From Puerto Varas, we caught a “bus” (a rickety old minivan that wobbled and bounced all over the place) to Pucon, a lovely mountain town with Volcan Villarrica smouldering as its backdrop. Pucon is another popular backpacker’s place, with people flocking to the area for the usual adventure activities, as well as the nearby thermal pools. The town itself is pretty quiet during the day, as most people are off doing exciting, active things, but it has some lovely shops and a nice area by the lake front to relax in.
Our first full day dawned bright and clear, and Tall headed off with 15 others to tackle Volcan Villarrica. I slept in (aahhhh), chilled out in the awesome backyard of our hostel (with great views of the volcano) and wandered into the town centre.
Mid-afternoon, the sky started to look pretty black and I escaped back to the hostel before the clouds could unleash; just a couple of hours later, the climbers were back. Only half of them had made it to the top….and Tall was one of the them. He arrived back soaking wet (they got caught in a thunder/hail storm on their descent…apparently lightning + metal climbing spike + snow = scary) and said it was challenging but incredible.
After the exertion of the day before (on Tall’s part, at least), we spent our second day being lazy, wandered to the black sand beach on the shore of the lake and generally relaxed in preparation for our next long bus journey up into wine country.