So, up at 4.45am and down for breakfast just after 5. Its a simple breakfast and again, just have to get used to the changes like hot milk (ooops maybe not on cornflakes!), I eventually work out the cold milk… it seems like I should have got down earlier as everyone else has had all the food so its slim pickings at 5.10am!! But still enough to get me up and running, a couple of cups of team toast and cornflakes…yum.
Then its the old “tour group seating etiquette”, (like germans on sun loungers) some get straight on the bus an bag down on the seat, others hang outside to make sure all the bags get on, anyway eventually we all get on the bus and seated. Only one person decides to move, seemingly not wanting to sit with a stranger (basically its the only person in the group who hasn’t said a word to anyone new on the tour and didn’t dome to the 6pm talk!!).
Anyway, with 800km ahead of us its a long way to Pucón. The journey starts and for the first part mostly everyone tries to sleep. I didn’t sleep at all last night, and can’t really sleep on the bus so just listen to music and close my eyes until the first service station stop. Here I get some snacks and have a twix, funny that there are extra warnings not he twix… high in sugar, high in fat, high in calories…. exactly what I need!! That goes in a second.
Some groups start chatting away as they are more awake now, and well I start by listening to the conversation only to realise that I really don’t want to listen anymore!! Especially not to this, a conversation about language learning… on the one side someone saying that some people have an aptitude for learning languages and the other side basically disagreeing and saying its just an excuse…!! as they continue their ‘debate’ I turn on my headphones…
When I switch them off a while later and start to read a book, they are still debating only this time they have moved onto the whole education system and its schools vs just finding someone to teach you what you want to know in life …. so now I just put the headphones back on to read the book!! Best to keep the headphones on for the next 6 hrs I think…
The lunch stop looks exactly like the first break stop, I imagine that will be the same all the way. I forgot as well that in places like this you pay in advance in one place and pickup somewhere else. Its an interesting set-up, in some places the cashier is in a box (assume for security) and then you get a receipt and then take the receipt in order to pay. Just small things I forgot from my last trip to South America, its interesting though.
Eventually at 5pm we arrive in Pucón, the last hour drive is beautiful around the green hills and lakes. To be honest the rest could have been equally fab but my eyes were closed for most of it!! It looks like a popular tourist destination as its packed, we go past a beach on the lake with black sand as this is a volcanic area, it looks funny with all the colourful umbrella’s on it. Its like a ski resort really, as we make our way through the streets.
We arrive at the hostel, down a very small lane and then Mark has the challenge of getting the bus through a set of gates that are about 1 inch wider than the tour bus! After a fair bit of maneuvering and a lot of horns sounded from the waiting traffic we make it into the resort. At this stage everyone’s pretty tired and hungry. Its then we are given the bad news…. booking mix up, no rooms booked for the group, but there is space for camping!! The group took it well, I mean a bit stunned, inwardly not happy but outwardly grabbed the tents and got on with putting them up.
Just as the first tent was being set-up, Ryan comes back…. “My bad, we are at the wrong hostel!” and you will have beds there! lol, well to say that was a relief is an understatement. So we all quickly pack up and go to the right hotel. We get to our rooms but lets just say by the time this is all done, its already 8.30pm!!
A quick stop at the supermarket, and light bite to eat and its off to bed. Thankfully bottom bunk today, and I am surprised that I basically just go to sleep quickly despite practically being asleep all day on the bus!