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!
Felipe is showing us just how snowy it is up here.
Another view of the volcano. Can you tell I was crazy about it?
But then the fog rolled in almost instantly and covered the volcano. Here is the last glimpse of it we could see.
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.
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?
Here Elisabeth is feeding her peacock and her dog at the same time and surprisingly, they get along!
It was breathtakingly beautiful where you could see her private pond overlooking the mountains and the large lake of Pucon below.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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)!