January 27, 2009
My new favorite place in the world: Pucon, Chile!!!
More Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/triusa/Pucon?feat=directlink
I have been asked by tons of people what my favorite place is that I’ve traveled. I’ve always answered Madeira, a Portuguese island out in the Atlantic Ocean. However, after my recent travels, I have a new favorite: Pucon, Chile!!! When I was thinking about this, I thought about how lucky I am to have traveled so much: Japan (3 times), Spain, Mexico (several times), Canada, Austria, Germany, South Africa (twice), Thailand, Honduras, Argentina (twice), Brazil (3 times), England, Hungary, and probably a few more that I missed. I’d actually been to Chile 2 years ago for an ITU race in Villarica, the sister city to Pucon located only 15min away. I remember when we were there that we heard there was a half Ironman race in Pucon the week before our race. At the time I was still in my Ironmans and 70.3s are crazy! I had no desire to do anything longer than an Olympic distance. Fast forward two years and I’m actually back in Pucon for my third 70.3! Since I spent over two weeks in Chile, 8 of those days in Pucon, I got a real taste of the culture.
The people were so friendly and outgoing! And they have quite the lifestyle…stay up until the early morning hours and then sleep in until 11! The breakfast at my hotel did not even START until 9am (in the US they are over by then!) and went until 11:30…and I never saw anyone down there at 9 J. I could go bike and run and the roads would be traffic free in the mornings…and the views while riding were remarkable. Our post race dinner started at 10:30pm! And desert wasn’t served until midnight…and that was followed by the discotec!
The food was yummy and relatively cheap. And since Pucon is the adventure capital of Chile there are several options to keep you busy: volcano hike, trekking, bike riding, rafting, kayaking, canopy tours, horse riding, and hydrotail to name a few. And if you would rather do something relaxing, you could chill out on the beach or spend day at the thermal spas!
Everyone in the town, from the residents to the tourist, are all active and very fit! Most people walk or ride bikes to get around. Instead of making a monthly trip to Wal-Mart/grocery store…they just pick up items for a day or two and carry it back home. That way they can pick up fresh fruit/vegetables and hot out of the oven bread. The product was delicious and could be found at vendors along pretty much any street. I did this quite a bit too and loved it…I am not looking forward to my first trip back to good ole wally world!
So if anyone is looking for an adventurous destination trip…I highly recommend Pucon!!!! Details of some of my journey through Pucon are above, enjoy!