Friday, January 8, 2010

More fun in Pucon, Chile

Well, I´m on my 5th day in Pucon and still finding new places to explore and things to do. After our day of kayaking, we rented mountain bikes and headed off for a popular loop toward some waterfalls and the lake. Unfortunately we got a late start and didn´t have time to make it to the lake but we hit a few mild trails and some back roads until we came upon the waterfalls. It felt good to be out in the fresh air and getting some exercise. On the way out of the waterfalls Morgan spotted a sign that we thought might be apple butter for sale so we stopped to see. I sat out on my bike and waited while Morgan looked through the options, there wasn´t any apple butter but he did come back with some quince jam. We headed back to town on the main road which was about 20km, it wouldn´t have been so bad if there was more of a sholder to use to get away from the traffic. Regardless we made it in about an hour and managed to return our bikes just after the 8pm cutoff.

The following day we decided to rent a car and get out to explore some of the things that were harder to get to. It was a tiny base of the line chevy that didn´t have a ton of clearance or sound very good but it ran and the rental agency assured me we´d be ok with our driving plan, he commented we didn´t need 4x4 for what we were heading out to do. First we headed to the volcano caves, well one particular cave. Once you got close to the cave the dirt road turned into something my subaru would have handled with ease but the little chevy wasn´t doing as well. I managed to avoid the worst of it but did hit a rock, after that... the car sounded like parts might start to vibrate off and leave a trail behind us. When we parked and I cut the engine, I was sure the engine was going to vibrate out of the hood, it sounded just awful. All I could see was $$ signs as I thought about returning the car the following day. Anyways, we walked around a bit on Volcan Villarrica while we waited for our tour to start. The cave was a bit of a rip off, not sure I would recommend it but it was cool to walk through the old lava tunnels and see the landscape inside. At the end of the cave the guide had us all stand around in a circle and then he turned off the light for the far end of the tunnel where we stood. Talk about pitch black! I couldn´t see my hand infront of my face and suddenly realized it would be nearly impossible to make it out without a light even if we were crawling on all fours. Spooky.

We went back to town and I did some grocery shopping while Morgan went for another kayak run. At this point, the car seemed to be getting worse, I felt like everyone looked at me everytime I cut the engine, at least they are used to seeing junkers here. Afterwards Morgan got back from playing in the water we met for dinner and then headed out to some of the local hot springs, Los Pozones. On the way we saw a guy and his young son walking on a long dark road, they were trying to hitch a ride so we picked them up. Maybe that will improve my luck the next time I´m trying to hitch. The hot springs were nice, my body enjoyed it tremendously. I was so tired on the drive back it was hard to stay awake, I slept like a baby that night.

The following day we returned the car, and right off the bat I mentioned that it was vibrating badly and that it didn´t sound good. The woman behind the counter said she knew and that it was a problem. At that point I didn´t feel the need to disclose my rock incident, my conscience was clean. She refunded my deposit and I escaped quickly.

We decided to spend the rest of that day on a canopy tour of the trees. We had heard that Bosque Adventura was the best around, there are 11 different zip lines and they cross the river twice so that is the company we went with. The equipment was top of the line and seemed very secure so after a bried demo on safety we were off. As we all started to move toward the entrance the guide pointed to me and said lets go. Not sure how I got choosen to be first but I decided it might be better to just swallow my fear and go for it. Honestly the zip lines were great, the part that scared me the most was the platforms and ladders. Its a bit difficult to climb a ladder when you have big bulky gloves on but I managed without killing myself. All in all it was the most fun I´ve had in a long time. I kept thinking of the story my dad told Ellerie and I when we were little girls, he teased us that we had monkey tails when we were born and he had them cut off in the hospital. When we´d run to mom to ask if it was true she would tell us no but then dad would say Ï had to have them cut off before your mom saw you¨. It was an ongoing joke that I always think of when I see a monkey, it brings me fond memories. Swinging through the trees like a monkey brought back those memories.

The following day Morgan had to return to Santiago to catch a flight to Lima so I had planned to lay on the beach and soak up some sun. There is usually a lot of morning clouds so I was lazy and waited till about noon to see if it was going to burn off. It didn´t seem like the sun was gonna come out to play so I rented a bike again and headed up to Lago Caburga. It´s about 25 kilometers outside of town, a nice ride to do when it´s cool and the sun isn´t beating on you. I hung out at the beach for a bit and ate some lunch then headed back to town. Not a bad day.

I´m down to my last couple of days in town and the sun is out in full force so I´m getting in a little beach time before heading to Mendoza, Argentina via Santiago. I can´t get a straight bus to Mendoza so I´ll stay in Santiago for a day to break up the bus trip and then head to wine country. I need to enjoy the mild temperatures, Mendoza weather looks like its well into the 90s. I hope I don´t melt!

1 comment:

  1. So glad that you are still writing -- means I get to keep getting my South American fix even though Morgan is on his way home.