|The drive towards Villarica was spectacular because it was a bright blue day with billowing white clouds. There were two volcanoes, snow topped, along with all the other mountains the entire ride. Despite being a five hour ride, it seemed shorter, maybe because it was so scenic and maybe because I have good book on tape I'm listening to. I booked this cabana through booking.com and asked the owners for the coordinates to put them into my Garmin. (I brought my own Garmin with me along with a South America chip since renting one would have been a lot more expensive. Now I can use it whenever I travel.) I was in contact with the owner by Whatsapp but didn't check it before I arrived and ended up a gravel road which was not right. I called the owner and she said her husband would meet me on the road by a certain hotel. I went back down the gravel road and he was at the bottom. Turns out I was just one gravel road off. I followed him up the road for about a mile. Yes, I really am off grid now. Literally. Couldn't even find the place on google maps. His wife Carola couldn't be any nicer and she met me and showed me the house which by the way is hand built by her husband Oscar. Yes, you can tell, but it's so rustic and cute it's charming. It's a two bedroom (sleeps six) one bath cabin with a living room and kitchen and nice outdoor patio with a view of the Villarica volcano. I paid 28,000 clp which is about $44. The B&B in Cobquecura was 30,000 clp. There my room was spacious with my own bathroom and it included breakfast.
I drove into Pucon and walked around. This town is a big tourist place due to the volcano where people hike, raft the nearby rivers, canoe and jet ski the huge lake, go to thermal baths, ice axe the volcano, etc. There is an information center that has a light system outside to indicate if there is dangerous volcanic activity. Fortunately it was green. Tomorrow I will check out the town of Villarica on my drive out. I didn't want to be out past dark for fear of getting lost and since there is no way to find it on google maps or Garmin, it seemed like a wise decision. I got a full chicken breast, onion and potato and made roasted chicken and vegetables for dinner. This was after the two German guys showed up for the other cabin. Carola said she could not understand them as they did not speak Spanish. They did speak English so I served as an interpreter for them.
It's so pitch dark here at night you can see every star in the sky. I wish my camera could take a picture of it.
In the morning, I laid in bed because I was nice and toasty with the heating pad under me (it appears this is used commonly in chile instead of an electric blanket) and it was cold as hell in the cabin. I got up and ran out to the living room to turn on the space heater. Carola had offered to start the fireplace but I told her it wasn't necessary. It was clear as a bell outside. I took my coffee and hit the dirt road for a walk. The two sheep dogs that live next store (no doubt the most filthy dogs I've ever seen) started whining at the fence at me wagging their tails and the next thing I know they are right next to me jumping all over me with their muddy paws. They apparently can easily crawl under their fence. So we all walked a ways and saw the volcano Villarica in all its glory - it even has a continuous thread of smoke coming out the top which is actually kind of scary - and then went back and they crawled under my gate and followed me. They were disappointed not to get an invitation inside. I SSSed and got on the road to Puerto Montt. On the way, it struck me at just how many volcanoes there are in Chile! I saw three in a row on my drive. That's in addition to the three around Villarica. And two more are visible from Puerto Montt. I googled it and discovered that there are 90 active volcanos in Chile! Good grief I had no idea.