We reached Futaleufu in a slightly sleep deprived state. But the bright sun and the lovely city soon reanimated us. City is saying much, it’s more of a village, with a giant town square with a lawn to lounge on and banks to sit on. It has a very relaxed vibe. We also got incredibly lucky with our accommodation, the hospedaje Cañete. Run by the stereotypical (grand)mum. She’d make sure we each got our own room and that the included breakfast featured eggs every morning. On the third morning, our group split and we lost our first travelmate to the bus to Pucon. Even though the bus left at 6am, our hostess insisted on getting up and making breakfast for him. She then used the extra time in the morning to bake a cake (for us?) for breakfast. The next day we were treated to fresh fruit from her garden and finally to fresh home-made rose hip jam. It was just great and oh so difficult to leave.
While we were in Futaleufu we got lazier and lazier. While we did go rafting the first day, we only managed a small hike the next day, a walk around the lake the next and finally we just barely made it to the river for a swim. Though I’m sure that swim burned almost as many calories as a hike since the water was absolutely freezing.
The beach at the river was absolutely beautiful, small pebbles, a bit of sand and water that covered all shades of turquoise. What wasn’t so nice was a dog that seemed to be the local resident of the beach. Whenever I went into the water he’d swim after me, then try to climb on top of me, while I was swimming. Disregarding the non-negligible amount of bruises and scratches this brought me, it’s also somewhat scary to suddenly have 40lbs of wet dog on top of you while swimming. No matter how violently I pushed him back, he’d just look hurt, swim a round and then come back again. Ultimately he won and we left. Luckily we didn’t see him again after the first day.
(some nice pics to distract from the bloody history)
On that day we also learned about the bloody past of Futaleufu. It was originally founded by a family 150 years ago, that arrived first into the area of Futaleufu und basically declared the entire Chilean side of the valley as “their property”. This didn’t sit well with other people who’d wanted to live in the same valley. After a number of discordances between neighbors a solution was found. The neighbors set out and killed the entire family, so that nobody could put claim to the territory anymore. As the Chilean barkeeper put it “This crime goes unpunished until today because at the time there were no Chilean authorities in the area and they had to rely on Argentinian police”.
With the decrease in day activites, the night activities increased. Seeing as to how Futaleufu is such a huge city it has exactly one bar, which we visited of course. I’m not sure who brought up the idea of Tequila shots, but it certainly wasn’t me. After the first, I was surprised how nice Tequila can taste. After the second, I was worried about where this was heading.. After the third I realised he was giving us double-shots not single shots and I stopped worrying, I was way beyond worrying. This was the time we decided it was time for dancing. We’d seen the Scorpion’s Pub earlier. One of us had heard from one of the rafting guides that this is a place where one can go dancing. When we asked at the bar for confirmation, the guy laughed and said “No that’s the local brothel”… So we had another shot of Tequila instead. We stilled wanted to do dance, so we asked one of the locals where to go. He recommended the Scorpion’s and when we pointed out it was supposedly a brothel, he laughed and said “No, no.. They even have a pool table. You should totally go there”.
(some more nice pictures that have nothing to do with the text)
So we went… and what do you know.. It was a huge dancing hall with four barely dressed ladies sitting in a corner waiting for their opportunity.. Not quite a brothel, not quite not a brothel either. Not wanting to be rude we ordered a beer and sat at a table.. Nobody but us, the scantily dressed ladies and a giant disco ball revolving above us. Definitely one of the most cringe worthy experiences so far.
When we went back to the first guy recommending the scorpion’s to us the next day, he doubled over laughing and clarified “I only told you it exists, I never recommended you go there!”. Well now we know.