Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day One: Thursday

My bus arrived around 10am in Pucon. After spending so long in the insufferable heat of Santiago, I was thrilled to see overcast skies and light rain gently falling.

Cloudy skies, the Chilean flag and a wooden duck.

I had a vague idea of where my hostel was. But a vague idea is useless for someone like myself who could get lost in a shoe box. So of course I spent no less than 30 minutes walking up and down the street my hostel was on without actually being able to find it. After asking everyone I passed for directions, I finally found it.

The hostel was much smaller than those I was accustomed to in Europe, but it had a cute garden, complete with three dogs, a fire pit and hammocks. After checking in, I was surprised when the owner told me someone was asleep in my room and directed me to wait on the sofa in front of the TV. Definitely a first in my hostel experience.

One episode of Friends later, two more travelers appeared. I could tell they spoke English and they were also told the room was unavailable at the moment because of a sleeping patron. Mind you, it was close to noon time.

I got up to take a look around the hostel and found the two exiled travelers sitting outside. So I went to join them. It turned out they were both in the midst of a grand tour of South America, but they in fact had only met a few days ago in Santiago, their previous stop in their long journeys. I didn’t learn their names for several more hours (because I forgot to ask) but I did find out that the girl was from Turkey and the boy was Australian. As it turns out, their names were Secil and Shane. Secil was incredibly down to earth and Shane oozed with sarcasm. I knew we were going to get along quite well.

Close to one, we were finally allowed to enter our room. Secil and Shane said they were going into town to find something to eat and I of course invited myself along. The weather had gotten colder so we hurried into one of the first places we found, a small restaurant named Rap Burger. We all ordered the same thing, except mine was with carne de soya instead of regular carne. Not even ten minutes later our waitress arrived with some of the biggest hamburgers I have ever seen, complete with homemade buns, piles of vegetables, and of course, a healthy dose of palta (avocado). It was delicious. And cheap.

By the time we finished lunch it was pouring. As we stood under the awning of the restaurant we decided the most logical thing to do would be to run next door to a tour agency so we could get out of the torrential rain. This is how we met David, one of the guides at Pucon Tours.

David, gladly taking all our money.

We easily sat with him for over an hour, while he answered all of our questions, even those that had nothing to do with the excursions his company offered. We left with more information than we had expected and promised to return later to book some activities. After finding Shane and Secil a hostel for the rest of their stay in Pucon (ours was booked for the weekend) we found a place to sit and discuss our plans for the next few days. It turned out we all wanted to do similar things, so naturally we stuck together.

Volcano alert.
We all assumed green was a good thing.

While wandering around town we stumbled upon an outdoor market.

These ducks were everywhere.

Wooden flowers.

After another trip to see David, a trip to the bus terminals to buy tickets out of Pucon (mine to Santiago, theirs to Bariloche, Argentina) we returned for the third time to Pucon Tours to book our activities with David. As we sat around laughing with David, he was shocked to find out that the three of us did not actually know each other and had only met that morning. He said we seemed like we all got along incredibly well. He was right. He also noted that it wasn’t common for a group to come in and each book different activities. Secil wanted to go canyoning, an excursion where you get to rappel down along side a waterfall as well as other slightly less scary things. Shane, who studied geology in school was dead set on climbing the volcano. I, on the other hand, was dead set on not climbing the volcano. (Hello! What if it erupted while I was up there?!) Instead, I looked through David’s list of activities a picked the most wimpy one available: horseback riding. We scheduled our activities for Saturday when we were told the weather would be at its best.

We set off back toward our hostel and spent the evening chatting with the other people staying at the hostel. We had plans to get up fairly early the next morning, so we called it a some what early night.


  1. You forgot to mention the fact that when you couldn't find your hostel, you called your mother who is 5522.8 miles away (according to wikipedia)so she could find the phone number for the hostel!

  2. Think of me handing you a shoe box - inside the box is a cell phone under the phone is some writing that says "in order to find your way around the box call mom" >>smile<<

    What language was Friends in?

    ummmmmmm Burgers

    Seems like the rain was destiny giving you a push over to David's place.

    Green light ...Uh ... Does that mean the same thing south of the Equator ... I mean ..ah it isnt like the way water goes down the drain is it?

    Those wooden flowers would have fooled me from the picture ... they look so good I could almost smell them.

    I don't think you took the wimpy excursion. Think about it; One person chose to _walk UP_ a _VOLCANO_. One person chose to _RAPPEL_ along side a waterfall. One person chose to _Ride_ a _gentle_ horse and enjoy a glorious view.
    I admit that the rappelling sounds like a blast and looking into a live smoking volcano would be exciting but ... a blood pressure and adrenal gland preserving ride on a horse sounds like you made a good choice to me.