It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining off the glassy waters of the lake, and the occasional small wavelets washing the black sand beach. This really is a lovely setting for a campground.
We continued around Lake Calafquen to Conaripe were we found a most helpful tourist office. The attendant spoke very good English and his enthusiasm convinced us to take a 17 km detour to Termas Geometrica, one of a number of local thermal baths.
Geometrica was a delight, though costly at US$28 per person. It is situated in a narrow little canyon that is maybe 50 ft deep and ranging from 30ft to 150 ft wide. A series of walkways and platforms provide access to 14 hot and 3 cold pools of various irregular shapes. The pools are concrete with stone lining. The place was clean, well maintained and the water was pleasantly hot. We spent a couple of hours there just enjoying the ambience.
Back on the road we had to retrace the 17 kms of dirt to Conaripe and then more dirt on highway 201 to Panguipulli. To our delight the tourist office directed us to the office right next door for Argentine vehicle insurance and after about 30 minutes we had the document in our hot little hands.
The Argentine insurance caused a change of plans, as it seems that one can get to Argentina from Panguipulli by following highway 203 east to Puerto Fuy, then by ferry to Puerto Pirihuelco and then again by road to Paso Huahum to finally arrive in San Martin De Los Andes.
If you can pronounce all those names correctly your Spanish is better than ours!!
So that became the plan for tomorrow. We would need an early start as we were warned to be at the ferry early since we did not have a reservation.
Camping Puchaley Lafquen overlooking the lake on the edge of the town of Panguipulli. We found directions from the tourist office. A nice place, hot showers, toilets and grounds clean and well maintained. We got electricity from one of the wash rooms but it may not be available at busier times of the year.
We finally got insurance for Argentina today. As it happens there is an insurance office right next door (same building next office) to the tourist office on the main square that sold it to us on the spot. The man and women that sold it were helpful, and understood immediately what we wanted.