Month: March 2014

Pucón

My first long weekend trip in Chile was to Pucón, a small little town at the base of a volcano. If anyone has seen the movie Dante’s Peak, it probably could have taken place in this town. I made the 12 hour bus trip with Kayla & Cadu. We traveled through wine vineyards, forested areas, dry arid areas, and ended in the lake region. I traveled 11ish hours by plane and another 12 by bus to end up back with the lakes – sort of ironic if I do say so myself. The area of Pucón is absolutely beautiful, I couldn’t stop staring at the Volcano! I was excited to get out of my comfort zone and try some things I don’t normally jump up and volunteer for; things such as hiking, hiking, and more hiking. For those of you that know me well enough I am sure you are laughing at this mental image because well I am the girl who LOVES nice restaurants, shopping, reading, and all things city life related. To say I was a little over zealous and under prepared is putting it kindly.

First our hostel -we slept in a tent, they called it an eco dome but it was a tent with bunk beds and quite cozy actually. Yes, to those with your jaws on the floor, I did volunteer for this. So onto our day trips… The first day we decided to take it easy and go check out some waterfalls – beautiful! They were called ojos del caburgas and so much fun to wander around! After that we decided to jump back on the colectivo (shared bus) and found la playa negra (the black beach), the sand was made out of ground rock from the last volcanic eruption. After that we decided to say screw the bus and walk to the next beach in hopes we would find the green crater lake (we never found it). After walking up what I classify a mountain we found la playa blanca ( youuu guessed it, the white beach); since I had more than enough climbing for the day we took the bus back into town and went in search of food. We ate at a lovely German restaurant solely because they had Harry Potter on the tv and I needed some familiarity back in my life. *Side note, there is a lot of German influence in parts of Chile* When dinner was finished we rounded out our day with a sunset over Lago Villarrica which was very relaxing.

Day 2, the day we thought we were climbing a volcano. The weather on top of the mountain was not cooperating so we couldn’t go up; instead we decided to take on a national park hike. I did really good until the only direction we were going was up and it started to rain… not my idea of a great time unfortunately. We found a waterfall and headed back down – it wasn’t a complete loss however because the views we did see were breathtaking and made the hike totally worth it! We did find out that the weather the next day was being more amicable and we would be able to climb the volcano. I decided that my legs hated me enough after what I had put them through the last two days and opted out  because to me the views from town were just as beautiful. I spent all of Sunday wandering around the town, in and out of shops and spent some time by the beach just sort of taking it all in. When Kayla & Cadu returned from their climb we went to the thermal pools which were essentially warm baths… very relaxing!

Overall, I really enjoyed my trip. I can honestly say that I am learning a lot about myself here in Chile; some things I already knew and am just finding out more in depth and some brand new traits as well. Hopefully this was interesting and until next time; Buenas Noches!

 

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Chile Thus Far…

Well I have been in the country for over a month now and I still have yet to post anything for all of my avid readers (I am sure there is at least one of you). I will try to catch you up on my life here in Santiago… unfortunately and fortunately it is my life and not some great tourist dream. I came here to meet people, get a job, and live like a Chilean. I am not saying of course that I have not experienced some amazing things that aren’t also incredibly tourist and I am not loving my trip! Santa Lucia, Musea de Memoria, taking a 12 hour bus trip Pucón to see the Volcano Villarrica, and to Viña del Mar to visit the ocean just to name a few : ) My life here is probably more like those from home than one may realize – I go to restaurants, wander around parks, go out at night, and take the metro or bus to work and everywhere else I go for that matter. Some key differences are that I only understand about 5% of what is going on around me which means that my automatic response has become no to just error on the side of caution. The food is for the most part incredibly boring and yes this is coming from a girl who is rather picky. (However I am becoming quite fond of avocado or palta on my hotdogs!) Fall means 85 degrees and sunny, oh wait 33 degrees Celsius which means little to nothing to me but I am working on my converting skills : ) Another fun fact, my money is very colorful and instead of pictures of dead presidents there are pictures of animals! Everything is in 100’s or 1000’s (smallest bill is 1000 pesos) which tends to make me feel like I have way more money than I really do.

I most definitely have days that I wonder what the hell I am doing here because honestly I don’t feel like my life has changed a whole lot but then I remember I am in Chile, South America, I can see the driest hot desert in the world and penguins all in one country, learn Chilean Spanish because frankly it is different than the rest of the world’s version of the language, and try things I never thought I would! Why wouldn’t anyone want to experience this, at least not just for a little while. I have started teaching and am learning just as much from my students as “hopefully” they are learning from me. I am sure I missed many things about this new home of mine but don’t worry – this is just Blog 1 🙂