Claudio and I spent a week in Pucon, where I enjoyed the beauty of nature. He is a new traveling companion that took a liking to me in Santiago but has never been away from home and has to talk to his mother every day. We hiked up the volcano villa rica which is near Pucon and hitchhiked 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 beastly. The wind is very strong, and it rained every day except the day we climbed the volcano.  I like the small country homes on the way to the lake.  They sell honey and artisanal cheese here.  My Spanish is still very rusty, especially the verb tenses. On my own, I explored Lago Caburga and Parque Huequehue, a beautiful national park with huge trees and waterfalls. I am typing this on a computer that works at the speed of a turtle and am tired of waiting for it to realize that I typed something. We stayed at the hospedaje of a lovely couple that have several houses in Pucon who sell wood and plastic flowers for special occasions like fathers day. It was the cheapest place we could find only 12,000 pesos a night, or 24 USD.  I made a thick soup of vegetables, chicken or fish, and drank mint tea with fresh bread, butter, and cheese for breakfast.  It is a very expensive tourist town and is still expensive even though it is off season.  We met a couple from Santiago who are here on their honeymoon.

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