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South America » Chile » Araucanía » Villarrica Volcano
March 27th 2008
Published: March 27th 2008
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21st March to 23rd March
Pucon is a small but picturesque town next to Villarrica volcano which is 2,847m high. The town is really cute and I really liked it there. The volcano is cone shaped and had snow near the top and is active! The surrounding countryside is stunning, big mountains covered in forests.

21st - Today we were up at 5.45am to go and climb Villarrica volcano!! I was so excited and the plan was to slide back down some of the way on the ice! Sounds scary but I had got the courage up and was ready to go. Driving up the volcano as the sunrose and the day seemed peaceful and nice. However when we got to the starting point the guides told us that they had information that it was incredibly windy at the top of the volcano and it would be impossible to get to the top today. We could still go though and get as far as possible, probably get to the start of the glacier on the volcano. Most people decided not to bother going up because we wouldnt get to the top but I was determined to go. However as I looked up at the swirling cloud around the volcano and heard that someone had broken their ankle the day before I decided against it. I was gutted! Three people from our group decided to go and we found out later that weather conditions had improved as they had walked up and they had got to the top! D´oh!!

As it turns out I ended up having a fantastic day anyway. Becki and I hired bikes and they gave us a map of a trail to some waterfalls and a lake. After a short while on a cycle track we were on a bumpy road with quite a few uphills. We stopped at the waterfalls for lunch and they were idyllic. Then we continued to the lake which was mostly uphill and a real struggle for me especially as it was a blazing hot day. It was great to get to the lake and we went in for a swim to cool down. Although I wasnt looking forward to the ride back it turned out to be mostly downhill or flat. Weeeeee! It didnt take as long as we thought to get back because of that. We had cycled 42km and my legs really felt it!! A fantastic day topped off as we went to a balcony bar and sat and watched the sunset on the volcano and the moon rise.

22nd - Becki, Tasha and I got a taxi to some natural hot springs where there were 5 rock pools with differing water temperatures all geothermally heated because of the volcano. It was very relaxing and the taxi driver looked after us, buying us a snack on the way then staying and watching our bags at the pools.

Pucon has definitely been one of my favourite places on this trip, a beautiful little town with amazing scenery.

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