The clouds are gone and the sun is out. The view from the front porch of the cabin and out the huge glass window is of clear blue Lago Villarrica and the volcano, Volcán Villarrica. Smiles all around, beautiful view.
After breakfast we head out to Parque Nacional Huerquehue (Huerquehue National Park), about an hour away. We like to see national parks back at home in the US and like to stamp our park passport book but here we settle for pictures in front of the sign. This is our second Chilean national park for those counting at home. We set out on the Sendero de los Lagos (Lakes Trail) to see…you guessed it, lakes. The trail passes through some real nice forest of Araucaria trees in the beginning which looks pretty nice but then the trees change as you gain elevation and it doesn’t look quite as nice (at least to me). There were a couple of waterfalls off the main trail that we didn’t stop for although the lone hiker ahead us who started out just before we did told us that they were both worth the detour. We were ready to get the top by that point, stopping only at the two lookout points to take in the great views of the Villarrica volcano.
Without making the stops to check out the two waterfalls but taking some time to sit by Lago Toro up at the top of the trail and enjoy sandwiches we’d packed for lunch was very nice. The mud was slippery on the way down and caused a couple of slips and falls on the way down, but all in all it was a nice hike down. Finally we reached the car after about 5 hours from the time we started off. Oh, if you’re driving I definitely recommend paying the very modest fee to park in a private lot near the trailhead since it saves an extra mile on both ends of the hike.
We stopped for a bit in Pucón afterward to walk around a bit and eat dinner. A nice town but very much the hub of outfitters catering to those here to enjoy the outdoor activities like volcano climbing, fishing and kayaking, and so is very touristy.
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