|Yesterday we had the best day of our trip so far, we climber Volcano Villarica. We had waited around for two days because the rain had made it impossible for us to attempt it but we awoke early on Friday morning happy to hear no pattering on the window panes! We had met two Irish girls Karry and Nessa who were staying in the same guest house and we all left Pucon, the little town where we are based, at 7 in the morning, ready and raring to go, and the tour company drove us to the base. Here we had to decide whether to save our legs for an hour and take a chair lift or to climb, obviously being eager beavers (and skint) we decided to climb it. During this climb it hit home that maybe I wasnt as fit as I used to be but struggled on.
It was really tough going, especially when we hit the thick snow which most of the time felt like you were taking one step forwards and two steps back! Even though it was really hard work, it was so much fun with all the girls, and with our smooth guide Wino (I dont think hes an alchy!)who I think took a bit of a shine to Jax! The final ascent was so hard but we could see the top and eventually we dragged ourselves to the summit. It was such and achievement and so amazing to be standing on the top of a volcano, and not only that but the most active volcano in South America!!! Aargh!
It was a pretty changeable day so one minute you could hardly see anything right in front of you because you were litterally in a cloud, and then there would be clear blue skies! The best feeling was to be standing above the cloud line! We couldnt stay at the top by the crater for too long because of the amount of sulphur coming out of it which choked you and because it was so cold.
Then came the very best part of my whole trip so far, the descent! It had taken us about 4 and a half hours to reach the summit, but approximately 40 minutes to get back down as we literally slid back down on our bums! Some parts you just chose your own track and hoped for the best, and at others there were little toboggan runs with loads of slaloms and drops in! Despite my trousers, bag and coat carrying half the snow back down with me we were all buzzing and wanted to climb up to do it again!
We arrived back and were almost tempted to soak our bones in the thermal springs here as it was our guides birthdays, but instead we opted for a girly night out with rounds of Pisco sours (the traditional Chilean beverage). After having achieved what we came here for we are now on our way to Santiago, and then straight on to Mendoza.