Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pucon - Chile

After an overnight bus from Santiago, we awoke to what looked exactly like Ireland! Wet and cold with green fields all around, it was really strange.  We were on our way to Pucon, a touristy little town in Chile's lake district. 
There is a really strong German influence in Chile and you can see it in the street names, the design of the houses and the restaurants.  We stayed in a gorgeous and cosy (if a bit too packed) little wood cabin hostel in Pucon for four days, during which time it continued to rain solidly.  The main attraction in Pucon is the nearby Villarica volcano which is still active, but since it was so cloudy we couldn't even see it for the first few days.  We really wanted to climb it so we hung around until the weather got better, unfortunately it was also too wet to go for a hike in the nearby national park.  The last volcanic eruption happened in 1984, and everyday at noon a siren goes off in town, if it stops you're ok but if it keeps going you have to run to the evacuation point which is a little peninsula on the Villarica lake beside the town.

When we arrived we thought the best way to spend a rainy day would be in the nearby thermal pools...
The next day the weather was even worse so we couldn't really do anything, spent a while trying to find somewhere showing the New Zealand v Ireland rugby game but no joy.  The day after that we were getting restless, having woken up at the crack of dawn in the hope of going to the park only to hear it lashing down, we later went to visit a nearby waterfall when the rain eased off.  It was really lovely, we brought a picnic and were the only people there.
The lake with black volcanic sand...

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