Cascades of Pucon / by Mark Boyd

A 90's RnB band once said 'don't go chasing waterfalls', but here I was considering flouting their words of wisdom in favour doing just the opposite.  It was day three maybe even four in Pucon.  I liked it here, and I loved the hostel and folks working there.  I was in an extremely easy going environment, and I liked it.  Pucon seemed to be all about waterfalls, and yesterday's one had been a beauty, but I'd heard there were bigger and better.... Really?  Once again I jumped on a bus, got off at a place I was told to get off and then began walking on an unpaved road towards the first of three waterfalls.... A local guy stopped to give me a lift, we rattled along for 5 minutes, then tackled a tiny track.  He then told me that he owned the land and that I'd have to pay an entrance fee.  I wasn't sure if this was true, but he seemed like a very genuine chap, ahem, so I passed over the £3.00 and walked on.  The waterfall was impressive.  It was loud... But it wasn't overly stunning. 

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I walked back out to the track and continued trudging.... I think all in all to get to the final fall I'd be looking at around 20 miles of walking, with a few intermittent car rides.... I walked for almost half an hour when two British ladies pulled over and gave me a ride for almost 2 miles... They were off on a little guided walk.  I wandered in to the next waterfall.... This one had a little pay booth and families playing around, an altogether more touristy affair.... It was high!  It was really loud!!! It was impressive.... I clambered up a set of mist sodden, slippery, wooden steps, then hauled myself higher, going off the beaten track.... I was perched rather precariously, but it was worth it for the view. 

I wandered back out of the jungley glen, got yelled and smiled at by some local ladies who invited me over to join their BBQ, I smiled, waved and continued on my way to the third waterfall.... There were no car rides.... I just walked and walked... A dog barked, snarled and charged out of it's garden in hot pursuit of some tender Manx ass.... Then on realising the ass wasn't as tender as it looked from a distance, it hesitated, snarled a little more and awaited me to calmly pat him and stroke him.... I walked on.

When I got to within 200 metres of the waterfall I came across a little cabin with a tiny shop.  Here a man charged me almost £4.00 to go look at the waterfall.... The further along I walked the more expensive the gravity affected liquid flows became.... Just for looking!

Enroute I decided to sit and observe reptilian culture.  I watched one lizard scamper keenly in to a local 'lizard bar' and order a drink.  The barman lizard did not like the look of him one little bit, or maybe he was underage, but either way, he refused to serve him and kicked him out.  Sad times.

 Your finest ale barman!

Your finest ale barman!

The third and most impressive waterfall was thunderous and huuuuuuuuuuuge!  Sopping mist filled the air.... So I decided to use my iPhone as I had with all the day's wet cascades.  It really was a massive, beautiful waterfall.....  The volume of water was incredible.

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Walking back out towards the main road I found myself a tad tired... The baking sun, lack of breeze and rough road had left me whacked.  And with about 45 minutes of walk remaining, and no water in my bottle I wasn't looking forward to it.  Then a kind soul and his little girl pulled over and gave me a ride not only to the end of the unpaved road, but all the way back in to town where we both lived.  I could have hugged him!  I wandered to the supermarket grabbed a beer and cooked up some food.  Tonight I would relax in front of the wall mounted screen.