The journey to Pucon was quite rainy but otherwise uneventful except for a local gas station attendant trying to pull the wool over eyes by charging us the wrong amount! Luckily with 2 extra passengers in the back it’s easy to keep track of what we actually have to pay (he charged us the number of litres that he put in the van, not for the actual amount of money for those litres). It took a little British muscle, courtesy of Ivan, to get some money out of this guy, but in the end, he just pulled cash out of his wallet and handed it to us.
We got to Pucon the next day early after a quick sleep at another gas station, and quickly checked into The Chili Kiwi hostel. It’s a “must stay” if you’re in the Pucon area. They have amazing staff, great facilities, and they’ll book all of your activities for you. We spent that day doing some spring cleaning of the van and explored the town a little bit.
The following day was supposed to be rainy so we signed up for Hydrospeed! It’s essentially white water rafting, minus the raft and plus a small boogie board. We practiced turning and flipping over in the calmer waters for a little bit and then headed out into the rapids! After 14km of rocking down some apparently Class 3 rapids, we were all pretty happy about the afternoon.
The next day, Ivan and Tash went for the hike up Volcano Villarrica; an amazing volcano that towers over Pucon and just looks so impressive! Becca wasn’t feeling 100% so I explored the city while she rested and hung out around the hostel. Once everyone got back from the hike, I immediately went and signed up for the volcano hike the next day. I had spent the day admiring this amazing mountain and wanted a cool adventure. Originally Becca wasn’t going to come, but after some very smooth talking I convinced her to join me and we signed up for the day after!
That night Becca made the most impressive hostel meal I think anyone has ever seen. Hassleback Potatoes with a homemade peppercorn sauce and chorizo and sautéed onions and peppers. I mean c’mon! Every person that walked through the kitchen made comment along the lines of “holy guacamole that smells amazing!” (I pulled through, considering I had never heard of peppercorn sauce until 10 minutes before I made it, thanks to a guy from Quebec who told me to make it – Becca)
The day before the hike was spent enjoying the black sand beaches of Pucon and exploring some more of the craft markets that hadn’t been open on my first visit to the town. Sadly, we knew it was going to be our last night with Ivan and Tash before they took off for Mendoza, and Ivan (who wasn’t going to be show up by Becca), smacked together a delicious Shepard’s pie! As a mere spectator in this dinner cook off, I think I was the real winner. That night Becca and I went to bed with alarms set for 5am, with excitement brewing in our bellies (or at least my belly)!!!