Friday, May 31, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Day Thirty-One

Oh, my goodness! Is May over already? Gosh that was a fun challange, and I only missed a few weekend days (I have a post written to make up for Days 25-27). So here we go with the last entry:

Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

Conquering the Volcano

So in 2008 I had a wonderfully fantastic adventure when I studies abroad in Santiago, Chile. I even made my first blog about my travels and time there (although there are no entries for the last two months as I stopped making time for the internet cafe cause I was too busy having more adventures, whoops). Anyway the following is an edited version of a post there about climbing my first volcano: Volcán Villarica.
I planned on keeping busy the weekend after my parents left after visiting me, so I wouldn't just be thinking about how they had just left, so when an opportunity to travel to Pucón came up with two of my friends from Australia, Laura and Rowena (Ro), I was excited to go.
We took an overnight bus, a ten-hour ride, down to Pucón on Thursday night since it was a national holiday and none of us had classes on Friday. Also by taking the overnight bus we saved money by not having to pay for a hostel that night. We arrived Friday morning at about 9ish and made our way to Hospedaje Lucia where we were greeted by a very friendly Lucia and then walked a tour of the city and picnic lunched at the shores of Lake Villarica. 

Touring the City:
My new boyfriend!
Laura and Ro
With the view of a snow-capped Volcán Villarica in the distance it seemed like something out of a Disney movie, however climbing that volcano was anything but a ride at Disneyland...
We decided to book a package deal and saved money through the company Sierra Nevada for climbing the volcano on Saturday, the termas (hot springs) Saturday night, and white-water rafting the Rio Trancura Sunday afternoon.
Friday Night concluded with possibly the best falafel Chile has to offer in one of the few Middle Eastern themed restaurants in the country who serve actual Middle Eastern dishes. We also toured the small city and of course had to play on the playground. 
Laura and my Patito on the swings!
As we returned to the hospedaje to get ready for bed in order to prepare to the 6:00am morning, what is on the news but a volcanic explosion…
Down in Chaitén, a couple hundred miles away, a volcano erupted.  There were no fatalities but nevertheless, it’s not the news you want to see when you're planning on climbing up a volcanic summit the very next day.

Climbing the Volcano:
Starting off
Saturday started bright and early as we made our way to the shop to get our gear on and head to the volcano. 

The group was made up of the three of us, a guy from Australia, a couple from Ireland, and two guides. We drove near the base then started the long trek up the volcano through rock and snow. We got to wear crampons to walk better in the snow on the way up and after about 4 hours of walking filled out with 5 breaks or so we made it to the top.

Part of the group at the summit
Laura and Me at the summit!
There wasn't any boiling lava to see but there was plenty of sulfuric gas to breathe (and pathetically make *cough,cough* sounds) as we hiked around the volcanic crater. 

The view was EPIC and fantastic and I took about 50 pictures of a 360degree view at the top and made an AWESOME picture collage out of it that unfortunately got left when I moved out of my college apartment.

One of the most fun things about the trek down that made it even more fun was that we literally slid down snow/ice slides for part of the descent!

The Descent:
Butt-sliding is awesome and you should try it sometime
On the way down, in the snow-covered areas we strapped on a protective “diaper” of sorts then got to slide on our bums down the mountain; I learned quickly how to go fast but wasn't quite as talented at the whole stopping thing, I felt like that character in D2: The Mighty Ducks who could skate real fast but could never brake. At one point I almost ran off a small drop off & narrowly avoided another tour group. Oops!

Our group half-jokingly decided that if a movie were to be made about the hike up the volcano it would be called Volcán Villarica: Remember the Pain.

While meeting new friends (aka the people I almost tumbled into) at the termas while sprinting from pool to pool and water rafting the next morning on sore leg muscles but with boundless enthusiasm from our guide were fun, those are stories for a different post...

Volcán Villiarica: Remember the Pain 2008!

Thanks for traveling with me through my memories.

I hope some newer readers stick around for more Musical Mondays and Foto Fridays! 


P!nky said...

SUPER awesome post! I remember you telling me about the trip and how excited you were.



Bitzy said...

Yay Tito the Patito! Also, you were too soon, I just took off Capcha (Or whatev it's called)
Yay no more non-robot verification & hopefully more comments!