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28/1/2018 hitchhiking from Puerto Varas to Pucon

Day 43

Quite slow morning, backpacks ready and we have to walk to the other side of the town to try to hitchhike to Pucon. We got on Avenida Gramado (which is joining Ruta 5 to north) and just right behind the railway we started hitchhiking. It wasn’t even 5 minutes and around 11:30am someone in very nice truck Ford F-something stopped. 

Pelipe is really nice and welcoming businessman who established his company about 25 year ago. He started with his wife from scratch and now they have around 100 employees and successful business in salmon industry. He speaks English and he is going to Pucon! I think we got really lucky. Pelipe dropped us at a hostal he got recommended by his friend on the way to Pucon and I asked him for his number to buy him beer in the evening because he saved us a lot of hassle getting to Pucon. 

The recommended hostal was unfortunately full so we started going one by one, trying to find a room with private bathroom for reasonable price. I had some hostels preselected in and we headed to Hostal Egidio (good reviews). The owner (or the guy in charge) is nice older man and he showed us prices of the rooms. Everything was over our budget even we tried to get a discount. So we were left the building and just before we opened a gate in the outside fence, he called us back and showed us a room for 30000 clp. As we are first Czechs staying there it was a good deal. A big room with double bed, one bunk bed, bedside tables and wardrobe. Only the private bathroom is outside of the room across the hallway. Perfect. Very clean and not badly smelling. No breakfast included, but as we know the breakfast is rubbish everywhere anyway. 

I had to pay in cash and had to give my PDI (Chilean receipt with a stamp from the border crossing). I think this is then used to claim IVA (VAT) back. 

We need to do washing and it is possible in this hostal for 2k per kilogram. We had over 3kg or dirty clothes, so I paid 6000 clp for washing and drying. It was convenient as I could divide what needs drying and what cannot be dried. 

We then went to the town centre to find an excursion to the Volcan Villarrica. In our hostal, we got pointed to agency Pucon Aventura. There told us that next day is already full, so we booked for Tuesday morning and paid 85000 clp each in cash. We also wanted to do thermal spa in Pucon and we liked the offer in Pucon Aventura - thermal spa Indomito for 20000 clp per person. Weirdly all in cash only. Probably some tax avoidance stuff. Because the thermal spa is at night, we can’t do it tomorrow as we go to volcano early morning the next day. So thermal spa tonight then. 

We went back to hostal and stopped in a small place called San Adresito for eating right next to the hostal. Locals eating inside, not appealing place from the street and ordering at the till. We ate tasty lasagna with soft drinks and we paid only 6200 pesos. Amazing value! We then sorted our laundry and got ready for the thermal spa. 

At 21:00 a microbus with maybe 10 people inside left from the Pucon Aventura office. We reached the spa around 22:00 and got inside. It is a beautiful and modern spa with lockers, showers, restaurant. We only needed swimsuit and a credit/debit card (used as a deposit for provided towels). They gave us towels and a key to a locker. All the lights around the pool are settle and very pleasant. There are hot pots too and pools with different water temperature. It’s clean and it’s also empty. Maybe only 20 people here in the whole spa now. The sky is clear and we can watch stars from a hot pot. 

At midnight we left back to Pucon which we reached around 1am. Pucon was still busy, one supermarket open, bars full.  


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