Volcano Villarrica Adventure
Trip Start Sep 03, 2005
50Trip End Ongoing
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After a short chair lift we started our ascent, snow and ice all the way, only the angle of the slope up changed as we got higher. The guides told us that the climb would take 4 to 5 hrs which was very daunting, especially after 2 hrs when I felt that I wasnīt going to make it! I hadnīt paced myself properly and was going too fast so I dropped back into the slower group which helped
The view into the crater was amazing, you could see the lava bubbling away and then molten rocks would explode from its belly! It was only when I was at the top did I find out that it is a very unpredictable volcano (maybe I should have done my research a little better, but what the hell I was there now!)
After enjoying the spectacle we set off down which was great fun, consisting of a number of chutes in the snow, you just sat down and lifted your legs up and you were off, speeding down the volcano with just your ice axe as a break (never realised that you could get a frost bitten bum!!) The route down took an hour and a half and was definitely much easier than the route up. At the bottom I really felt I had achieved something, it was probably the hardest day of exercise I can remember! Just what I needed after all that great South American food and beer!
Back at the agency office the guides gave us a well deserved beer and a certificate to prove we had conquered the volcano! That night they invited us to a BBQ at their hostel, but we all crashed out after the food, no-one had the energy to party.
The next morning two of the girls in the group couldnīt see as they had taken their sunglasses off on the way down and had got sun blindness, this lasted for a few days. Another girl on the walk had to go to hospital with sunburn to her face which had to be bandaged, so I guess my stiff legs were a minor casualty of the day.