Trip Start Feb 19, 1992
49Trip End Jun 28, 1992
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We arrived at Pucon and stayed at Casa de Roberto for our several nights there. Roberto and his wife run a very warm, friendly place, the sit and talk with the guests, help out if you need and recommend guides for the area.
We wanted to climb Volcan Villa Rica, the second most active volcano in South America. We got some instructions on using the crampons, a framework of spikes that are attached to boots to provide traction on snow and ice (wikipedia), and ice-axes, mainly how to stop yourself from falling off the mountain (turn on your stomach, hold the head of the axe with one hand, stick in the ice as hard as you can and hope for the best). The climb itself was not hard, and fun even though you have to get used to the rumbling on the mountain. At first you have to get through some red rocks on the bottom, and at the end you have to zig-zag because the mountain gets very steep.
The volcano is very narrow at the top, which didn't stop me from getting very near to the opening, sticking my camera over it (saying a short prayer), and clicking away a few pictures hoping I got one or two good ones of the lava.
Our guides told us to bring a piece of lemon with us, when we got to the top we discovered why, the smell from the sulfur dioxide is so strong it's hard to breath, but if you put a piece of lemon in your mouth it makes breathing tolerable.
The view from the top is outstanding, and you get to take some very cool pictures as you can tell. When we were there, we found out there was a dog living on top of the mountain, which survives on visitors bringing him food.
We climbed / slide down invited our guides to dinner we cooked and went to sleep. We also went about town, which is very nice but not very authentic, since it's mostly a ski resort / outdoor activity town.
Great experience you'd never forget and talk about for years to come
Where I stayed
Casa de Roberto