Friday, September 18, 2009


On the 11th day of our Laughter Tour, we did more touring around the town of Pucon where we were staying with Tosha's friend, Nicole.

First thing in the morning, Nicole and Felipe took us up to the base of Villarrica Volcano (or Volcan Villarrica as it is called in Spanish). Though it is an active volcano, it is also a ski hill. Because it is spring and it is at a high elevation, the ski season it still going on. 

Here is our first up-close view of the amazing volcano. You can see the little cloud at the top. This is NOT a cloud, it is the hot air coming from the hot lava in the volcano. I was particularly impressed with this perpetual reminder that it is an active volcano. But don't worry, if it erupts, the town as a good evacuation plan!

You can really see the hot lava puff of smoke here.

This volcano is beautiful from every angle.

Felipe is showing us just how snowy it is up here.

Another view of the volcano. Can you tell I was crazy about it?

Here is the ski lodge.

And the ski lift taking skiers up the volcano.

Here we are posing with the Volcan Villarrica.

We couldn't stop photographing it.

But then the fog rolled in almost instantly and covered the volcano. Here is the last glimpse of it we could see.

I'm trying to catch the fog as it rolled into the parking lot.

We saw a lot of trees like this that have been damaged by past blasts of the volcano.

Then we went to see Elisabeth, whom we had met at Sonia's party the night before. Her property is so big that there is a gate with a security guard at the entrance. She also runs a horse training school on these grounds.

From the gate, we had to drive 5 kilometers up her property to reach the house. Here is a view through the Eucalyptus trees as we journeyed.

Felipe and Nicole opened the gate to Elisabeth's yard then posed for this shot. 

I met her friendly dog, Latte.

This is the plaque on her door, which says "House of Elisabeth."

She has her own pond with geese and ducks.

And a herd of llamas (which is pronounced "yah-mahs" in Spanish). This was the only one that let me touch it's nose. Isn't it cute?

The rest of them ran away as we approached the fence.

But thanks to my zoom lens I captured these guys standing in the sunlight.

Doesn't this llama decorate her landscape quite nicely?

Here Elisabeth is feeding her peacock and her dog at the same time and surprisingly, they get along!

Elisabeth has a pool that looks out over her marvelous view.

Tosha, Nicole, Sonia and Felipe stood mezmerized by the view.

Elisabeth took me out to the island on her pond.

Check it out! The duck is wearing a "laughter hat." 

It was breathtakingly beautiful where you could see her private pond overlooking the mountains and the large lake of Pucon below.

One of the geese had just laid this egg.

Latte hanging out by the tree.

This is her "grandchild house" designed just to house her grandkids when they visit. I offered to be one of her grandchildren (cause these are pretty nice digs) but she just laughed.

I was totally determined to get the male peacock to open his tail feathers so I chased him around the yard with my camera a lot. Even though he let me get close, would never open them.

The female, on the other hand, wouldn't even let me get close. She flew to the top of this tree.

Here he is again, stubbornly refusing to show off his feathers.

Elisabeth and her dog, Latte.

Tosha had a laughter session with Latte.

Here we all are, enjoying the view from Elisabeth's back yard.

As we left he property, we saw more Huasos (Chilean Cowboys) getting ready to celebrate Independence Day this very day, September 18th.

We stopped for lunch at a cafe in Pucon called "Latitude 39" run by an American couple who are friends with Nicole. Felipe's paintings are hanging up in the dining area. The boat painting kind of looks like a laughter hat for William.

The waiter recognized Tosha from a laughter session in Santiago.

Nicole and I realized we were dressed alike!

This is the owner's daughter, all dressed up in the traditional costume for Independence Day. I tried to get her to stand up and show off the whole outfit but she was too busy with her snow cone.

Then we drove into the countryside to see a waterfall. We crossed this river on the way.

Then we went across this incredibly narrow bridge and there were even pedestrians on it! We had to hold our breath and hope Tosha could squeeze her Toyota RAV4 through without knocking them into the water below.

William grabbed this shot of a little boy playing by the bridge.

Here are some mountains along the way.

And a sheep pasture with a little lamb nursing.

When we got to the waterfall, we had to walk across this little footbridge.

Here's the view from the top of the falls.

William is hiding his camera in his jacket because of all the steam coming off the falls.

Here is the front of the falls. Because it comes out in two sections, the name of this waterfall translates to something like "Eyes of the Devil." It is springtime now, so they are more like big sections rather than eyes. Nicole said it looks different in the winter.

There were really unique root staircases around the property by the waterfall.

Here William and I are with this beautiful backdrop.

The trees around the waterfall were gorgeous too.

Nicole and Felipe with the falls.

The sign means "Blue Lagoon." The water was indeed, very blue.

Felipe enjoying a rest on the lawn, exhausted from all our touring.

As we drove back to Pucon, we got more views of Volcan Villarrica. This is the opposite side of the volcano as you see from Pucon.

Check out these great shots I got with a telephoto lens from a moving vehicle. I began to call myself a volcan photographer (and for good reason)!

After a busy day of touring, I was still laughing!

1 comment:

Tosha Tobias said...

Really breathtaking pictures and memories!