We arrived early into the town of Pucon, Chile, which is some 1000km south of Santiago. This was a place Dan was very excited for, an outdoor enthusiasts playground. Lush green mountains surround this lake front town and there is every outdoor activity you can think of to do here.
Our bus had a problem making it into the station because some of the roads were closed. We ended up stopping on a dirt road full of puddles from all the rain that had been falling. When we got out we found out why the roads were closed. It was the middle of of an Ironman 70.3 & there were cyclists everywhere. Lucky for us me made it to the hostel before the rain started. Unlucky for the Ironman participants who were out peddling in the pouring rain/hail. We hid inside until the sun came back out and then explored this town which I´m sure is very similar to Whistler. Lots of nice restaurants and cafes, many local tourists as well as backpackers (many of which are Israelis!) & tons of outdoor activities for summer & winter.
When we got our bags off the bus we weren´t sure where we should be heading. The Lonely Planet guide book listed one address and our hostelworld reservation listed another. We ended up going with the Lonely Planet address because we couldn´t find the other street on our map. When we arrived at Donde German (pronounced Her-maan) we were pleasantly surprised by a brand new chalet-style building. When we spoke to the lady inside we were less excited. It turns out there are 2 hostels and if you book on hostelworld.com then you are at the old hostel. Slightly confusing for people booking and very disappointing for those that head to the new hostel first! We walked over to the older hostel which is slightly outside of town (not a problem since the town is so small) and met with a lady who we could only assume was an ex-boarding school warden. This lady took us around the house and gave us the rules in Spanish and just kept talking while we didn´t really understand much of what she was saying. This is our cupboard for food - someone was in there Oh no!, we can use theirs, not a big deal for us, but dirty looks from the warden to the nice french couple with a baby. Then we sat to wait while they finished getting our room ready. While we were waiting we saw an american couple who were trying to exchange their books in the locked up book exchange which the warden had to unlock and supervise - they weren´t even allowed to borrow a guide book for 10mins, even when they promised to stay in the hostel with it. There were also signs all around the hostel in english - no food or drink outside the kitchen, no shoes inside, check out was a 10am & you had to be off the premise by 12. If you didn´t follow those rules then there were fines. We had read online before booking the hostel that there were some strict rules, but this was all a bit much! Good thing there were some nice people staying here & we had only booked two nights!
We are going to be in Pucon for about a week and have booked ourselves in for a climb up the volcano, rafting & rental bikes from a new local outfitter called Elementos which also sells fantastic salads!!
When we aren´t out doing activities here we plan to spend our days relaxing and taking in the beautiful scenery!