After consuming enough food for more than 5 humans, we started out again to make it before dark to Pucon (note: it didn't happen). We still didn't have a place booked for the night, so I went searching on Airbnb, found a cabin ($35) slightly in the outskirts of town, and off we went.
When we finally arrived in Pucon after 7 hours of driving, we were a little hungry (#morefood), and stopped off at Sandwich El Numero Uno for a quick bite to eat. This time, we remembered our lesson and ordered one burger, which, again, was enough to feed three people. It was also how I came to appreciate Chileans liberal use of guacamole on all their food.
Almost as soon as I booked it, the Airbnb host sent me a VERY detailed list of directions on how to get to his place. We ended up at the bottom of a gravel hill ready to find this cabin. Please note that we were driving a tiny Volkswagen stick shift, had limited cell service, and were headed to the middle of the woods with no lights around us.
After a knee-gripping series of minutes, we ended up finding our Airbnb host, and parked the car with a huge sigh of relief. But as soon as we got out of the car, my jaw dropped. I was looking up at the star-studded sky, and it truly felt like I was floating in space. The Milky Way was splayed across the dark sky, a glimmering spiral of haze and light. I saw hundreds of stars, creating a luminous ring for its awe struck visitors.
It took us a few minutes to tear ourselves away from the show, but we made it to our cabin, which was my first tiny house experience. Jon (our host) had just renovated it, and it had such adorable touches to make us feel comfortable. And best of all, it was cozy and warm. We started the calefaccion (heater), turned on water for some tea, and snuggled into bed staring at the stars outside.
When the light started to roll in the next morning, we realized we were floating in the clouds. The house was high up on a hill, so we had clear views of the mountains, and the fog helped give this place a magical feel.
HIKE TO SALTO DEL CLARO
While it was incredibly difficult to leave the comforts of our cozy new home, we were determined to find the Salto del Claro (waterfalls) we had heard so much about. Our Airbnb host, Jon, gave us detailed hand-drawn directions on how to get there, so we felt pretty confident about venturing out into unfamiliar territory.
The hike there was about 90 minutes, and was complete with beautiful vistas of adjacent farmland as well as various types of farm animals grazing on the rolling fields. We even picked up a couple of guide dogs along the way who stuck with us all the way to the falls and back!
FINALLY AT SALTO DEL CLARO!
After a semi-treacherous walk down to the water, we were finally at the waterfalls. Seeing the raging water slapping on to the rocks was such a rush for us, and we couldn't believe how close we were to it. The water hit the ground at such a force that it created a permanent mist around the entire viewing spot. We were so giddy that we had this amazing place all to ourselves.
After an amazing day in Pucon, it was time to head to Huilo Huilo for the next part of our Southern Chile adventure.