The beautiful sceneries presented by the La Araucanía National Park summon a significant number of tourists who wish to come across native forests, lagoons and volcanoes. This special environment offers various possibilities to practice adventure travelin this opportunity, we present a vertiginous way of getting in touch with nature.
It was December. The city was dressed in spring and the strong greenness of the following season was already present. The day was cloudy and encouraged us to approach the shores of Lake Villarrica. But the weather was not bad enough as to stay in the hotel. We resolved that it was better to go out and let the most tempting proposal win. We ran into Mario -a friend of the house- with whom we had already gone to the Claro Waterfall. By means of hard work and effort, life helped this Chilean friend have his tourist agency in the center of the city. Among other attractions, it offers the possibility of visiting the area on a quad.
It goes beyond saying that we were invited to go on a quad ride and that we did not hesitate in accepting the invitation. We drove along the international road to the airport of Pucón. We were carrying the quads on a trailer pulled by our host's truck. After taking them down from the vehicle, we put on our jackets, our gloves and we were ready for adventure. At great speed, we rode along an adjacent road heading for the remains of a lava river. During the time we took to get there, we were constantly in front of the creator of the geographic feature we were about to visit: the Villarrica Volcano. This is the most impressive volcano in the area. It raised from the system of north-south longitudinal faults that gave origin to countless volcanic cones during the Quaternary period. The Villarrica has maintained a moderate and continuous activity for many years producing eruptions that have altered the morphology of the area, thus transforming and modifying the original relief forms orginated by the glaciation process in the Andes Mountian Range. That was our destination.
Solid River of Lava
Marios's quads are 80, 125 and 200 c.c. They are all centrifugal and easy to drive. A small technical and security chat was enough to enjoy the experience. By the circuit, a thousand yellow retamas would be our escorts. The winding road was interrupted by creeks of thawing water that would splash us as we crossed them. The surrounding mounts were packed with monkey puzzles, lengas, coihues and chauras, typical of the Valdivian rainforest. Uphill, we reached an area where vegetation would entwine with the tree tops thus forming a sort of fresh dark cave. Light appeared again and, along with it, the colors of life. This time, to cross a wooden bridge that led us directly to the lava channel. “The lava river is the result of the eruption of the Villarrica Volcano in 1971”, Mario explained to us. We began to go around it trying to get to its source and appreciate the magnitude of the eruption and its effects on the soil and the vegetation. A cascade in the middle of the road smartly caught our attention making us forget about our aim. We made a stop and had a little chat about Pucón, its landscapes, its people and its history during more than one hour looking at the waterfall. It was very amusing to go on this excursion along with Víctor and his team. Sometimes, it is better not to do so much planning and simply let things happen.