Feb. 16, 2006 - Villarrica
Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
22Trip End Feb 24, 2006
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Where I stayed
I was sleeping like a log when the alarm went off at 7am. We had barely an hour to get ready, eat some breakfast (cereal, juice, eggs, toast and jam - the same everywhere), and walk down the hill to catch our bus to Lican Ray, about 30km south of Villarrica. Everything went without a hitch, and we picked up our connection to the hot springs of Termas Geometricas an hour away (see http://www.termasgeometricas.cl).
Although not even cited in the 6th edition of Lonely Planet Chile, these are the best hot springs around, with 15 pools of varying temperatures, a slew of changing rooms with locks, and a cafeteria serving hot soups, sandwiches, coffee, tea and soft drinks.
Our party of six got there at 11am and unfortunately, the weather wasn't too cool (actually it was rather too cool!). But they had a campfire going and only the marshmallows were missing! We counted some 20 people here at this hour.
Once we got the courage to change into our bathing suits and slip into the hot springs, everything was just fine. Despite an overcast day, it eventually warmed up and we enjoyed a long chat with a couple from Calgary who were doing an extended 3 ½ month tour of South America. Good stuff, guys! By the time we left at 4pm, the place was jammed packed with picnicking Chileans. Man, these people keep weird hours!
Having experienced the hot springs at the Tabacon Resort in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, I give those the highest rating. The surrounding gardens are lush and green; the pools are not stagnant but rather rushing rapids and waterfalls. A hot water massage....
Back at the Colina, we devoured another great supper and then headed to the game room to work it off. Caroline was beating me at ping pong when these two little French kids aged 6 and 9 showed up. Before long it was me against the 9-year old, and I was whooping him, re-claiming my former glory days!! (Man, is that low or what!!!).