Sue and Chris, thanks for the card!
It will not bloody stop raining! I put my tent up 48hrs ago and it hasn’t stopped since but, I’ve given up and got on with stuff and it’s been a right good hoot! The last few days have been fantastic and I’ve finally worked out what my travel mojo is. Bizarrely it’s being out of my comfort zone that really gets me excited when travelling which is kind of odd because when I’m at home I’m quite happy being in my comfort zone. Basically whether I’m knackered from biking a 30km circuit, hiking miles on end or, spending a day horse riding or, walking about a remote African village or, bush camping or, trying dodgy street food or, putting up with extreme heat, cold or wet, that is when I’m at my happiest. That is why I haven’t particularly got on with South America up until the last week or so I reckon. Other than the odd activity, I haven’t been pushed physically or mentally or, challenged in terms of the environment. But that has changed and the last few days have really been good i.e. knackering, fun, and wet.
It all begins in Pucon, Chile which is where we were supposed to be doing the volcano climb on Thursday. I was going to lie and said we did it and abseiled down into the crater of the active volcano and all was tickety boo, but we didn’t. We couldn’t even see the volcano due to the amount of cloud and rain, not alone climb to its summit and peer down into the active crater. There was even a skydive over the crater but obviously the weather put a halt to that as well. We knew our chances were slim the evening beforehand but we got kitted out anyway just in case and as a precaution planned an afternoon of hydrospeed in the event of failing to climb the volcano. The following morning was rubbish, so hydrospeed it was. Now this sounds like a cool activity and that’s because it is but I bet It’s not what you’re thinking. It’s essentially river boarding which I’ve done before but was definitely something I was happy to do again. Flying down a river with nothing other than a glorified swimming float going through grade 3 and even two grade 4 rapids was just what I needed not to mention the fact that the water was bloody freezing. Because of the rain the water was high which meant we went down the river in under an hour, twice as quick as normal but it was well worth it and here again I realised how much I love being in the water.
As a treat for myself I decided to tag along with the group that night for a spot of hot pool action. After spending part of the afternoon in a cold river I thought it was only fair on my testicles that they got warmed back up to a sensible temperature. Pucon is surrounded by volcanic activity, whether volcanoes or hot springs. We visited some hot springs at sunset but it was raining and so just ignore the sunset bit but I’m pretty sure the sun did set because it got dark. There were nine outdoor pools lined with rocks and naturally filled with warm spring water of varying temperatures depending on the pool. It was bloody lovely, would have been better with clear skies but like I said we have just had to give up and get on with it. Overall it was a great day.
We have since driven back into Argentina which has proven to be better than the last visit largely because of the scenery and the activities on offer. As said the weather is appalling and it is posing a worry for our Christmas day rafting extravaganza due to potentially high river water levels but that is back in Chile and hopefully it hasn’t rained there! This weekend has been spent riding bikes and horses in the rain, both of which were awesome and I’ll discuss in the next blog. I’m afraid this blog is photo free as my camera is no longer waterproof and rivers and hot pools are rather wet. Although there may be some hydrospeed pictures on Facebook soon.