To get from Bariloche to Pucon, which is supposed to be Chile´s equivalent thereof, we had hoped to rent a car to enjoy the Patagonian landscape. Trying to arrange a rental car ahead of time had proved to be enormously expensive since it´s a one-way cross-border rental. Maybe it would be possible to have a friendly chat with a local representative and get a more decent price?
So we took the bus, figuring that it would be driving through the very same scenery. There are quite a few bus companies that run long distance lines in the Patagonia area. Unfortunately we could not get a ticket to Pucon as there were no more seats. But one of the bus companies could sell us a ticket to Osorno, which is in Chile halfway to Pucon, and then we could try and get a ticket from there to Pucon.
Arriving in Osorno we tried several bus companies but could not get a ticket to Pucon. However, one of them could sell us a ticket to Loncoche, which is halfway to Pucon, and then we could try and get a ticket from there to Pucon.
Arriving in Loncoche we tried several bus companies but could not get a ticket to Pucon. However, one of them could sell us a ticket to Villarrica, which is halfway to Pucon, and then we could try and get a ticket from there to Pucon.
Continuing thusly we solved Zeno´s Paradox with ever smaller buses on ever bumpier roads, until we actually arrived in Pucon on what apparently doubled as a school bus crammed with Chilean school kids.
Pucon is a backpacker´s paradise. It consists entirely of backpackers hostels with community kitchens where other backpackers offer you some of their popcorn while you´re blogging, adventure travel agencies providing many outdoors activities, and a supermarket with all the health food that backpackers are into. One of the great things about travelling is meeting like-minded people, and Pucon is a paradise in that respect. Bariloche is more cosmopolitan, with shopping galleries and with nice stone and log buildings. I enjoyed Pucon more, feeling at home there right from the moment I arrived.
Tip: One thing to avoid in Pucon is the snack shack on Palguín street. We only had minutes to get something to eat so we grabbed a quick snack there. With admirable artistry they somehow managed to assemble a dozen ingredients on a sandwich in such a way that they all exactly conspired to cancel out each other´s taste.
Why did we only have minutes to get something to eat? Because we had to get up at 3AM, that´s THREE IN THE MORNING, for a dynamite activity.