Adventures and more over-indulgence

Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
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106
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Trip End Feb 28, 2007


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Flag of Chile  ,
Monday, January 22, 2007

Pucon the place to be....
Arrived in Pucon very early, about 7am....the place looked nice, but it wasnt such a nice day. We went straight to the hostal, were a little worried at first as it looked like a house, but it was actually kinda cute with good facilities and very friendly staff! Was a little early for check in so we went off to find breakfast. There seemed to be loads of cool places to eat...all the buildings were funky too....made out of wood.....kinds reminscent of Jackson in the US, but with a more Swiss feel. It was all very nice, but then we wouldnt have expected any different of Chile. We had toast with marmelade and nice coffee....had a wander then headed back to check in. Our room was nice. We then decided to go to explore....problem was no sooner had we gone out when the weather got really bad! It started to pour! So we headed to internet cafe...then went to get lunch....yummy burger...was still raining, so we headed back to get waterproofs....obviously straight after which it stopped raining!!!
We headed to find the little lakeside beach, looked really nice, problem was as it had been raining and was overcast, the place was dead! Looked like it would normally be lots of fun, with cafes and boats and stuff. The beach itself was cool, black volcanic sand....even blacker after the rain. We walked a little then headed back to town. Was getting on....so explored a little more, checking out our options for dinner, then went back to book some white water rafting for tomorrow. Then it was food time....mmmmm ....more treats.
We had decided it was a choice of two places.....a risotto/pasta place or ethnic place. I was in a bit of a mood, so neil decided pasta would cheer me up! Turned out to be a really cool place. Looked like it had a swiss owner, who had cooked for american presidents....and the food was amazing...as was the service! Felt like a princess!! Ordered a bottle of wine off the wine menu....a bottle of Concha y toro of course! And i had shrimp cannelloni which was amazing and Neil had shrimp risotto, which was equally good! Even finished with a raspberry creme brulee to share. Had to laugh when we had to move tables due to the heavy rain pouring through the roof!!!! Was a brilliant meal....and Neil was right.....it cheered me up no end!!

Next day, we didnt have much to do in the morning, which was nice cause it meant i could enjoy a lie in!! When we eventually got up, we headed out for breakfast. Was a beautiful day....and we got the most amazing view of the snow capped volcanoe while enjoying a good if a little odd breakfast! Breakfast here, seems to always involve ckae of some sort and meat and cheese....clearly got huge german/swiss influences. So our breakfast that day was raspberry juice....coffee....apple pie...cheese, ham, bread and jam! Was surpisingly good!
Spent the rest of the morning wandering round the shops....and then enjoyed a light lunch of toasted sandwhiches....neils actually being a toastie. It was then time to get ready for our rafting.
The bus picked us up at 3pm, we went round the town, as you do...picking everyone up. Then we drove for about 30 mins to our starting point. Were excited we love rafting! Go wetsuited up and then had the usual safety stuff....sounded more scary than last time! Was nice to see everything was in english....they asked if anyone didnt speak english....not spanish!
Then we were off....we were split into 3 boats...only 6 people in each boat which was nice...we happened to be with a couple we had met in the rainforest in Peru! Our guide was cool too. Had time to practice on a flat bit....had to practice jumping across the boat so we didnt tip and getting down....oh yeah and holding on! Then we had our first rapid.....it was really cool. Very different from before.....big drops....rather than swirling waters! We survived the first! Was all really exciting....probably more adreline than last time! We were definately the best group....having success everytime.....others getting stuck on rocks....and we had to rescue 2 people from another boat when they managed to tip their raft up! One point was so dangerous we had to get out of the boat and walk through the woods around the level VI rapid, which was apparantly too dangerous to go down.....even though all our guides did...perfectly of course! Back in the boats...which was a challenge in itself!! More cool rapids....we made all of them no probs....we were such a good team!!! At the last bit we were all allowed to jump in.....and god was it cold.....even with wetsuits!! Water was rough too....got drenched when a huge wave hit....still it was fun....all managed to get back in boat, then our guide decided we would take the little river route, as he had lost a rope to the river earlier than day...and wanted to see if he could find it. Was fun.....dodging trees and rocks and stuff....but we had no luck finding the rope! Then that was it time to get out of the river. We had amazing fun....definately gonna be doing more rafting....i wanna learn to do that sort of thing in a kayak!!! Had beer and biccies before heading back to town....beer is like water out here....how cool is that!
Back in town, didnt have long before we were heading out for the evening again....so grabbed a pizza from the local takeaway...was damn good too.....huge chunks of salmon and aspargus and other stuff....then got some beer....before jumping on the bus to the hot springs! Was certainly an action packed day! About an hours drive later we arrived at the hot springs. They were really cool, outdoors....lots of little pools, set along side the river. Only fault was all the steps down but it was well worth it! Thought it was cold, but the water was so warm it didnt take long till we didnt notice the temperature outside. Watched the sun set and soaked under the stars.....drank a few tinnies and munched biscuits. Was so lovely and relaxing.....romantic too!! When we couldnt take anymore heat...we got out and got dry. How cool is it to be soaking in hot baths at 11pm under the stars though!? Went to bed late, exhausted but oh so happy!!!!

Day 3 in pucon.......we decided it would be a good idea to hire some bikes....not whatever gave us that idea im not sure! We reserved our bikes and then went to find breakfast....more srange cake and meat and cheese!!! Bought oursleves some snacks and then went to get our bikes. Now i was a little apprehensive about biking.....having done lots of exercise the day before and knowing how useless i am! When they told us it was 19km.....i thought it wasnt too bad.....only after we had set off did we realise it was 19km each way!!!! The terrain going was pretty tough......loose gravel....and some fairly steep hills. Was a bit scared at first....didnt like the sensation of slipping and sliding all over the road, specially going at speed down the hills! Still i got used to it. Some of the bridges were interesting.....planks of wood across the water....wasnt too easy to ride across them....ended up wedged between the planks on the first one!!! I have to admit, we did walk up some of the hills, was too tough trying to get up hills....on loose terrain! The scenery was impressive though.....and it was a perfect day for it. Hot and clear. We stopped for a rest....at a bench with a good view of the river below. We shared a can of beer...remember its water here! Was in hysterics as some huge bug decided to attack Neil.....and despite him running in circles at speed it wouldnt leave him alone, so in the end he had to get on his bike to get rid of it! Oh you should have been there!!!!
Carried on, seemed a long way....were getting tired.....had no idea how far we had got, or how much further it was too go. Tried to enjoy the scenery and ignore the pain! Eventually reached Ojos de Carburga. Had no idea what the hell it was, but its what we had come to see and lonely planet said it was good....didnt tell you what it was...which is about right....but said you had to see it! So we paid our entrance fee and went to look! Turned out to be really cool. It was a series of waterfalls, all flowing into a beautifully green pool. Was impressive! Had lunch then went down to see it. Was amazing cold and refreshing by the water....just what we needed. Before long was time to head off again. Stocked up on water and got back on our bikes....reluctantly....cause we had very sore rears by this point. Knew it couldnt be too far till we hit the road....where it should be a relatively easy....if long cycle back. Wasnt too far....but felt like it!! Finally hit the road....were relieved but it was still 19km back.....and we were already tired....still its not like we had a choice....so got on with it! The first part was great.....downhill.....got up some real speed and had covered 5km before we knew it, but then we were riding into the wind and everyhing became harder. It was all pretty much down hill....nice and smooth, but the wind did make it harder.....couldnt even get any speed up on the downhills! I was quite enjoying it, despite the pain in my bum and arms and hands.....Neil went all funny at one point and we had to stop! Was no doubt the heat....we were now cycling in the direct sun...with no shade....but what could we do! Neil drank all the remaining water...and then we pushed on! I reckon i could get used to the cycling lark, well on nice easy downhill roads like that one anyway! Eventually reached town again...and god were we glad to get off the bikes! Had a great time....but figured maybe 40km was a bit far when we arent used to it! And also would have been better if the bikes had been better.....the gel saddle were useless and fell off most of the time, the suspension didnt work and Neils gears had a mind of there own, still they made it....
First thing we did after getting off the bikes....yes you guessed it....headed straight for a cold beer! Damn it tasted good! Then headed for showers....to wash all the sweat and tears away!
Then it was time to spoil ourselves...yes again...we deserved it after all our efforts. So went to the Ethnic place we had seen.....turned out to be amazing! Couldnt decide what to have was so much choice.....arabian, japanese, thai, vietnemese and indonesian.....all looked amazing! Wanted to try it all.....so we chose 3 dishes to share....ginger tuna steak from Vienam, Chilli chicken and fried noodles from Thailand and salmon sushi rolls from Japan. Damn was it all good. I love asian food. The sushi we had effectively as a pudding....was amazing. Neil is trying to get me into sushi....and i reckon he suceeded. I love the stuff....just wish i had a bigger mouth to fit it in.....without looking like a hamster! Shared a cheap but good bottle of white too.
Damn i like being spoilt.....gonna be so hard coming home to england....and not being to afford this luxury living....still somehow i think we might just find a way!
Enjoyed our last night in pucon....in our nice double room.....time to move on early tomorrow.
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