Modern Days in Northern Patagonia

Happy New Year! Mr. Monkey and I went on a winter adventure down to the southern hemisphere. We caught some sun rays and a bit of a tan that continues to linger and remind us that despite being in the gray of a Eugene winter we have seen the sun recently. Our destination in December was Chile. We stayed in Santiago and in Northern PAtagonia. We kayaked for 5 days in NoPat with the owner/operator JuanFe of Yak Expediciones (it was incredible!!!). But before and after our outdoor excursions we hung out in the volcano and lakeside town of Puerto Varas. Very cute, quaint, and aware of the money to be made from tourist interested in the outdoors as well as good food and beverages. The even have their own brewery!!! This was surprising in a country where Heineken is generally the highest quality beer to be found in the supermarket. This town has very noticeable German influences but also some glaring U.S. influences most notable the North Face store across from the town plaza as well as artisanal beer that even used "Wilemette Valley Hops" as noted from the beer menu. We loved seeing a misspelled reference to home. Yay for hops!! While in Puerto Varas we stayed in a great hotel call Hotel Patagònico. The outside of the hotel is not so great from the front street side. The inside however is a perfect Patagonia and modern design frappe. I found a great rate on Orbitz and when we decided to add a night the front desk honored my Orbitz rate even though our price should have been at least double. The customer service was amazing if not a bit over the top. One day I asked for coffee to go but I had to go to the business center first. Not only did they bring me coffee to go in the business center but they also brought another cup in case Mr. Monkey wanted some and they also brought a simple ham and cheese sandwich just in case I was hungry - all at no extra charge. It was very sweet. You can see from the pictures they choose a simple neutral beige palate. Really it was all about texture - layers and layers of it. From burlap bench covers, to leather, to suede, to wool woven and raw it was all lovely to touch. They had a huge area next the lobby that was a like a large living room complete with coffee table books and a priceless view of the lake and volcanoes on a clear day. The splash of color was provided by whatever the weather was doing out the floor to ceiling windows. It's a Sunday afternoon in Eugene I should be working but instead I'm still day dreaming of a cup of NesCafe and a good book on one of the Chez Lounge seats in the Hotel Patagònico. If you're headed south - way south - you must stay there. I've got more pictures of our hotel room to show later. Ciao for now!

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