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South America » Chile » Araucanía » Villarrica Volcano
March 27th 2008
Published: March 28th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

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 Video Playlist:

1: Horse dancing to some reggaeton 14 secs
2: Volcan Villarica 42 secs
I woke up early Tuesday morning in Pucon after a long and straining overnight bus ride from Santiago. Pucon is a beautiful little town wedged between Lake Villarica and Volcano Villarica. It´s located in the Lake District, South of Chile (8 hours from Santiago). Cat and I checked into ¨Hostel M@yra¨ which is a small family-run hostel near the bus terminal. The cost per night is about 5 CLP or 10 US. The manager, Juan Carlos, is a local Punino who is very friendly. We spent all day Tuesday checking out different tour companies and deciding what to do. We also went grocery shopping, where I found a bottle of wine on that was on sale for two dollars.

Yesterday we went horseback riding, canopying, and relaxed in some hot springs(more like a warm pool). The package deal was a great idea, since the events were back to back. Pucon offers every type of outdoor activiy imaginable. I wanted to go kayaking and fly fishing. Unfortunately kayaking seemed overpriced since there weren´t a lot of places offering it. As for fly fishing, well, Bariloche has tons of rivers and streams so I´m sure I can find a better deal there. Yesterday was very relaxing and we were pretty much the only tourists at the resort.

Today we climbed volcan villarica! It was an amazing hike, and I never thought I´d have such a great time. When I arrived in Pucon, I thought I could rent some equipment and find some other gringos to hike up the volcano with. But unfortunately it´s not that easy, and many told me it´s extremely dangerous and that you can only ascend the volcano if the weather permits. Fortunately for us, today was PERFECT. Seriously, we couldn´t have asked for a clearer day. And on top of that, there was no wind. The past two days have been cloudy and windy, so I had my doubts. About half way up, we started treking a huge snow patch, which required special snow equipment. As we began, we looked to our right and saw some guy sliding down the mountain extremely fast and ending up smacking into some large boulders. Luckily, the guy walked away from the accident with only some minor cuts and bruises. After witnessing that, we all took our time and stuck together. Once we reached the top, the view was amazing. Being that the volcano is active, you can see the poisonous sulfuric smoke emerging from volcano. From the top, we could see two other active volcanoes, as well as the Argentine border. According to our guide, the last major eruption was in 1971. We got back to our hostel around six. My face is fried and can barely fake a smile. I guess I should´ve put on more than one coat of sun screen. =(

Tomorrow I´m headed to Valdivia. Tonight Colo Colo is playing Boca Junior, and all the locals are getting ready to chear them on. Colo Colo fans are the equivelent to LA fans cheering on the lakers. They are everywhere, and Colo Colinas are pumped since they recently beat Boca in 2-1.

If you´re bored check out this site: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/ The SF entry was pretty funny. The kid with his back turned reminded me of Kevin, and the girl to the right looks like my mom. haha

Espanol Vocabulario:
gaucho - argentine cowboy
huaso - chilean cowboy

Additional photos below
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