Driving into Temuco, which is our next destination from Los Ángeles, the weather starts becoming colder and the cloudy sky looks ominous against the Andes mountain backdrop.
-A sight not often seen in Temuco, how on earth did it get in here in the middle of the city?
Seeing that I forgot my phone in South Africa, I keep asking Marius if we have any response back to our online bookings for accommodation, but it seems that quick responses are a rarity.
Driving past the Cristal Brewery, ensuring we know where our beer comes from, we headed into Temuco. It is one of the larger cities to the South of Chile and also home to the Temuco University. A few high rise buildings welcome visitors to this beautiful student town.
As we drive into town Marius spots a local brewery and we decide to stop and get some beer and burgers while we are waiting for a response on our accommodation. The local beer is excellent and the restaurant is warm inside. A big window by our table gives us a great view of the university buildings and students rushing up and down.
Having not had any response by 5 pm we decided to book into a local 3-star hotel and gave up on finding more affordable accommodation.
The Hotel Frontera is located in the heart of the city and we park on the pavement right in front of the hotel. Motorbikes are uncommon in Chile and are almost regarded as nothing more than a bicycle with an engine, so they have no problems there.
Our room, although pricey, is magnificent and definitely worth the money. Fast internet, cable TV, central heating, magnificent linen and everything is brand new.
After two days of relaxing, we decided to head to Pucón a small tourist town approximately 80km, south-east of Temuco and the closest town to the Volcano Villarrica, 2,582 meters high. The Volcano, with its white ice glazier top, stands out above the lush green landscape. The road between Villarrica and Pucón is lined with 5-star hotels and cabañas. Pucón is a gem located on the edge of the lake Villarrica and most of the buildings are built out of wood harvested from the nearby forests.
– The volcano during sunset
The mountain makes the views around the town spectacular and small restaurants and boutiques line the streets.
– Pucón city view of Volcano Villarrica
The weather is not getting any better and although it is sunny with blue skies there is a chill in the air. This time our accommodations are much more sorted and we stay at Chili Kiwi in a little cabin by the lake. Having some internet problems Marius quickly jumped on board to sort it out and had us connected in no time. Our hosts are friendly and advised us on all the wonderful activities Pucón has to offer.
– Street view of Pucón
The next morning we head out to Saltos del Claro, and a hand-drawn map to the waterfall, with instructions like enter the road that says “private” jump the fence at the meadow between the cows and make the steep hike down to the river.
– Marius & Trip
– 82meter waterfall, Saltos del Claro
– View from the road back to Pucón
The steep path down we got a bit lost and had to hold on for dear life as we skidded down the 100m mud wall down to the crystal clear river with the waterfall on our right, the clear (Claro) waterfall leaps 82m from the top to an emerald green clear pool of water. It is total secluded and not many people have made the journey down.
-Marius going for the perfect image, both feet in the water
After Marius took some incredible pictures we eventually headed back to town for a bottle of wine and some pan-fried steak and avocado sandwiches. After a bit of a siesta (seeing that everything closes between 1 pm and 3 pm anyway) we were invited to spend the night with the other guests and friends for a barbecue which consisted of wine, beer and succulent Chilean beef.
Marius, Brian (The Irish lad) and Trip
-Sunset over the lake at Pucón
For the next few days, the weather turned really cold and rainy and we decided to spend it inside reading and relaxing by the fire.
I was surprised when I was chatting to Maurice that in Talca it was warm and dry (not even 300km north from our current location).
The next day our journey took us to Caburgua and the Ojos del Caburgua where water bubble out of the earth and a waterfall runs into the eye of the river.
– Ojos del Caburgua – All the waterfalls run into this single crystal clear pool
– Ojos del Caburgua
To get our old bones warmed up we headed to the Thermas de Palguin and their volcanic heated pools.
To continue our adventure we checked into a Gypsy Wagon for a few nights and some much looked forward to Whitewater Kayaking at Pucón Kayak Lodge, their slogan, “Keep on Kayaking”.
Although really small our wagon was very comfortable and pretty warm. It gives the surroundings a ‘Fable’ feel to the environment and except for all the High Tech, we could have easily been in the 15th century living in a gipsy town.
– Our gipsy wagon, hidden between the trees