I made a joke a few weeks ago to Richard about doing a volcano climb in Pucon and I clearly remember the answer was no! Anyway we arrived in Pucon on a Friday afternoon and within a couple of hours we had booked with Summit Chile Tours to do the ascent of Villarrica volcano the following day. I was nervous about the climb as we haven’t done much exercise since we have been travelling and they say it’s a challenging hike! We headed to the local supermarket to get some food and water for the hike. An early night tonight as we need to be up at 5am, to get the office for 6.30am.
The next morning we walked to the office in the dark, ready for the hike. There were 4 of us doing the hike and 2 guides, I was glad it was just a small group. We set off in a van to the base of the volcano which is 25km east of the town of Villarrica. It was very windy and we weren’t sure if the chairlift was going to be working today, I’m hoping it will be running because if not it takes an extra hour to hike up. Good news the chairlift is operating, now I just need to make sure I don’t fall off it like Bridget Jones!
All good with the chairlift and we started to hike at 8.25am, it took us just over 4 hours to reach the top and yes it was a challenging climb. We hiked over rock, lava, snow and ice but the views of the surrounding areas were stunning, I felt like I was on top of the world (Cue the carpenters song in my head all the way up). We were sweating while we were hiking but you soon went cold when we stopped for a break, I was glad of the little breaks they gave us time to rest and take in the views.
Hey we made it to the summit, we looked into the carter of the volcano, wow it was very active today and we were lucky to see lava shooting up and you could hear and feel the pressure. How fantastic to be this close to an active volcano, to see Mother Nature at its best. Now where is the helicopter to take us down? No helicopter but we had a little sledge each and we were able to slide most of the way back down through the snow, this was great fun. We made it back to the office around 4.30pm and enjoyed a well earned beer.
What a great day, something we will never forget, loved it.