the main course of beef done confit style with small ravioli served in a rich parmesan sauce; good move on her part, the beef is  even richer than the ravioli and THB only eats half the beef.

Lemon pie

A sub from off the menu: chocolate!

More pics (or maybe just repeats of above) from the day's excursion:

Reflection on the water...the lake was very pretty and just the right length: about an hour on the outbound when we took our time, and half that (even into the breeze) when we were eager to get the kayaks back in the barn and to enjoy the dip and picnic

Similar to Japan: take a pole at beginning, return at the end

the falls are full because of all the recent rain and snow, another side benefit of THB's weak thighs was pushing us into better weather and scenery for today's outing

Fully grown

The infant version

THB thinks this tree is not red, the marker sign is covered in moss

This is how THB knows it is 1/4 mile down to the Cascada and at least twice that to get back to this sign

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