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Published: November 18th 2008
From Valdivia, I had a very eventful journey. We were making good progress on our journey and suddenly there was a sudden bang and bus sounded unhealthy. At first, the drivers did not know what was happening even if I suspected it was a burst tyre. For a bit, the bus trundled on for a bit in the slow lane and ended up stopping. They explained it would take around an hour and a half for a replacement bus to come and take us to Villarrica and Pucon. There were some unhappy people who let their feelings known to the drivers but there was nothing more we could do except sit and wait. However, not so long after, Auto Ruta Rescue arrived (Chile´s answer to AA and RAC!) and assisted the drivers. It turned out to be a burst tyre and the tyre was replaced. I thought of bueno suerte for the remainder of the journey. We eventually reached our destinations. One of the drivers helped me to locate my hostel and even gave me a little ride up to the end of the street on the main road, which was very kind of him. He even practiced the very little
English he knew to me. I made it to the Tree House Hostel and Gloria gave me a warm welcome. After dropping my luggage and checking in, I went to the supermarket and bought some provisions and had dinner out.
I spent just over a week in Pucon. The main purpose was to have some Spanish classes (See Back to School
) and sample the great outdoors Pucon is renowned for. I had a wonderful time and got up to some fun things such as visiting Huerquehue National Park (See A Day in the Park
) and visiting the Thermas and went on a van tour of the area (See Touring & Thermas
On the downside, I found Pucon very commercialised and too touristy. Every two or three shops were agencies selling tours for exactly the same thing. No agency stood out different. There were too many of the same conveniences. It is good to have those things but at the same time, I found it overbearing sometimes. Going in the quieter time of the year was quite pleasant and tolerable but I would not like to be there in high season. From what I understand, the situation gets worse with masses of people and long queues being
The vineyards at Lécole (Great veggie restaurant)
the fact of life.
It was nice relaxing at my hostel most afternoons after class. I did a bit of self catering but I ate out as well. I had some great breakfasts at La Tetera
and wonderful meals at Lécole
, a vegetarian restaurant.
I highly recommend the Tree House Hostel
. I loved the rustic and cosy feel to the place. My room was a refuge and was able to catch up on my sleep. Cristian, joint owner, was very friendly and hospitable along with Gloria. I loved Kia and Cortito (he has a dark side!), the two dogs residing at the hostel.
I also met some cool travellers from various places and some of the nights were spent chatting outside in the garden. I highly recommend staying at the Tree House if you´re travelling to Pucon. I did not want to leave and I will miss it.
The weather was great throughout apart from one cloudly morning and it also rained, once, but during the night. With great weather, I could see Volcan Villarrica clearly. What an amazing sight!
Now, I am facing a long day of travelling to Mendoza via Santiago!!!
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