While the rain wouldn’t stop in Puerto Varas, we met Bart and Lobke from Belgium. They taught us how to eat chocolate like true Belgians and made the rainy days less boring. After three days we each went our way, Pucón was waiting for us.
Pucón is the adventure capital of Chile. Things you can do here: rafting, climbing, hydrospeed, canopy, canyoning, bungee, kayaking, … If only that darn rain would stop. We squeeze in some day hikes on semi dry days and in the mean time wait for the weather to be safe enough to climb the famous and active volcano Villarrica. After 6 days the sun finally found its way to Pucón:
We leave Pucón at 6.45 am and are brought to the foot of the volcano. Here the rising sun and some left over clouds make the sky look beautiful.
When we get to the chairlift that will bring us to the start of the hike, we see that the volcano is wrapped in a lenticular cloud. We prefer these stay in the South, where they are beautiful and harmless. The guides brief us about the possibility of not making it to the top. Safety comes first and we are asked to respect their decision.
The first few hours the clouds seem to be playing games with us. One moment the top is clearly visible, the next it is completely covered. We arrive at the start of the ice fields and the guides tell us that we’ll have to wait here. They need to asses the situation and decide if it is safe to continue. After about 20 minutes the clouds have thinned out and seem to be mostly just passing by. There hasn’t been any rain or anything and we get the ok to continue to the next resting point.
Everything goes well and the sun seems to be here to stay.
At a very decent pace we steadily move upwards. The last part is definitily steep, but we take it easy and before we know it we’ve made it. We’re standing 2.847 m above sea level, staring into the crater that reaches several tens of meters deep. We can’t see any lava, but we know it’s close since the air in the crater is really hot.
We walk around, take picture and try not to die when the wind turn and a cloud of sulfir tasting air fills our lungs. We don’t stay too long, since we still have to descent. Most of it we don’t have to walk though, we do it this way:
It’s a long day and we’re super tired by the time we get back in the van. We drive back to Pucón and have a beer with the crew. What a day!