Bad Luck Charm – Pucon, Chile

I arrived in Pucon on a beautiful sunny day full of clear skies. I came to Pucon primarily to climb Volcan Villarrica and was hoping I could climb the day I arrived since the weather was perfect, but unfortunately the climb had begin at 6:30 am and I had missed my chance.

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The city of Pucon is filled with backpackers all eager for adventure ranging from hiking up mountains to climbing, to white water rafting in the rivers. I love coming to towns like Pucon because it gives me a chance to meet so many liked-minded travelers with a love for the outdoors! Since I couldn’t climb the volcano the day of my arrival, I opted for an adventure sport called hydrospeed. Hydrospeed is an activity where you lay on what is essentially a body board and go down class II and III rapids. At certain times you just had to let yourself be taken by the rapid and not fight the current. It was extremely fun, but at the same time scary and exhilarating.

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After an adrenaline filled afternoon, a bunch of us cooked dinner at the hostel and hung out around the firepit. The hostel I stayed at, ChiliKiwi, was extremely welcoming (and they had a puppy black lab) and felt like a nice home away from home. The people working as well as those staying at the hostel were all incredible and everyone seemed to get along really well.

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The following morning, a group of us woke around 6:30 am in hopes of climbing the volcano, but as my luck would have it the weather made a turn for the worse and the climb was canceled. I don’t know why I am surprised anymore when weather ruins something I have been looking forward to since it seems to happen so frequently lately. Either Pachamama (mother nature) hates me or I just have really bad luck with weather. Rain enjoys following me to many destinations and this was no different, the forecast for the next few days consisted of it. Mark, Debra, Yoni, and I decided to head to the Termas Geometricas, 20 hot springs beautifully built into the surrounding mountainside which turned out to not be a bad second option! It was very relaxing and perfect for the cold weather outside.

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We had a misfortune on our way back to the hostel as our van got a flat tire. The driver thought he had a spare, but the spare wasn’t the same size as the car therefore making it useless. He ended up having another tour bus driver take him to repair the tire. All in all it took about two hours but it wasn’t all bad as luckily the thermal springs had an inside restaurant with a fire so we didn’t have to wait outside in the cold.  After making it back to the hostel, Sophie (a girl I met at the hostel) and I ate our leftovers from the night before.

Since climbing Volcano Villarrica was no longer a plausible option due to the weather, Sophie and I decided to head to the Parque Nacional Huerquehue the following day. Although it wasn’t perfect weather out, we decided to take advantage of being in Pucon and go out exploring! We hiked 14 kilometers round trip (and up to 1300 m) to the picturesque three Lakes (Chico, Toro, and Verde). Although it rained throughout the hike and the trail was pretty muddy, we stuck it out like champs! I almost made it down without falling, until right at the end when I slid and my entire right leg was full of mud. Regardless, the hike was beautiful and it was great to spend a day out in nature.

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On the ride back to Pucon I couldn’t wait to jump in a hot shower and strip of all my wet clothes. After Sophie and I defrosted a bit, we headed to the supermarket to gather essentials for dinner and cooked delicious chicken burgers! The following morning Sophie and I were headed on an all day bus ride to Bariloche.  It was nice to meet someone going the same direction who shared common interests!

Pucon is a place I could have easily stayed for weeks, relaxing by the lakes, taking in the views of the volcanoes. Unfortunately, since my time in Chile is very limited I couldn’t stay and wait for the weather to clear up in order to hike the volcano. I was though lucky enough to see the volcano on a clear day as many travelers who come to Pucon aren’t even given that luxury. Now if only I could find a man in one of these mountainous towns to take home!

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Edited by: Farima M.

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