Volcanolandia – Pucon (Chile)

This semester there are no week long breaks. The only break I have left is after midterms but I had this one little break for Easter (end of March)…ha for one whole day. Now that is very important because I have classes everyday except Sunday. Talk about enjoying my last semester of my Masters. Either way my Saturday class is one of my favorites.

I took overnight bus to Pucon…a bit farther south in Chile…still nowhere near the bottom! The town is small so I walked to my hostel. i was camping, but not in a tent I expected, it was more a dome with 6 beds in the backyard. Perfect for the outdoor and forest feel of Pucón. The hotel, El refugio, also awesome and close to buses. The first day, Friday, I spent a chunk walking around the town and laying on the beach (still warm). By three I was ready to rent a bike. I planned to go bike up to see some waterfalls and if time the lake. All was accomplished and I even met a father and son on the way. They paid my entry, so nice, the son showed me the falls and put up with my insane amount of photos and adventurous spirit, while his dad watched the bikes. We were going to go our separate ways but somehow they convinced themselves to go to the lake with me and show me a nice route…cool. The lake was very peaceful. At the end of the road (lake) there was some pastry called Kuchen that is topped with fruits or jams or manjar being sold, a German influenced pastry because Chile and this town has German influence. I thought this wouldn´t be good but it so was, it was baked with zucchini, yum!

We biked all the way back on the main highway…because it was getting darker, dull and boring ride back but the sunset coming in was a great welcome.

Next day, I got up early to go to Huerquehue Nat´l Park. The bus was so full they ordered another one, guess they too forgot it was a holiday and all wanted to go hiking! Any who, I picked the longest hike and off I went. It was amazing from start to finish. It started with bamboo, then changed to dead trees mixed with a local tree I will present in photos, fall colors, flowers, to rocks, and intermittent views of lakes and mountains. I loved every minute of it! Along the way I met a couple who loves to hike, we passed each other many times and got to know each other. I almost did not go to the summit because I thought I lacked time and might miss my bus, all lies, I had plenty I just misheard the french hikers; best to bring a watch! Of course I wanted to go to the top, who doesn´t finish a hike…really! (unless something happens of course). Super glad I went up! I ran into the couple again and we ate lunch together then continued the rest of the way. By the end they had offered me a ride back even though I had my return ticket and invited me to eat asado at their house. YES and YES!

That was perfect. We are still in contact today, I´ll likely go on a hike with them again!

The next day was going to be volcano day…my first summit! Unfortunately that didn´t happen because it was too windy…bummer…so I went to the termas..hot springs. Spend a few hours there and then walked a few KM down picking the blackberries! YUM

So loved Pucón, felt like home a bit. I will go back. Hope to ski and attempt the volcano again…yes it is active and that is why people go. DAD, interested?

The last day was Monday and I spent it in another city, Valdivia, bigger which felt exactly like Seattle. It was like I went home but no one was there. Well ok not quite home but really felt like it. I spent a few hours roaming the city and doing homework (because I skipped class and hwk was due!). Then I headed to an island to see a castle. Met a historian my age studying law in Santiago and he gave me a free and fun tour of the island, going out of his way. Chileans are so friendly and helpful!!! We missed the last boat but luckily he knew the captain (my friend has a house on the island) and the boat saw us (friend forgot captains phone number).

We parted ways and I spent the last few hours of my time at the Kuntsman Cerzeceria!! A German beer made in Valdivia. I loved it, all were delightful. I met some cool ladies at the bar which ended up being lucky on my part when my credit card was denied….ooooo noooo. Turns out I forgot it expired April 1st….yeah April Fools….NOT! They covered my tab and I should probably deposit her money tomorow…ja ja

Long trip and entry…sorry. Truely loved Lakes District.

Return trip to Pucon – Ironman 70.3

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