Day 109: Taking it easy at El Refugio

Volcan Lanin rising like King of the Earth

I can’t believe Volcan Pacaya blew its top yesterday! I remember thinking to myself after hiking Pacaya what a story it would be if it were to erupt after we left. Crazy… there’s definitely some real plate tectonic activity this year with earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, now followed by volcanic eruptions all over Central America. We’re still in volcano land with well over a handful of smoking beasts in vicinity… Volcan Villarrica looms over us and we’ll be staying beside Volcan Lanin tomorrow, on the Argentine side. Since Pacaya, I’ve fallen in love with volcanos. I don’t know why… so much character and attitude: grand, graceful, majestic… silent but powerful, calm but tense, and serious business when they’re pissed off.

El Refugio – like a Swiss chalet!
In the middle – Anke, Hardy and Peter
Another impromptu dinner

It’s really chill here, and we’re really chilling here… Something about Peter’s hostel, El Refugio, that gives off that cosy homely feeling. Feels like hot chocolate on a cold winter night. Maybe it’s the laid back salsa renditions of Jack Johnson and Maroon 5 playing softly in the background, the cold outside against the warm burning fire indoors, the snugness of this wood chalet, and the people.. Peter, Anke, & Hardy.. can’t ask for more to go with a nice Chilean tinto. We only planned to stay a night or two, ended up staying four. It’s all good, haven’t sat back and let it hang for a while now, since Tupiza.. so it’s nice to just take it easy and not do nor see anything.  Just grocery shopping and cooking good food! Made a nice 焗海鮮飯 (baked seafood rice) tonight!

It’s chill, but not short of adventure. Yesterday we drove along a route suggested by Peter, with great views of the surrounding countryside. Going with a hand drawn map, we pretty much managed to find our way around the back country dirt roads but did get lost for an hour on a lonely road that our smaller car was obviously not built for running on. Absolutely no traction and a minefield of flat tyre traps. We got stuck a couple times (in the middle of nowhere again) trying to climb slippery gravel slopes and I thought we were so fucked.. may have to wait a couple hours until help!! Looking at our wheels against the rough road, I couldn’t help metaphorizing them to sliced bread. They just looked so flimsy. Luckily, no flat tyres this time, we managed to pull through!

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  1. Leslie says:

    Sounds so relaxing and such good luck with your little car! Keep on trucking my worldly friends!

  2. ace says:

    great that u guys got to chill a bit. much needed. it looks so quaint and warm in your abode.

    glenn, it's time to cut your hair!

  3. Anke says:

    Hey guys, it was great to meet you here at the hostel! All the best for your travels – I am already looking forward to see more pictures and hopefully we will walk in your steps and go exploring around the 14-colored mountains! :) All the best!

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