Since Lake Colbun is in the foothills of the Andes and removed from any town, the night sky is clear enough to view the heavenly bodies.
My son set up powerful binoculars on a stand, pointing out several configurations. One of them was a triangular formation known as The Jewel Box, which is near the Southern Cross--a pattern of stars that can only be seen in the Southern hemisphere, hence it's name.
The Jewel Box is formed by three stars--however, the middle star is actually an entire galaxy. We saw Orion's belt, Saturn and studied the craters of the moon. It was a memorable evening observing the universe beyond and spending time with my son, who has learned much about astonomy since he's lived in Chile.
As we followed the dirt road to the cottage on the lake, we passed this sign for camping.
There was a small building by the road where this sign was posted. We didn't take the time to explore the camping area, but for those who enjoy budget traveling, this could be the ticket!
Click onto the picture to enlarge the information. It is in Spanish, however.
I was told that Lake Colbun is deep in places, so lifevests were used when the family went swimming. The water was tempid. A permanent raft of sorts was anchored a small distance from shore.
Swimmers found this a nice place to rest after their exertions and a handy perch from which to observe the other activities going on at the lake.
These cement steps were added during a dry period when the lake was low. This was my favorite spot to drop a toe in the water and pretty much the most convenient place to step-in from--very handy!
Here, our son, Christopher, is coaxing his youngest to put a toe further into the water.
On one day of our stay, the men decided to go fishing, taking my grandson, Daniel with them. Daniel is a bonafide fisherman and usually catches something each time he goes out.
This occasion was no different--he was the only person to catch a fish! As the boat approached the dock, we could see him just bursting with excitement. Daniel couldn't wait to show us his trophy.
That night at a traditional Chilean barbeque, the grill held huge slabs of beef and pork...and one fish. Daniel gave me the privilege of eating his catch of the day. He wanted me to taste how delicious it was--of course, I shared some bites with the others, too.
We visited Lake Colbun for the first time in February. It is a huge manmade lake approximately 30 miles from Talca and sits in the foothills of the Andes. The lake is used for watersports of all kinds!
On the weekend we stayed, we had such pleasant weather! As the day progressed, I noticed a few more people had drifted down to the picnic area by the water. Until, there was quite a collection of folks catching up on the news with families they hadn't seen since last summer.
Several boats were anchored off shore or along the docks. Many people were pleasure boating and others were fishing. We did a little of both!
Daughter-in-law, Lily, gave us a thrilling ride around the lake one hot afternoon. We skimmed over the water, approaching the majestic mountains beyond the banks and skirting small islands thrusting up from the depths. It was exhilarating!
Each time we visit Talca we're shown something different. Our daughter-in-law grew up in this city, so she's usually at the wheel when we drive here to shop or try a new restaurant.
This is Talca's new Regional Theatre that took over 30 years to finish--funding problems causing some of the delay. It's very pretty and those living here appreciate this new venue for entertainment.
We were reminded that there are other modes of transportation besides the four wheeled kind.
One morning some of our family members undertook a 20 mile horseback ride. I stayed behind, sipping a cold beverage on the patio! The horses were loaned to us by friends. Surprisingly, even from the novices did well on this trek!
With its views of the Andes, traveling through Chile is very scenic. A trip near one of the hydroelectric dams provided these splendid photos. Mountain peaks seem to kiss the sky. What we often refer to as mountains, are really hills in this neck of the woods!
The foothills of the Andes wander throughout the countryside appearing blue, purple and gray, depending on the distance from which one sees them.
Within the town of Talca is a small museum displaying artwork and sculptures by Chilean artists. An original document signed by South America War hero Bernardo O'Higgins was proudly displayed. In fact, O'Higgins signed Chile's Declaration of Independence at this house built around 1762. It was the home of his godparents.
Glass cases held silver pieces, antique earrings, ornamental collars, hair picks, spurs, and other historical artifacts. Most rooms opened up to a courtyard accented by statuary and decorative plants. Admission is free; hours vary.
While in Talca we toured the Casa Donosa Winery, located in the Maule area. The original property was owned by the Donosa family who grew grapes for their own pleasure. When it was sold, it was turned into a winery. There is a house from early 1900's built in the Colonial style on the property which is being renovated for use as a hotel and spa. The oldest vines go back to 1905.
The rooms were spacious and cool since the walls were over a foot thick. The bathrooms contain old footed tubs and the rooms furnished with some antiques. A three bedroom suite was being renovated when we visited.
The tour of the winery was in Spanish, but my daughter-in-law translated for me. We sampled a Carbiniere in the tasting room. Casa Donosa was acquired by a group of French wine enthusiasts in 1989--the principal owners being from French Polynesia.