Chandler and I had this trip planned for a couple of years, and for a long time it seemed like it would never really happen. I named this post Patagonia 2008 because this is hopefully the first of many trips/posts about fishing there. The pictures are great, but they don’t do the the experience justice…..you have to go for yourself to know how awesome it really is.
Friday, Feb. 8th (Day 1)
I left my house around 10 a.m. or so for the airport in Salt Lake. I met Chandler, who was flying from Boise, and we had lunch while we waited for our flight to Atlanta. We got to Atlanta around 7 p.m. local time and had several hours to kill before our 9 hour flight to Santiago that left around midnight. We ate at the food court and noticed our sister sitting with her husband a few tables over. It was funny to run into her in the busiest airport in the world (she was on her way back home from Costa Rica).
I got a prescription for ambien for the long flight so that we could hopefully sleep a little…..I think I might have slept for a couple of hours.
Saturday, Feb. 9th (Day 2)
The view of Santiago from the plane reminded me a lot of Southern California. It makes sense, it is on the pacific about the same distance south of the equator as California is north.
When we landed (around noon or so) we had to go through customs and get our luggage. Our bags were on top, I don’t know why they sort the bags this way…..
I’m amazed at how many people actually think I’m serious when I tell them this. Well, we had made it to Chile, but we were still a day away from our destination. After another few hours waiting for our next flight we boarded a LAN Chile flight en route for Balmaceda (with a connection in Concepcion). The further south we went the greener the mountains began to get. We saw glaciers and volcanoes from the window.
After our stop in Concepcion (and a good conversation with a chilean guy who I gave a Book of Mormon to), we landed in Balmaceda, Chile. From Balmaceda we hopped on a shuttle that took us to Coyhaique about an hour away. Coyaique is the biggest city in Southern Chile.
We walked around the city and found a nice little restaurant called La Casona. We all ate rack of lamb. After dinner we went back to the hotel we had checked into earlier and tried to get some rest. What we didn’t realize right away was that it was Saturday night in South America and we were situated in the center of town. The bar across the street kept busy until at least 2 or 3 in the morning.
Sunday, Feb. 10th (Day 3)
After another good night of sleep we got up and drove to the small airport in Coyhaique to catch our final flight. It was about a 45 minute flight to the lodge at Lago Verde. Here are a few pics from the flight and after we landed:
After the flight Gary and the other guides picked us up and we took a short ride to the lodge. We had to park on one side of the lake and take a boat across to get to the lodge. Once we got settled we took a trip over to the Argentine border and then spent the rest of the day relaxing at the lodge.
Monday, Feb. 11th (Day 4)
After a much needed good night of rest, Chandler and I woke up ready to do some fishing. After a nice breakfast prepared by Maria we took the boat back across the lake and loaded up for our drive to the Cacique. The Cacique is a tributary that comes in at the other end of the lake. It took a half hour or so to drive the dirt road to the other side of the lake.