I spent a week in Pucon enjoying the beauty of nature. I went to lago caburga, parque huequehue, a beautiful national park with huge trees and 2 beautiful waterfalls that i have video of. Forgive the lack of caps and punctuation but i am working on a computer that works at the speed of a turtle and i am tired of witing for it to realize that i typed something. i spent the week with Claudio, a new traveling companion that took a liking to me in Santiago. He never been away from home and seems clingy to me, wanting to talk to his mother every day. In any case, we also hiked up the volcano villa rica which is near Pucon . We hitchhiked up to the base of the ski lift, then hiked for an hour and a half before needing to return to catch a ride with a worker at the lift. It is winter here, and the weather is a bit on the beastly side. The wind is very strong, and it rained every day in Pucon except the day we climbed up the volcano. I enjoyed the small town there, and the small country homes on the way to the lake. They sell honey and artesenal cheese here, basically del campo. My Spanish is still very rusty, especially the verb tenses. We stayed at the hospedaje of a lovely couple that have several houses in Pucon and sell wood and plastic flowers for special occasions like fathers day. It was thecheapest place we could find only 12,000 pesos a night which is 24 dollars. Every day I made soup with vegetables and chicken or fish, and drank mint tea with fresh bread and butter from the country and cheese for breakfast. It is A tourist town and is still expensive even though it is off season now. We met a coiuple from Santiago who is here on their honeymoon. Now we are in Valdivia, a beautiful town with much German influence on a river near the Pacific. We are staying with a very kind young man, our couchsurfing host. He is a rowing champion and won 3rd place in South America a few years ago. Now he is teaching physical education at the university in town. I saw sea lions last night while walking along the riverfront. Unlike the US, there are no fences to limit how close you can get to the animals, so here people walk right up to them to see whether they will provoke a reaction.