I slept well on the overnight bus with absolutely no problems. Some of our fellow travelers were complaining about this and that, but me? Nah, it was lights out for me and I must have been out of it for at least a good 7-8 straight hours. Not bad for a good night’s sleep, on a reclining chair of a bus that was somewhat comfortable despite the ups and downs of the climate control. Yeah, on these trips it can get too hot or too cold. I think I have more problems with the big bumps that the bus runs over. As I woke up, I could see that this part of the country was very lush and green. Lots of trees and shrubs and bushes. Then I could see why as it was explained to me that this part of Chile was considered to be Patagonia. Anywhere south of this imaginary line right across South America, which was basically Chile and Argentina, was Patagonia and we were in the world-renown area!
Upon arriving at Pucón, I could see that this was a small resort town. Not at all like the big city of Santiago. This town was more for Chileans on vacation as well as for the more adventurous people wanting to get something different. That’s why I could understand why we stayed at a guest house which I thought was very nice. It was like this converted cabin house turned into hotel-like building. One interesting thing that was unique to this guest house was listening to manager and her rules and explanations of the place. Obviously, she went over the easy ones like don’t make too much noise, don’t track in dirt, or cause too many problems. It was her talking about in event of a disaster like a flood or volcano… yeah, that was really unique as Pucón practiced an evacuation plan every year along with monthly siren drills to make that everything works. Apparently, this place has undergone such events so it was important that everybody understood what they meant and how much it goes towards safety.
But after all was said and done, the first order of business was to go find some adventures or more like activities to do. The first was being shown around the city in order to get a feel for it and then it was trying to find a tour operator that could me and everyone else with proper gear to go climb the nearby mountain or should say volcano. After dilly-dallying for awhile, an operator was selected but that would be for tomorrow. I wanted to do something else for that day and signed up for some horseback riding. I initially thought it was going to be like the one in Salta, Argentina but nope. I was wrong. I never should have any perceptions of what to expect despite any prior experience.
The horse back riding was different from Argentina’s. This horseback riding was longer than the one at Salta, probably because there was no asado (grilled meat) involved in this one. It was nothing but all riding. I definitely would have to say it was more interesting than Salta’s riding as this was in the mountains and it definitely required more experience in traversing with a smaller horse in different terrains as well as going on different paths. Worse of all was getting a stubborn horse that was not like the old one in Salta which was easy to control. And one thing I noticed was that the horses were smaller.
Also, the riding was a lot longer and more diverse in terms of environment. We went on the roads, up in the hills, meadows, fields, and even through a river! Some of the other riders got their legs wet when we basically jumped into the water with the horses, but still, it was a lot of fun.
Once the horseback riding was over, it was back to Pucón. I needed to go back anyway since I had to return to the tourist office to get measurements for my clothing, boots, and gear for the next day’s climb. There was no way I didn’t want to go on this trip without being properly geared up because otherwise, you’re just asking for trouble.