January 26, 2017

Chile | Pucon

We took our one and only overnight bus which left Valparaiso at 9pm, and arrived at 9am in Pucon.  Along the way, the bud made a bunch of stops to ferry people down South.  The bus system in Chile is pretty nice, as you can purchase premium seats if you'd like.  As we neared Pucon, we were amazed by how green the landscape was.  After spending time in the Atacama Desert, and then coastal Valparaiso, our new destination seemed incredibly lush.  We spent 3 nights in Pucon, staying at Hostal French Andes.  Just outside our room's patio door were 4 newborn kittens (see 2nd photo below) whom we spent plenty of time with.  Pucon was definitely a base camp for adventure, with excursions & activities everywhere.  

Most of our time in Pucon was rainy, which was unfortunate.  We had big plans to climb Volcan Villarica, but there were no excursions going up for days because of the bad weather.  Instead, one day we opted to take the public bus to Huerquehue National Park to hike the Los Lagos trail.  It was much tougher than we anticipated, and after several hours of straight ascent, we arrived to the lakes which were really beautiful.  Our other day was a trip out to a place I had been looking forward to seeing for awhile.  On another rainy cold day, we went to Termas Geometricas, a cluster of hot springs in a valley.  The most striking feature is the series of bright red boardwalks which snake through the valley and connect all the pools, which have different temperatures.  Ranging from 95-110 degrees, with an ice cold waterfall to cool you down, the whole experience was amazing.  It reminded me a bit of the Myvatn Hot Srings in Iceland.

We managed to do pretty well in Pucon despite the weather.  On our last evening, we got our one and only glimpse of the volcano, and it seemed massive, leaving us to wonder why we wanted to climb it!   After three days and with bus tickets in hand, we continued south.... 

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