wet and wild in San Martin

Published: October 28th 2005
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boat on Lago Villaricaboat on Lago Villaricaboat on Lago Villarica

black sand beach at Pucon
Well, this is the first well and truly miserable weather day so far. It's been raining (not hard, but constant) since last night, but at least it has moderated the temperature a bit. Yesterday afternoon it was 9C. The sun is supposed to come out again tomorrow for a nice weekend, so hopefully I can get out there with the camera and see some of the sights...
As soon as you cross over the Andes from Chile to, you notice the change in climate - Argentina is obviously in the rainshadow of the Andes, as it gets very dry very quickly on the other side. I didn't think there'd be as many Monkey Puzzle trees because it was so dry, but the base of Volcan Lanin was thick with them (just over the Argentine border).
The river in Junin de Los Andes was amazing - crystal clear to about 2 metres, a slightly glacial-turquoise colour, and running fast enough for white water rafting (apparently trout fishing is THE thing to do in Junin). The river in San Martin is not quite as clear, especially today with all of the rainwater runoff from the roads.
It looks like a tour group is
Volcano Warning SystemVolcano Warning SystemVolcano Warning System

if you can see a red light in the ash storm, run! (Villarica)
about the only way to see much of the area, as local buses are far and few between to the more isolated camping areas. I'll possibly go on an 11 day trek through the Seven Lakes area, Los Alerces National Park, and a 3 day mountain climb and camp in between. The price isn't too steep, considering the pain in the bum it is to organise a bus trip anywhere around here (especially with bad spanish). The only bus to Hua Hum on the western shore of Lake Lacar (San Martin is on the eastern shore) leaves on a Sunday, and there is no return bus until the following Saturday, which means I'd have to camp out for 6 days, and I don't think that (a) I can carry enough food and water for that long, and (b) there's 6 days worth of hiking trails from the campsite. Oh, well...

Additional photos below
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it's about to blow!it's about to blow!
it's about to blow!

Volcan Villarica, showing a smoke trail (very scary)
Monkey PuzzlesMonkey Puzzles
Monkey Puzzles

below Volcan Lanin, Argentina
Monkey PuzzlesMonkey Puzzles
Monkey Puzzles

Lago Chico, PN Huerquehue
Monkey PuzzlesMonkey Puzzles
Monkey Puzzles

PN Huerquehue
Monkey Puzzle foliageMonkey Puzzle foliage
Monkey Puzzle foliage

PN Huerquehue - very prickly buggers!

me playing with a snowball, PN Huerquehue
for Davefor Dave
for Dave

Owl statue, Plaza in Pucon
Leaping Lizards, Batman!Leaping Lizards, Batman!
Leaping Lizards, Batman!

Santiago Botanical Gardens

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