Putting the Poo into Pucon

Trip Start Jan 19, 2008
Trip End May 01, 2008

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Friday, February 8, 2008

In the event, Kat slept soundly for 15 hours and awoke with her foot in not too bad shape all things considered. Matt was left to munch his way through left over expedition food, i.e squashed ham & cheese sarnies. He also enjoyed/endured an hour and a half of an impromtu English/Spanish lesson when the hostel owner's daughter turned up. She is keen to improve her English and Matt desperated needs to improve his Spanglish...

Yesterday we had a pretty lazy day. We spent a few hours down at the beach, which was a far cry from the deserted stretch of gravel we found at 11am a couple of days previous. Come late afternoon there was barely room to swing a cat and competing bars blared out music competing for custom. Over time the families were replaced by the pretty young things gathering on the beach in anticipation of what we assume to be, by virtue of a big sound stage being constructed during the day, a concert later on in the night.

After a bit of sunning, Matt went for a paddle in the lake. He was a bit confused as to why the lake shoreline was crammed with paddlers, except for a 5 metre stretch in the middle. However, without thinking too much about it he waded in through a little stream into the deserted area. Heck, it was cold. Really, really cold. Like, much colder than he remembered it being when they walked through the water a couple of days back. It was only as he wandered back onto the beach and back through the stream that things clicked and he realised he'd been paddling in the run off from the snow melting on the volcano. As he found out the second time he waded in, if he'd only joined the rest of the crowd a few metres to either side (after the water had a chance to mix with the rest of the lake) he could have enjoyed a much more pleasant experience.

That evening we took a tour to visit a thermal pool complex a little out of Pucon. The 6 pools were each of a slightly different temperature and after a bit of goldilocking about we found one to suit us both. Matt's spanish clearly still isn't sufficient as he thought he'd been recommended to take food and a bottle of wine/bubbly - but, having gone to the trouble of chilling some champagne and insulating it in a wet towel he'd stuck in the freezer, in the event there was nowhere to eat and alcohol wasn't allowed..

Returning to the chalet at gone midnight it turned out that the toilet was blocked and a Chillean poo was floating perilously near the top of the loo. It turns out that the advice to not stick toilet paper in the loos but to use the bins provided is well founded. Matt hadn't been following this advice ever since entering Chile, but this was the first occasion that a poor toilet had to suffer his sustained abuse... Feeling guilty he ripped off a supple branch from a tree and tried to bend it around to remove the blockage - but all he succeeded in doing was getting twigs and leaves bunged up as well. Finally, trying not to think about what he was doing, he resorted to bunging his arm to try to clear the problem - but to no avail.

We left early this morning, mentioning as we walked out the door that we think there might be a little problem with the toilet...

Today we're hiring bikes and going to visit some sights out of town, primarily a mini golf course (of course, no holiday is complete without at least one round! Just wish Jo and Al were here so we could resume our close competition...) But we might also go and look at some nice waterfalls - but only if time allows after golf :)
Tonight we're off to Santiago on a bus with seats that recline into beds. Apparently you get served drinks and food as well - we're very excited!
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