Saturday, 2 January 2010

Chile


This was my second time in Chile. The first trip was in 2007 and that was my last trip before emigrating to Poland. By then, I couldn't explore nature as I wanted. Chile is a country for eco-tourism! really! 900 km driving down south and you are in Patagonia!!

Common activities in Chile are: climbing, mountain bike, body-rafting... To enjoy every second of my short trip to South America was mandatory! -- I could have changed the name of this blog for awhile to: "
Nano's messing up the southern cone"! LOL!

I was driving a Toyota, V6-powered engine, 4x4. The roads in Chile are impeccably good and clean! Speed limit was a little bit boring; 120km/h which is slightly better than the 110 km/h speed limit on the Brazilians' highways. I MISS THE AUTOBAHNS! :)
Anyway, nine hours after departing from Santiago, I was in Pucón, a small touristic town by the volcano Villarrica. One of the most active volcanos in the Andes mountain chain! (Yuhuu!).

When I heard of the possibility of climbing this volcano, I said:
- That's beautiful!
In Pucón there is an alert system that consists on coloured-lamps with the following meaning: Green: No threat / Yellow: Evacuation recommended / Red: Eruption going on! Run for your lives!



Climbing this volcano can be easy or challenging! I was a bit unlucky due to the fact that was very windy! Hopefully, the weather was sunny in the early morning. Impressive how warm was in the city and how cold and windy was on the top. A very icy snow made it dangerous and the ice-pick was really necessary during the whole ascent which took me around five hours. Few days after I climbed it, there was an avalanche that has injured few people; a Brazilian guy at my age had his leg broken.



I can use this post to give a free advice for those who want to climb this volcano: PLEASE, TAKE YOUR SUNSCREEN!! Regardless of the fact that there is snow and is very cold up-there. UV rays are reflected on the snow and they harm the skin effectively.

Back in Santiago, time for countdown to the new decade. The 00's were very tough for humanity. The 10's start with hope, specially for the environment. I wish a happy 2010 to all my readers! :)

Santiago can be seen in the background in this photo taken during my mountain bike ride with my brother:



And then, few photos from the fireworks in Santiago:



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