Due to time constrictions, we couldn't make it all the way down to my favourite Lakes town, Puerto Varas. We had to make do with the kind of entrance town to the region, Pucon. Pucon and the Lakes District are all about the scenery. If you're a city lover and don't like the countryside then stay away. I'm actually not a huge fan of Pucon or the lake it's set on. I don't find either of them as charming or attractive as Puerto Varas or Frutillar or Lagos Todos los Santos or Puyehue. It's still a beautiful part of the country though, my favourite part actually-if it didn't rain so much i'd happily live down there.
One thing that is pretty cool about Pucon is the fact that it's got a big, live, smoking volcano just a few miles from town. When the thing eventually blows big time, it'll take the town with it, just like Pompeii. Up to now, there have only been a few lava overspills, nothing major...supposedly...
We stayed in a cheap (8000 a person) cabin complex with a view of the volcano. I'd definitely recommend Cabanas Altos del Lago-the cabins are clean, centrally heated, in a pretty decent location between Pucon and Villarica, there's an indoor heated pool and the grounds are pretty nice as well. And it's cheap.
We didn't actually do very much-just relaxed, read books and ate. We did make to the beautiful Termas Geometricas, the ones i mentioned last time we went south. We also drove up to the volcano, a nice scenic drive up to what looks like a cross between a pikey camp and a bomb site (the ski centre's wonderful welcome for its clients). The Volcano is as impressive as ever from up there though.
That's a condor.
And that's a mountain shaped like a fat man lying down.
One thing we did do and something i'd recommend to everyone who goes down to Pucon was a meal at the Bauhaus masterpiece, the Hotel Antumalal. The place is beautiful and the restaurant serves really excellent and not too overpriced food. Go.
And that's the moon, one night off being full.