Santiago to Choshuenco, Chile

9 - 10 Feb 2006



Logbook index

Claude Reymond saw us off at Tobalaba airport and we set off on our way south. It was superb flying weather and the scenery as we approached the ‘Lake District’ was stunning. After so many miles of desert from Ecuador to just north of Santiago, it was a pleasure to see green landscapes again, and we flew past so many perfectly shaped snow-capped volcanoes that it would be impossible to put a name to each one in our photos.
We landed 3 hours later at Molco, Choshuenco by Lago Panguipulli, where we were invited to visit Chilean shipping magnate Sven von Appen at his splendid summer residence 'Paillahuinte'. We were met by the caretaker who drove us to the house by jeep instead of taking the launch across the lake, since we had parked our plane nearer the road than the lakeside. After entering the property, we passed a helicopter pad where a helicopter was coming in to land. The caretaker informed us that was Sven’s wife Griseldis arriving from Santiago.
On arrival we were greeted by the servants and escorted along the long corridor to our beautifully appointed room with en suite bathroom and even an in-house telephone. “Please don’t hesitate to dial 100 should you need anything,” said the maid.
We joined Sven and some of his other guests on the terrace for a drink and then walked down to the lake for a swim. The water was pristine and just the right temperature. There we made the acquaintance of some of Sven’s oldest friends, Storm and William Horsey who live just outside Buenos Aires. Later, they kindly invited us to stay with them while in BA.
On our way back up to the house, we stopped off at the sauna which had large windows (well insulated, of course) so that guests could enjoy the view of the lake and volcanoes while stewing.
Over aperitifs (too many pisco sours!) and dinner we met Griseldis and more of the von Appens’ guests including some of Sven’s relatives visiting from Germany. They told us there was a walk up to another lake that and we decided to do that the next morning. It was nearly a two-hour hike up the hill, passing first an extensive kitchen garden where all the fresh vegetables were grown, then the helicopter pad and the caretaker’s house. There was a wooden summer house at the lake and a well manicured lawn but not a soul in sight. We stripped off and jumped in for a refreshing dip.
We had told Sven that we were in need of some information on Chilean landing strips further south and he suggested we go and speak to his helicopter pilot Ricardo Rebolledo, who was staying at the caretaker’s house. Ricardo was extremely helpful. Not only did he give us a recent manual including all the smaller Chilean strips; he also promised to email us the approach charts for Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands) that were strangely missing from our South American charts.


Sven and Griseldis von Appen,

Ricardo Rebolledo

Claude Reymond saw us off from Tobalaba airport. We planned to meet him in Montreal on our way home.

Snowy mountains as we headed south - a big change from the desert country north of Santiago

Approaching Chile's 'Lake District'

"Aren't we just a little too close to those hard rocks, Flemming?"

"Too close? - Never!"

Volcán Llaima

Volcán Villarrica

On the approach to Choshuenco

Sven von Appen's house 'Paillahuinte' overlooks the lake from the top of a cliff

Angela chats with Storm and William Horsey after a refreshing dip

The helicopter pad at 'Paillahuinte'. Sven's wife, Griseldis, flew in by helicopter just after us.

It took us nearly two hours to walk to this lake from 'Paillahuinte' and we were still on the von Appens' land.

Cooling off from the hot walk up to the lake

Outside the front entrance of 'Paillahuinte' with Choshuenco volcano behind

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN