Photo: The Copahue volcano billowing out ash
We woke to a frozen tent and it took a while for the sun to rise before it started to thaw. Having packed up our camp we left Malalcahuello mid morning, heading east, back to Argentina. After the four and a half km drive through the Las Raíces tunnel (Latin Americas third longest) we stopped for fuel and supplies in the village or Lonquimay then the short drive across the border back to Argentina. From here we briefly headed north to Caviahue a small village at the base of the Copahue volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the region, currently on yellow alert - meaning an eruption could occur in weeks or months. There is a vast cloud of ash rising from a vent on the upper slopes of the volcano. We noticed the ash in the air when we stopped to take photos and having experienced more than enough of this in Bariloche when the Puyehue volcano erupted in 2011 we decided to continue south as our honeymoon as coming to an end.
Passing through Zapala then a few hours of night time driving we arrived at the village of Alumine and set about finding somewhere to stay. After driving round the village a few times and finding nothing we stopped to ask for advice to find there were only three accommodation options in the village, one appeared to be closed; the Hosteria was overpriced for such an out-dated room so we settled on the hotel Aldea. WiFi only reached the first floor of the hotel, the heating wasn't working on the first floor so we were on the second floor, and the lift didn't work at all!