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Making a last minute decision to travel up north through Chile took us by surprise, a lovely surprise as it turned out!

Unfortunately, our four-hour bus journey over the Andes, from Argentina, was shrouded in fog. The anticipated mountain views were therefore non-existent!!

At the border, we disembarked to go through customs.

Arriving in Pucón, it was cold and raining…would we ever get to see any of the stunning landscape that we suspected lurked behind the cloud?

We were kindly collected from the bus station by our homestay host, Ivan, and from that moment on were made to feel like royalty in his home. With his smiley wife Laura and grandson Benjamin, we were welcomed as if one of the family and they bent over backwards to look after us.

Our room was cosied up with blankets, large cushions and a wood-burning stove, whilst their living rooms contained sheep/llama skin rugs and marshmallow-soft sofas! No matter the weather, to say we were snug is an understatement!

Pucon is gorgeous! A neat and tidy town, clearly well looked after. It borders Lake Villarica and is protected by Volcan Villarrica, which looms over the beautiful town.

Ivan offered to drive us around the local area, and, as luck would have it, the sun intermittently came out to highlight the natural beauty.

First of all, we visited the Monasterio Santa Clara de Pucon; the views over the town were stunning, although Albie and Lola were easily distracted by the kittens playing with their feet!

After, we followed the river: Rio Pucon o Trancura.

This took us to an enchanted forest. We followed its magical meandering paths until we reached a fairytale blue lagoon where 4 waterfalls crashed into its turquoise depths.

Later, we visited the mysterious lake: Lago Caburgua. The mystery lies in the water levels, which have strangely and significantly receded in recent years. An eerie silent aura descended upon us as we walked to the water’s edge.

The following day, after a hearty, generous and delicious breakfast prepared by Laura, Ivan drove us up to the foot of the majestic Volcan Villarrica. We couldn’t get enough of how the autumnal leaves highlighted the snow-capped peak, and kept photographing it from every angle! As we climbed higher, the temperature lowered. Once there, it was easy to imagine how this area transforms into a ski resort in just a month or so’s time. Trying out the chair lift sparked Lola and Albie to ask questions about skiing – something they’ve not yet tried – and has resulted in a constant interest in it! Better get saving!!

Feeling so loved, and with Albie and Lola having made friends with Benjamin and his cat, it was hard to leave. Bye bye Ivan, Laura, Benjamin and pretty Pucon.