The beautiful lake district
Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
65Trip End Ongoing
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The town itself its mainly just a tourist hub, with its main street dedicated to tour agencies offering an array of adventures. The one we were really keen on doing was climbing Volcano Villarica, so the day after arriving in Pucon we booked ourselves onto the tour.
At 6am we marched off to the tour company who drove us to the base of the volcano; from there we changed into our attire - jumpsuit, garters and hard hat. To avoid the first hour of walking on the rock we chose to take the chair lift up across the ski field to the base of the volcano; the first one we had been on, so we stood there anxiously waiting for the car to lift us off our feet
After the fun of the volcano we thought we would relax the following day, but the beaches are not very good around the lake, so we decided to hire bikes and cycle to an alternative beach on the lake. The lady in the bike rental shop had said it was not too far, so we set off. What she had forgot to mention was that the majority of the journey, was on the worst road in history, with large stones, holes and just about every possible obstruction for a bike. After cycling in the mid day heat for over an hour, we started to feel quite disheartened, as the beach was still no where in sight, at that moment a pickup truck drove past with a group of Chilean guys who waved, so we seized the opportunity and asked for a lift. This was the best decision ever, the drive to the beach was still another 15 minutes (by bike this would have taken an hour on that road) and when we arrived they invited us to join them. One of them had been on holiday there several times and knew of a waterfall further along, so we followed them and ended at this waterfall by ourselves, so spent the afternoon jumping off the upper ledge into the ice cold pool below. The guys were so friendly they agreed to drive us back and go out with them in the evening. At night they picked us up took us to a local place and then drove us out to a local club on the outskirts of town, but in the end we ended up staying in the parking area chatting and drinking the local drink pisco cola. They were all such great guys, sharing everything with us and making us feel as if we had been friends for a long time, apparently this is the Chilean way
The following day we decided to check out Villarica, a nearby town, which is less touristy and has nicer views from the lake with the volcano behind. From here we also went to hot springs called Geotermetrics, which are a series of 17 geometrically-shaped hot pools built into a lush green valley. The location was really breath-taking and the pools, steamy, in fact some were so hot (over 40 degrees) it was difficult to even put your toe in!!
Before we left the lake district we decided we should eat the local lamb asado, so went to eat in the traditional Mapuche village, where we sat on a wooden table inside a small hut and our lamb was cooked over an open fire - delicious.