On the way back to the coast we stopped for a shopping opportunity in the teeming metropolis of Aisen:
This used to be a shipping town, but its harbor was lost to silt about 20 years ago. The population is shrinking a bit as a consequence. This hasn't stopped the political campaigning, which is still intense:
One placard we saw from the bus was actually larger than the house it was leaning against!
The shopping available in Aisen was not inspiring, but I was delighted to find a monkey puzzle tree that I could look at up close.
This is the national tree of Chile, and it is a very primitive tree - a "living fossil". We drove past a couple back in Santiago but we couldn't get in close to see the bizarre leaves:
They're a couple inches long, stiff and sharp like daggers:
They got their name because "it would puzzle a monkey to climb it"!