BootsnAll Travel Network


After breakfast, all included in the price of the hostel, we drove for a couple of hours to Santa Cruz the main feature of which is a museum which houses the private collection of a guy who made his money in the arms trade. It is a huge collection and includes cars (inclusing an MGA similar to the one we used to have), a station complete with train, lots of Inca jewellery, conquistadors´weapons, maps, paintings etc etc. We only had a couple of hurs there though which wasn´t really long enough. The rest of the day was spent on a long drive to Pucon in the Lakes District. We didn´t arrive until about 8pm and we went straight to the office of the mountain guides who were going to take us the volcano the next day. It is an active volcano and you climb up the snow slopes and peer into the hot lava in the crater. We were kitted out with boots, waterproofs, crampons and rucksacks and then went on to our hostel which is lovely. It is a large house in which the family lives and the rooms are really comfortable with ensuite facilities. I am writing this in a very nice lounge with comfy sofas and there is a good kitchen if you want to cook your own food. It is called La Posada del Embrujo. Having dumped the gear we went to a local restuarant for dinner. The food was excellent and very reasonable in price. During the day we had picked up another member of the group. He comes from near Edinburgh and his whole life seems to revolve around alcohol (drinking it and talking about drinking it). He also knows absolutely everything there is to know about anything so you can be sure he is going to be my best friend!
Unfortunately Tuesday morning was cloudy and rain was forecast so despite getting up at 6am so as to be ready to leave for the volcano at 7 we couldn´t do it after all. But we had a good day anyway as we hired some mountain bikes and cycled about 20km up to some lakes and waterfalls called Los Ojos de Caburgua. It was a good ride and we had lunch there before cycling further on to Caburgua where there is a larger lake with a beach and boats. We hadn´t realised that this would be all uphill (5km) and it was really hard going but coming back to Pucon was great – downhill most of the way, about 25km. We had an early dinner and then we all went in the minibus to some hot springs about half an hour away. There were 5 hot pools of varying temperatures with wooden huts to get changed in. We mainly stayed in the hottest one although some people did go for a dip in the river to cool down (not us though!). We stayed there until about 11pm when I think we were all very wrinkled. Then back to Pucon where we went out for hamburgers (very nice ones, huge with all the trimmings – lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise) as everyone was hungry again. Didn´t get to bed until about 2am and that was much earlier than most people!
We had booked to go canyoning today (Weds) but it wasn´t until the afternoon so were able to have a lie in until about 10. Katie and I are staying on in Pucon until Sunday but most of the others were on the road again this morning so we waved them off in our pyjamas, had a cup of tea and went back to bed. The tour company we are travelling with provide a hop on, hop off service so we will get the next minibus that comes through on Sunday. We got up again at 12.30 and went out for a delicious breakfast of fruit, pancakes and warm bread and jam. We called in to see if the canyoning was still on as it was raining hard and were told that it would go ahead. So we got changed and went back to the office only to be told that the guide thought it was too dangerous so we couldn´t go after all. By this time it had stopped raining so we went for a walk round Pucon and down to a beach on the lake, accompanied by a dog who adopted us for the afternoon. When we got back to Pucon we went into a shop to buy some food and thought we had lost him but he was waiting for us outside when we came out! We intend to go to a nearby national park (the unpronouncable Huerquehue) tomorrow although it is forecast to rain again.

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