Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bretts first Volcano since Chimborazo

Hi, so i'm now in Pucon, which is a really nice village in the heart of the Chilean Lake District. I have been here for three days after a couple of days at Puerto Varras and Valdiva. This is my favourite place in the Lakes, as per usual its stunning, with Villarica Volcano dominating evertything, and the town itself is very nice. The first day we climbed the volcano (2,870 meters), we had a perfect day and the view from the top was spectacular. Yesterday we went for a bike ride to another lake, again it was beautiful with view of several volcanos along the way. The Chilean Lake District was colonised by the Germans, so its got a lot of good chocolate, beer and really nice architecture (when it hasn't been destroyed by earthquakes). As Pucon is at the base of the most active volcano in Chile, everything is prepared for an eruption. A number of times a day, sirens go off. One siren means its 12pm, 2 means its a fire, and if its 3, its an eruption - you get quiet nervous when its two. In case of an eruption they have signs telling people where to go in order to avoid the lava flow. I've met some great people, a few americans and the girls that work at the hostel are really nice and easy-going.

So far the trip has been fantastic. I struggled at the beginning to keep to budget, i'm so used to eating and living pretty well that its hard to cut down, I would eat out all the time and not really think about spending money. Also Southern Patagonia is very expensive, now the Lake District is a little cheaper, I just bought a ticket all the way to Santiago (8 hours in good seats) for $20 - amazing. Travelling alone hasn't been a problem, I find that the easiest way of meeting people is in the refuges, so it is very important to pick the right one. Anyay, tonight i'm off to Santiago, so i'll wirte soon.


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