First Couple of Days in Pucon…

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Well we have spent the last three days here in Pucon getting re-established.  Pucon has grown a great deal since we were here 15 years ago – now you have “super-mercado” markets (3), seemingly many more places to stay and even some medium condo-esque style buildings appearing.  It was sort of sad to walk into the super-mercado which felt like King Soopers down the road – everything is packaged food, etc.  The nice thing is that there are lots of things to choose from – the bad thing is that the 1:1 personal interaction that you have in places like Las Cruces isn’t there.  We’ve found other local smaller spots though – so we can keep confusing the locals with our ‘habla’.  We went to the beach today for about 10 minutes to check it out – it was very, very crowded – think Brazil.  Tomorrow we might brave the beach.   These pictures are from our place that we are staying in Pucon.  The owners are from Whidbey Island, WA and spend 6 months here and out of the rain of the Pacific NW.


View from our deck this a.m.




Sunset from the deck – thanks gav for the pic!


The new colt on the property


The owners house (top of the hill) and their other guest house (lower). They had rented their main house so our staying in the lower one. It’s all awesome – they bought the land 10 years ago.


Our kitchen – brand new and very functional. Hayden was starting to make something.


Hiking Volcano Villarica

Yesterday it was colder (65F) and we went on a 8KM hike up Mt. Villarica – which is a volcano (active).  We walked through some pretty amazing things – including old lava flows – and finally to the craters where a lava flow emerged from.  We didn’t hike to the top of the volcano – for the kids it would be too much.  This hike was a good first go – it has some vertical gain and was long enough to get comfortable.  We, of course, have our water packs, hiking shoes, hats, etc. and generally “prepared” (scouts) – seeing other people hike up with no water, flip flops, no hats, etc.  made me shake my head a bit and wonder if these people really know what they are doing.  It was a great hike – the views were spectacular.  We couldn’t see the volcano because it was covered in clouds – which rained on us.  The lava fields are huge from when it had a huge eruption in 1948.  The volcano has also erupted in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – but without so much fanfare.  After our hiking trip we went to a local artist fair and had dinner.  They roast the meat on these huge meat skewers – then when you order Pollo asado – they take the skewer off bring it over to your plate and slide it right on – it was awesome!


Ready to go on the first hike


Out of the forest area hiking the rocks


The view from above the trees


Hiking above treeline – it’s very rocky – but easy.


Gavin leading the charge.


The trees in the forested section – they are very thin and neat looking.


Finally where it all happened – the great crater – this is where hundreds of thousands of tons of lava came from.


Meat Asado – grilled – really everything is smoked – yummy – chicken, goat, beef and some other animal we couldn’t figure out.


Local goods at the local art mart for sale


This guy is hand carving this horse into this log- it’s impressive.


Crazy Roads & Hiking

So we had a hike all planned out this a.m., then Hayden picked something different – we said sure as it was much closer to our location that the previous hike.  Checked the maps, grabbed our gear and got in the 4Runner for the trek.  Little did I know that I was going from gravel road to 4×4 road today.  We started out ok – going up, up, up into the forest beneath the volcano – then got to a fork in the road with a gate.  Being obvious tourists and wanting to do our hike – we simply opened the gate, drove through and closed it.  Thinking in my head if someone comes and asks me what we are doing I’ll show them the map of the national forest land and that it shows a hike to the waterfalls at the end of the road.  So we press on/upwards.  A little later, another gate – so we drive through this one.  Now the road is pure dirt with water ditches running down it – large boulders, logs and some pretty interesting spots.  One steep one we drove up and I couldn’t see over the hood of the car as to what was next.  We simply went slow and marched on.  We finally got to a section of the road where it was obvious we should stop – unless you have a winch to get you out, best not to risk breaking something – realizing that we were now miles from anyone nearby…  So we pulled out in this old farm field area and parked – then did about an 1.5 hour hike up the hill.  We were in fact on our actual planned hike – which turned into basically an old road and an old logging part of this area.  What’s amazing is that there were all these huge old growth pieces of wood that had been cut down, my guess 50 years ago, and were just lying around.  There is a picture of Gavin tying his shoe on one that looks like someone cut a piece for a door or table and left the rest sitting there.   We ended the day going back to the store, into town to have a lemonade and then to the beach to check it out.  All in all a good day, but everyone is tired so going to bed.  We took today off from school, but tomorrow will have to get back to our studies.


This is where we stopped with the 4runner – the picture doesn’t do it justice. There really isn’t room to get the car by the water/stream in the road. It’s wider than a tire and only got worse – much worse around the bend.


This is what we came up before we stopped. It wasn’t that bad for 4×4 stuff – the car wasn’t bottoming out or anything crazy.


One of the old growth trees


An old growth tree/snag.


The boys – taking a break


It was an amazing view though – we were hiking an area we looked down at the previous day.


Gavin tying his shoe on this huge piece of old growth wood – just sitting there. There were hundreds of pieces just like this sitting around.




  1. Aunt Erin says

    Great hikes and scenery. Your house looks amazing!! All is good. Celebrated my birthday today with mom and dad and shawns mom is visiting too. Camden has a cold, but hopefully all will be good for this weekend 🙂 I’m enjoying your posts! So cool!! Hugs!


  2. Granddad says

    What awesome pictures and adventures. The location seems to be terrific. The view are out of this world. Nice picture Gavin. Love the wood carver. Any interesting statues?
    Love to all, Granddad


  3. Granddad says

    Is that man carving a Bronco for you to bring home? Everything looks wonderful. The house and setting is great. How interesting that they are from Washington. It sounds like a great thing for the owners to do. They are missing some beautiful spring-like weather here for a few days. We love you all. Don’t eat any of that unknown meat. Don’t want to spend your time in the bathroom.
    Love and Kisses, Grandmother


  4. Lisa Coatney says

    Oh my…the photos….the thoughts…keep ’em coming!
    Love it and love all of you !


  5. What a lovely area to hike in! I’m surprised the crater was so small. It certainly looked like it had spewed tons of rock and ash. Keep trekking!


  6. Jerry Henderson says

    Remain fascinated by your trip. Passing through locked gates, though???

    spanish or spanglish working ok I guess. Bon Chance!

    will forward to Suz.


    • yea – the gate idea probably wasn’t the best one – they weren’t locked though – it was a gravel road… i can always play the dumb tourist card… Spanish is doing fine – Hayden is actually doing very well and can have an active conversation with people – I’m almost there… We joke that on the lessons you learn things like “See the Baby drinking Milk” but you never really have to say that… Last night we saw a baby being given a bottle of milk, so we all said “El Nino bebe leche!”… the only time we’ve used that one!


  7. Mary Anne says

    “Couldn’t see over the hood of the car” You know… we all find the right spouse to marry. That one sentence made me sick. Adventure sounds fun until you give the stomach sickening details.


  8. The Daggs says

    Great to meet you all! Our neighbours in Pucon!! 🙂 and maybe Bariloche too!? Reading your travel stories it made me wish we were there!! The hiking looks amazing. We will have to enjoy that vicariously through you. We celebrate a successful walk around the block! Looking forward to following your journey!! Christine, Wayne, Sylvia, Eloise and Morgan


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