Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pucón with My Parents!

Six months without my family is quite a long time when you think that for my entire life I hadn´t gone more than 4 weeks with out mother´s preaching, father´s ridiculous jokes, or my younger sister´s craziness. You´d think in six months alot would have changed, but the truth is we picked things up exactly where they we left them. After more than 24 hours of traveling, my poor family, who probably just wanted to sleep, was welcomed with a traditional Chilean BBQ prepared by my host parents, counselor, and nieghbors. We shared an excellent dinner as we moved from pisco sours to a fine bottle of chilean wine and endless vacuno (BBQ). It really was great to be with the family again and I was excited for the week to come. The next day we woke up late and took a tour of the big L.A. meandering through the plaza, mall, and the Deutche Schule where I study. A single day in L.A. really is sufficient... so we spared to time hopping over to Villarrica and Pucón- the adventure capital of Chile. Pucón sits on a big lake located a few hours south of Los Angeles and is shadowed by the towering Volcán Villarrica- it was a pefect place to play. We ran around on the beach, in the termas (hot springs), and in the town. Pucón is a vacation destination for many Chileans and it was no surprise that I ran into several people I knew and even a guy I had met in Coyhaique- a friend of Cristians. We spent one afternoon trying to find this hidden water fall called El Salto Claro, an ordeal made much more difficult than it should have been. After hours spent on nameless dirt roads we were finally sent home by a locked barbed wire fence... Luckily, Hayley, mom, and my friend Emily reached the 80m waterfall the next day while on a horse back ride.
Since our birthdays were just around the courner, Dad decided to put down his blackberry and told me we were going to climb the Volcano- sweeet! On our last day, we planned an alpine start and drove to the foot of the volcan with our expedition group. Chile has some 5,000 volcanoes and roughly 65 acclaimed active. Villarrica is a 10,000ft glaciated strato-cone (right dad?) and still blows smoke like chimney. The top it all off, the storm the night before left us with a fresh layer of snow to play with. Getting to the top was pretty strenuous, but what made it worse was the toxic smoke that we were inhaling. Once our guides found out dad was a geologist they were asking him just how toxic the smoke actually was- it wasnt very reassuring. Around mid day we got up to the top and peered into the crater- it was a perfect birthday present. The nearly 5 hour ascent was followed by a simple one hour glacade down. So I notched another Volcano on my belt... only 4,998 to go. The week with my parents went by incredibly fast and it was sad to see them go, but I know when I get home we´ll just pick things up where they left off.


Anonymous said...

:) yarbles

Sue said...

Lovin' the blogs, Taylor! The pictures are just great!