A temporary home

"Bienvenidos al Lucky's Hostel" - What this sentence means and why Beni is now a master in scrambled egg preparation, this and more in this blog.


Pucón, a small town on the shore of "Lago Villarrica" is our home for about 6 weeks. In the summer (i.e. December to February), there is apparently a lot of activity here and the place is quite overrun by national and international tourists. But it is still far from that at the moment. The place is slowly awakening from its winter sleep, the restaurants and tour operators are gradually opening their doors and the number of hotel nights is slowly increasing. Hotel stays in particular will determine our coming time.
"Bienvenidos al Lucky's Hostel" is the motto for the next 6 weeks. We spend them at "Lucky's Hostel" (booking), a family hostel in the middle of town. But we are not here just to chat, no, we will work here. It's been a while since we last worked, maybe that's why we're really looking forward to it. As volunteers, we are helping the owner family, who will be welcoming their second child during our stay, an exciting time!

Several rustic wooden houses stand on the well-kept grounds, where we spend a lot of time during these weeks. The two dogs, Lava and Lucky, are always on hand and always happy for a cuddle. At the beginning of our stay, they are anxious to know when the baby will see the light of day, because the journey to the hospital takes 1.5 hours, so they want to leave on time. This is another reason why we are quickly introduced to the most important activities of running a hostel, such as providing breakfast, checking in, checking out, being hosts and passing on information about the place and the surroundings. Soon we know a lot about the region in theory, and in practice we gradually discover the beauties around Pucón. To our delight, breakfast is very important here. Fresh homemade bread, jam from their own production and daily fresh muffins and scrambled eggs are part of the buffet they offer their guests. Best of all, we are allowed to enjoy this buffet as well, and we do! In addition, the owners place a lot of value on friendly, interested interaction with the guests. So there's always time for a good chat. A good exercise for our Spanish skills. About 50% of the guests come from Chile, the other half from all over the world, such as Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, France, South Korea, etc. We learn a lot about the holiday behaviour of different cultures, even though this cannot be generalised.

The breakfast business is our main responsibility. After a short training period, we are allowed to do this independently and are happy about the slowly increasing number of visitors. The season is about to start. It is fun to meet different people from all over the world and to chat with them about this and that, always with the Villarrica volcano in view, the landmark of the village. It is one of the most active volcanoes on the continent. During our stay, the activity increases and the warning level is raised from green to yellow. No reason to panic, at least not for us, because primarily this means that the mountain can only be climbed to 500m below the summit, much to the displeasure of the local agencies. Understandably, after 2 years in which they have suffered greatly from Corona, a successful season would be good for them. Climbing the mountain is the main attraction of the region. Quite a few people come here just for that. Fortunately, we climbed the bubbling volcano while it was still green. A specific entry on this will follow, but one thing up front, it was a super excursion!

Then one day it starts. The family leaves for the hospital and we stay behind. As there are no reservations at the moment, the hostel is closed for two days and we get the days off. We use the days to climb this volcano and explore the surroundings. There is a lot to see. Countless waterfalls, the lake, several national parks, thousands of hot springs and beautiful volcanic landscapes. We also optimise some small things on and in our car, bring our photos up to date and take care of the next stages of the journey. A warm shower and a roof over our heads are a real luxury, which we enjoy very much. To our delight, during this stay we can observe how spring is coming, the trees are green and, above all, the temperatures are rising. Somehow irritating for the biorhythm, which is expressed, for example, in the fact that Sara is always in the mood for pumpkin soup, although the asparagus season is starting here. And have you ever considered that people in the southern hemisphere used to have to watch the World Cup in winter? We are noticing things like that now...

If you pay cash for accommodation in Chile as a traveller (foreigner), you do not have to pay the 19% tax. So it's worth leaving your card in your pocket...

The new family member returns home safe and sound and we try to relieve the family as much as possible with our commitment. We are always aware of what a luxury it is to simply have so much time to travel and therefore we don't feel any pressure to leave immediately. On the contrary, in the end we stay two weeks longer than planned, which also expresses how comfortable we feel in this place. In addition to the culinary high standard breakfast, the owners treat us to delicious pizza, which is in no way inferior to the real Italian pizza, we enjoy an extensive barbecue and of course the "Completos", another pride of the Chileans, are not to be missed. Actually simply a hot dog, usually with lots of mayonnaise, tomatoes and avocado, also called "Completo itataliano" (cheers to the colour combination). To our delight, we find a coffee oasis in the town. Without charm but with delicious coffee and desert. No idea how many cups we drank there during this time.

So the weeks in this peaceful place pass in no time and the onward journey approaches. Although we enjoyed this time very much and were able to acquire new skills (Beni now makes the best scrambled eggs in the world; Sara the muffins) we are now ready for the next stage. In the last days on site we get to know our successors, who now serve breakfast with full commitment. We say goodbye to the hostel and the people and head towards Patagonia, which is now really just around the corner, and we are looking forward to it. Dear Lucky's Hostel, it was nice staying here and if anyone ever visits Pucón, we can only recommend the place!