Time for a bit of chilling.....

Trip Start Mar 14, 2010
Trip End Dec 03, 2010

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Flag of Chile  , Lake District,
Thursday, April 15, 2010

OK, Im in Pucon...

After Wife No.1 & Wife No.2 jumping on jet planes to new adventures, I decided to stay one more night in Santiago before setting off into the unknown of Chile with a ticket for one.

Jumped onto a bus to Pucon the next morning at 8.30am & readied myself for an 11hr bus ride down south. Im happy to report that it was possibly the best bus ride Ive ever been on! Big lazy boy type seat, a few movies to pass the time, choice of radio stations, food served to you in your seat. Was definately worth the $3 I paid for the upgrade!

Arrived in Pucon at about 8pm - bang on time!
( A little note about busses in Chile -theyre run almost as well as the trains on Switzerland. Inside the cabin there's a display with the driver's name, & the current speed.The busses are limited to 100km/hr, & if the driver goes over the max speed, a loud beep starts yelling, & he has to ease off the gass again. So basically what this means is that you're always cruising at a constant speed the whole way, & there's never a rush. This is as oppsed to Bolivia where the bus drivers favourite pasttime is to play chicken!)

So I jumped off the bus, & was presented with what looked like a ghost town.....
What ever happened to the South American's going till all hours??!

Ah well, time to find my hostel - 3 blocks down the road, turn left, & four blocks up - can't miss it!
That of course, is entirely dictated by whether you set off in the right direction.....!
10 mins later, I decided that my map reading skill weren't as good as I thought, ( I blame the 11 hr bus ride!)ask for directions, & head back to where I came from.
Found it eventually, so put the experience down to a bit of pre-hostel exploring.
Everyone's doing it these days........!

Pucon is an interesting place. Bit of an adventure haven. it's a bit of a mix between Interlaken in Switzerland & a canadian lakeside village. All the houses & building are constructed of wood, & the smell of wood burning fires fills the air. Damn, I love that smell! it's just a constant reminder that you're in the great outdoors. Oh, & there's the small fact of a huge volcanoe as a backdrop on one side, & a beautiful lake on the other! There's also skiing around here, so the village has a bit of a ski village feel to it too.

Now the volcanoe ( one of 3 in the local vacinity) has been nothing but a smoking chimney for the last 5 years. Yawn......

Que the earthquake in Chile in Feb 2010......

Volcanoe's not so sleepy any more!
I'm yet to climb it, but from the pitures & video's I've seen over the last few days from people who've just done the trek up, this thing is gagling lava, & the trek up takes you right to the dge of the crater to have a look! Can't wait!!!
Visability & weather are terrible at the moment( 12 degrees, windy, rainy), so as soon as it clears, me & the camera are going up!!

So while I'm waiting , I decided on a little something different........hydro speeding!!
Don't worry - I had the same reaction! Huh?! what the hell's that??! Oh why didn't you say so.....wetsuit, boogie board thing & flippers floating down the river going through grade 3 rapids.

What an experience!
OK, so the water's about 9-10 degrees, but you get used to it......eventually!( Read: body goes numb) 14kms of floating/ crashing down probably the most crystal clear river I've ever seen. Superb visability - not an ounce of silt.

Let's just say that it was that good that I'm probably going to book for tomorrow again!
Highlight was definately going the biggest set of rapids where 2 rivers joined, with 2 river rafting boats along side, crashing through the rapids a few meters ahead of us - & then both flipping. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion, twice! Beautiful!! There were bodies & arms 6 paddles everywhere! Oh the drama!!
( i did learn afterwards that the guides on both the boats actually flipped them intentionally..........nice!)

So now it's day 2 in Pucon, the rain is lashing down, & it's about 13 degrees. Definately not summer anymore! this would be a problem in mabe, say, London, but I' staying in a log cabin type village with roaring ires everywhere. the hostel has big couches, DVD's & a fireplace to chill infront of. Gimme a book , & this pretty much sounds like bliss.......
No where to be, no rush.......I love being on holiday!!

I think I'll take a trip to the thermal pools a bit later.

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