Volcanoes that spit fire

Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Etnico Eco Hostel Pucon
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Volcano Villarica

Flag of Chile  , Araucanía,
Thursday, April 12, 2012

And then there were three...james went to Argentina!! A short
11 hour bus ride north and we arrived in Pucon. Volcan Villarica is a
live volcano that smokes all day every day and is on amber alert for
actually erupting. 
Day 1 and we decided to
hire bikes and go fishing. So 17km in one direction to this absolutely
gorgeous little out of the way place so that Chris could catch some
dinner. The terrain we rode across was fairly undulating and after
struggling to the top of the one really large hill and getting excited
about the awesome downhill run to come, i discovered a puncture which
meant walking and hoping that Chris or Iain would realise that i hadnt
arrived in time to turn round with the puncture kit so I could still do
the downhill run! Managed to get half an awesome downhill run! About 2km
of downhill forest track. Loved it to the point where I had to put on
brakes at the bottom and then realised that what goes down must
eventually go back up...much to Iain and my disgust! 
Once
we arrived, Chris went fishing and Iain and I sat on the side reading
our books and soaking up the sun because one of us may have slipped on a
rock while trying to take an awesome picture of a waterfall and landed
up in the river which was less than warm. After which of course one of
us had wet shoes again!!! Chris managed to catch five little trout which
were then put on a braai and devoured. They were absolutely delicious. 
We
had been tour company shopping as Iain had managed to find 9 people
from our hostel who wanted to do the volcano so we had some peice
bargaining power. The one company that was recommended to us was Volcan
Villarica agency. Which is also the same name as the Volcano. Matt (an
ex south african) wanted to practise his Spanish so he stopped a local
in the street to ask where Volcan Villarica was...to which the local
person looked at him blancly and pointed at the actual Volcano. You
could see him thinking "open your eyes gringo, it's only the biggest
thing sticking out of the otherwise flatish landscape". But after
checking a number of different companies we found a good company to take
us up the volcano (unfortunately this is not one of those thing you can
do on your own and rumour has it that there are a lot of bad companies
with terrible gear ) we were ready to go up Volcano Villarica. The
following morning we awoke to a beautiful clear day and were picked up at 6.30am to
go and get kitted up and then climb the volcano. Waterproof pants and
jacket were supplied as well as crampons, bum sliders and bags. Each
company has their own set ofcolours for waterproofs so that
the guides know who you belong to as there are so many people climbing
the volcano. We took a chairlift up the first section and then trekked
the rest of the way to the start of the glacier. Here we put on
crampons, took out our ice picks and were taught how to stop ourseles in
case of slipping and falling. We then glacier trekked up the ice for
about two hours which was an awesome experience. Then up a rocky section
at the top until you are at the crater. When we reached the top the
crater was smoking a fair amount and the fumes coming out of the top of
the volcano were toxic. As a result we only stayed at the top for about 5
minutes and then headed down again. Back through the rocky section to
the ice. When we hit the ice we put on our bum slider protection gear,
our trays and started walking across the ice to the slide without our
crampons. I slipped and started aliding down the volcano which meant i
suddenly had to put into action the technique we were taught. Luckily it
worked and I did not slide right off the vcano. We then jumped on our
trays and toboganned down. This was an absolute blast. Every time I hit a
bump and stopped Iain who was behind me would come sliding down, bash
into me, I would get some air over the bump and off I would go again at
pace! We then went down the next section which was what they call
glassading or sliding down shale/gravel.  An awesome day on the
mountain. 
From Pucon wetook an overnight bus to Santiago

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Michael Cabral on

Hola, Katerina!

I am absolutely loving your blog entries, and am so happy you are living your dream! Enjoy Santiago, it's one of my top 5 cities in the world :)

Carry on having a blast...and keep the pics coming!

Michael C

Melisha on

Hey Katerina

Missing you tons. Glad to see you are having such a blast:)

xoxo

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