Posted by: Talie Morrison | December 21, 2009


I  went to this cute (even if a bit touristy) little town of Pucón, Chile.   It is a lot like Crested Butte (which as we know can be a bit touristy at times!).  I had actually booked the bus to Temuco but found that it went on to Pucon.   So I stayed on the bus realizing that I didn’t have a clue where I was going to stay for the night – the bus was due to get in about 10 pm.   Hum…  So as we entered town, I kept an eye out for hostels along the way fairly close to the bus station.   But as I got off the bus and grabbed my pack, a beautiful lady asked me if I needed a hostel.   Gracella’s place, Hostel Navada, was just across the road from   the bus station.   And it is a perfect hostel!  

The first day was a bit cloudy, but as the day went on and the clouds cleared – the volcano just outside town started showing itself!     

Look what's coming out of the clouds!

  Wowee!   And mountains around  came into view, along with a huge lake at the edge of town.    I think I am in Heaven!    Of course there is everything in the world you could want to do here  (and want to pay for!) – guided trips up the volcano ( in winter it is a ski area), rafting, mountain biking,  horseback riding, canopy tours (which are zip lines way up in the trees), tours of the area,  and anything else you could invent:  for sure someone will guide you in doing it!   I met a couple of great exchange students who were staying in the hostel with me – so  we went on the native culture and waterfall tour.     It was great to actually get out into the countryside and away from the cities (even if Pucon is small, it still has sidewalks!)    So we were on dirt roads and going out into the countryside.   I guess I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get away from the cities since I don’t have a car to drive – but I’ll just make it work however I can….   And the dirt roads reminded me of Colorado! 

Then  I climbed the Volcano – Vulcan Villarrica!   

It was a PERFECT Colorado Blue Sky day – and a wonderful day to be up high! 

On top of Vulcan Villarrica

  My group consisted of  just 2 of us and a guide – the other climber was another exchange student from France.   Seems like all the exchange students are on vacation right now so I keep bumping into a lot of them!    We climbed pretty steady (not real fast) but with only a few breaks and made it to the top in 3.5 hours.   We were on top at Noon.   (of course we were followed up by at least 10 more groups of from 5 to 15 in them!)

 The climb wasn’t too scarey, but the decent was:   We sat down on little plastic dishes and slid all the way down the volcano! — Glissading on Steroids!   It was steep and long!     Yahoo!    

Sledding down a volcano? - Yikes! Great little sleds to sit on!

Before I left Pucon, I wanted to check out Huerquehue National Park which is not far from Pucon.   So I hopped on a local bus and went to the park for the day. 

Parque National Huerquehue

   It was beautiful! I hiked trails most of the day, climbing up to beautiful lakes and mountain vistas – it reminded me a lot of New Zealand, with Beech trees, waterfalls, and high mountain tundra.   It felt really good to be off on my own, just hiking in the woods!  I didn’t realize how much I needed a day on my own – I know I’m on my own all the time down here, but I’ve been around people all the time I’ve been on my own…  don’t know if that makes any sense, but then maybe I’m losing it…  🙂    Anyway, I loved my day in the park –  back to Pucon and then off to Puerto Montt.

By the time this photo was taken, I was soaked!

Sunset on Vulcan Villarrica

One of the locals in Parque Huerquehue! It is about the size of my hand!

Dinner with friends! Ellen, Robyn, and Thomas

 I’m going to go ahead and publish this blog entry, even as I start another one!   I’m trying to keep up — but the adventures keep happening faster than my blogging skills!  

And I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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