Pumas and Pudús in Puerto Varas / by Strain

We visted the Senda Nativa Romahue today, just outside of Puerto Varas, Chile. A far cry from scrambling through the boulders atop Cerro Catedral, we spent the day below the canopy of the Valdivian temparate rainforest, one of the largest of its kind in the world (second only to my stomping grounds on the British Columbia coast). After eating a lunch that featured the best steak I´ve ever had, we went for a short horseback ride through the forest (a first for me, much to Meghan´s delight), then spent some time with an orphaned Puma and several tiny Pudú (miniature deer). After watching the Forest episode of Planet Earth, I was thoroughly stoked to actually get to see a Pudú while I´m here...

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Ayun´s mother was killed when he was 15 days old. He´s essentially a big, happy housecat now... purrs when you pet him, loves attention, and likes to play futbol. You can see some footage of him (from someone else) on youtube.

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A Pudú, full grown at 16 or so inches:

Many thanks to Silvio and Susana for their knowledge and hospitality, as well as the work and love they put into preservation and education.

We´re moving on to Pucon tomorrow for 3 days. Volcanos and hot springs are on my to-do list. More photos from today in rest of the post.

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---------- Range-fed beef, about to become lunch:

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Best. Steak. Ever.

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The Valdivian rainforest:

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Ayun poses for the camera:

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This was from the bus window as we were leaving Bariloche the other day - the city looked incredible from across Lago Nahuel Huapi. I would´ve loved to stop and setup a proper shot, but I´m on vacation. No tripods allowed.