Saltos, Rapidos y Rios

Another venture into the wilderness this morning using Rutas Secundarias as much as we could but occasionally forced to take the corrugated dirt-track option of a Ruta de Tierra. I tell you, it’s a good job we don’t have false teeth or anything metallic attached bone-wise as the rattling you endure along these tracks is something else! (especially accompanied by the clink and clank of bottles and tins in the back all destined for recycling – Ant) However, the scenery more than makes up for things as it’s really quite stunning with every twist and turn and switchback revealing another view of Villarrica or, as was the case today, two sister volcanes, each snow-capped and towering in the distant forested horizon. I realised what’s so strangely familiar about some of this scenery: entirely along the main, more rural roads, is the prolific use of eucalyptus.

This morning we drove along the road towards Huife, deep into the Parque Alto Palguin, on the eastern side of Volcán Villarrica to a string of spectacular waterfalls (Saltos) beginning with Palguin and La China and then, if I’d had my way (enough saltos already! Ant) three others, El Diablo, El León and El Puma. But, after a couple of hours enduring the corrugated switch-back track and, the difficulties of encountering not just other cars but on the odd terrifying occasion – a bus! – it was agreed (sort of) to head back to civilisation and Pucón for a coffee in an internet café. Yeah, we found a place with super-fast WiFi, so, as you can see, I’m back to blogging again.

After a mooch around town on this hot dry day we headed back to the cabin, 20ks outside of town and deep in the forest and, after lunch decided that a swim was in fact in order. To the river we cried!

Well, cold doesn’t really describe the water temp, frigid or more apt, glacial! You might be pleased to know that I alone took the full plunge into the shallow stony river, managing to wade right out into the middle facing the rapids, whilst behind me, a deep pool of completely clear water called for diving in. On another day perhaps.

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