In 2011, it was Puyehue-Cordon Caulle that forced me to change my itinerary. This time, it’s Calbuco (see above). I guess I could just pussyfoot around until it’s time to go and switch my plans once again. This time around, I decided to bet that, by mid-November, Calbuco will be all played out. (Of course, Sernageomin still rates it as red for imminent eruption or eruption in progress.)
Consequently, today I decided to fly into Buenos Aires and, in true “open jaws” style, return via Santiago, Chile. That means I will take the lakes crossing trip from San Carlos Bariloche to Puerto Varas. If Calbuco still insists on spewing crap along my path, I will just go around it. There are other border crossings that are perhaps less convenient, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Why am I going home by way of Chile? First of all, I’ve always wanted to visit Valparaíso. My reason for it goes back more than half a century. While a student at Dartmouth College, I saw an almost impossibly poetic documentary by Joris Ivens called … à Valparaíso (1963). If you have a half hour to spare, and don’t mind the French narration, you can see it here on YouTube.
I plan on spending several days in Valparaíso, visiting the homes of poet Pablo Neruda, climbing the endless stairs, taking the funiculars that ascend the forty-two hills of the city. Some people prefer the beach. I’ll take poetry and beauty any time!