University of Wisconsin–Madison

Saludos from Pucón

This past weekend to end our trip in the south of Chile, my study abroad group went to Pucón, one of my new favorite places in the world. We still had a few classes, but most of our time was spent exploring the woods, hiking up and down mountains, and looking at waterfalls and volcanoes. There is a volcano named Villarrica right next to the city that erupted very recently on March 3rd. While we were there, there was a “orange alert” (meaning that although the volcano has visible smoke and ash coming out the top of it and although it glows orange at night when you take your taxi home at 5:00 am, people can still stay in the city safely). Here are some pictures of what we saw:

View from our cabaña – we had our own giant 7 person cabin, equipped with two bathrooms, a huge TV to watch the Badger final four game (with Spanish commentary), and a kitchen to make pancakes in the mornings before our hikes.
View from our cabaña – we had our own giant 7 person cabin, equipped with two bathrooms, a huge TV to watch the Badger final four game (with Spanish commentary), and a kitchen to make pancakes in the mornings before our hikes.
Relaxing in our king-sized bed
Relaxing in our king-sized bed
The castle where we have our classes
The castle where we have our classes
Walking to the falls
Walking to the falls
Baby waterfalls
Baby waterfalls
Hiking
Hiking
Mountainous view before we entered the woods
Mountainous view before we entered the woods
Lost in the forest
Lost in the forest
Waterfall
Waterfall
Made it to the bottom!
Made it to the bottom!
Loving life
Loving life
Looking up
Looking up
Mentally preparing for the final four game Saturday night (WHEN WISCONSIN BEAT KENTUCKY)
Mentally preparing for the final four game Saturday night (WHEN WISCONSIN BEAT KENTUCKY)
Cuddling after a long day in the woods
Cuddling after a long day in the woods

Finally on Sunday afternoon, it was time to say goodbye to Pucón. As we rode our bus back to the airport in Temuco, we stopped by the side of the road to take one last look at the (still smoking) Volcano Villarrica. Just moments after we took these pictures, a “red alert” was put in place, and the entire city of Pucón had to be evacuated in case of a possible eruption. Talk about perfect timing.

Natural beauty of Pucón
Natural beauty of Pucón
Looking at the volcano Villarrica, just moments before a code red volcano warning is put in place and the city is evacuated
Looking at the volcano Villarrica, just moments before a code red volcano warning is put in place and the city is evacuated

I loved my time in Pucón, and all of the wilderness adventures that came with it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to have more of them as we continue to travel to Putre next week up in the mountains, and to Tacna, Perú the week after. One of my favorite quotes is “adventure is out there” from Up, but now that I’m in Chile, I feel like it’s more fitting to say “adventure is here.”

Until next time,

Megan

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