Day 43 – 44 Two days in Pucon

We arrived after dark in pouring rain. Got to be the wettest day of putting up the roof so far. Most didn’t feel like sleeping on the roof and crammed into the bus. But me, Moa and Per slept topside.
Since so few wanted to go up we only had four mattresses.

Day 43 – Pucon

First day in Pucon and the heavy rain we had during the night has slowed, but still not great weather. There are a lot of activity that can be done from Pucon. Rafting, Canyoning, Riding, Paint ball, zip lining and most important walking to the summit of an active live volcano.

With our luck with the weather on our trekking so far I didn’t really want to do the volcano walk, but when we went to book stuff to do I decided to go anyway. So that’s tomorrows activity booked.

Some wanted to do rafting today as well, but because of the heavy rain the last few days there were to much water in the river for that to be possible. So some of us decided to go to one of the hot springs to relax and get the warmth into our bodies again.

I had some hopes for the hot springs, but it wasn’t really that nice. The place was ok, and the water wasn’t bad. But I keep comparing to the hot springs in Iceland from last summer and this can’t compare.
We even ended up in a video shoot, there was a film team making a promotional video for the place while we were relaxing in the pool. Flying drones over our heads and one of the photographers managed to fall in the pool. A bit of excitement.

When we got back to town we went to a restaurant / pub called Mamas and tapas. The owner is Chilean but has been living in Sweden for many years. We got some nice food and drinks. Most of our group went home early. We have to be at the booking office at six thirty tomorrow for our walk.

I was in bed around midnight, and one of the girls came home when I woke up to go trekking.

Day 44 – Walking Villarica

Up early today to start the hike to the top of Mount Villarica. The summit is at 2800m.
After getting our gear from the booking office we drove up to the ski resort that is at the base of the mountain. From there you could choose to either walk for an hour to the top of the ski lifts, or take the ski lift up.

I decided to go with the lift, like most others this morning.
There were a lot of people walking the volcano today, it’s the first day in over a week that it’s been possible to do the walk. The last few days has been rainy, and up here it was snowing.

After getting to the top of the ski lift we started walking. It’s slow going all the way to the top, at some point we had a break and got our crampons out. Time for the ice.
At this point I managed to loose the jacked we were given for the trip up. When I was rummaging through my backpack a gust of wind ripped it away and sent it flying down the mountain. Guess my woollen jacket will have to do the job.

About 15 minutes from the summit we had a break, left our backpacks and walked the last bit with only the ice pick, camera and gas mask.
The smoke from the volcano is some nasty stuff, and even it the masks weren’t the best it was much better than nothing.

When we got to the top we had about ten minutes to have a look into the bubbling crater and take some photos before we went back down to out packs.

And now the fun started. Crampons back in the backpack, out with the extra pair of trousers, the “diaper” and the butt sledge. Going down from this place was a whole lot of fun, riding on your butt and breaking with your ice pick. Since so much snow came the last few days we could slide far down, and then we had a short hour of walking downhill to the bus.

And all of this in wonderful bright sunshine and balmy weather. Finally a walk when we came back without being drenched.

Back in town we left the borrowed gear at the operators and went for some lunch. We were back around four, but at our camp site there is no hot water until after seven in the afternoon, so no hurry.

After lunch I went back to the bus, got the rest of my stuff sorted and my pictures backed up before trying to get a hot shower. Of course the water heaters didn’t come on at seven, and we had to go fetch the guys working there to get it on. Mañana, mañana.

After the long day we were tired, so we went for a quick pizza for dinner and then right to bed.

Tomorrow we’ll leave Pucon for San Javier.

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