Tuesday, December 02, 2003

So I have spent the last two days here in Pucon. Yesterday after emailing you all I checked into Ecole! and I´m sharing a room with a lass from Belgium. Luckily she had to be up early in the morning so wasn´t too late to bed!!

Anyway, I decided to take Toulouse for a potter up to the caves on Volcan Villarrica. I just took my camera, waterproofs and some spares - so just the one bag!! It was uphill all the way about 15km on a dirt track - lots of pushing especially when I got to the lava field and the track became ankle deep in soft sand!! But had a good run - there were orchids growing by the side of the road and I got to see the smaller of Chile´s two woodpeckers, along with a tiny bird that was feeding chicks in a tree hole! The caves were very good - I was part of a party of 7 and the whole tour was in Spanish but pyroclastic is the same in any language!! The most interesting bit was the ´chocolate lava´on the walls!!!! I think the coming down the mountain was more scary - definitely scarrier than cycling down Whistler as there was no grass to fall onto!!!

Today I took T out to the Ojos de Carburga as recommended by the tourist office if I had a bike. They are a pair of waterfalls that torrent down into a bowl of brilliant blue water. I nearly missed them though because I only saw the sign after I had gone by!!! The road was a very rippled dirt track again and now have two sore knees and sore shoulders from all the pushing!! I think I shall have to take a few days off the cycling. But my best spot of the day was a pair of torrent ducks and a chick!! I was really hoping to see these on my trip and can´t quite believe it. I had my first empenada of the hols for lunch - very yummy and just what hungry cyclists need!

Total distance cyclced about 150km - not bad really (thats not just these last two days by the way!).