My study abroad group set out for our big trip all together! Sadly enough it also marked one of the last times we will all be together in one place. With only about a month and some weeks to go, which obviously includes everyone’s ambitious travel plans and final weeks, we were left feeling pretty sentimental and nostalgic about the last time we were all together (orientation) which signified that we were just starting our journey…not ending it. Anyway, this urged us even more to take advantage of the beauty in Pucón as well as the memories, laughs, and adventure.
So it was a jam-packed three days!
Day 1: Lunch and Workshops with Mapuches
Chile has a rich Mapuche presence. That being said, we were able to learn better about this important dynamic of Chile though spending the day hearing about their history, culture, language, and modern-day struggles to maintain both. Additionally, we were able to indulge in some cuisine, which was so delicious and very good for you! They include medicinal remedies in their cooking and are very astute to the properties of varies herbs, plants, and spices. After, we took part in some workshops including basket weaving and looming and ended the day with matte and homemade sopapillas.
Day 2: Climbing the Volcano
So for very some odd and questionable reason, I signed up to Climb Volcano Villarrica. The break down of what this means:
– Waking up at 5AM to be at the office to get all geared up by 7AM
– Hiking up the volcano for 6 hours
– Sliding down for 2
Well, I will preface this with it was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had while traveling. But wow was it difficult. It was freezing, the snow was blinding, and physically I was drained by the time we were done. It was spectacular up top, though, and it pushed me to an extreme that I never though I would have been confronted with.
Day 3: Huerquehue National Park
With my legs still shaky and eyes heavy from lack of sleep, we set out for another hike through National Park Huerquehue. There were waterfalls, gorgeous lakes, sweeping greenery, and a constant view of the Volcano (almost a centerpiece for the town). It was not an easy hike but it was celebrated with a nap on a shore of one of the lakes and then homemade blackberry pie when we got down.
Leaving Pucón meant leaving a lot of beauty and a lot of friends, but I was ready for some rest, relaxation, tea, and diving into the final assignments for classes.