Someone recently messaged me “Hey man how’s Perú?”
Yes the planet kapow episodes are slowly slowly getting updated. A lot has happened since the latest ep (43). These days I’m living in Santiago, Chile.
Perhaps a little catchup as I have neglected my poor old blog for way too long. (I think I’m going to start posting again on my blog to show off a little bit of this country I am starting to get to know.)
Just over one year ago (September 24 2012) Lachlan and I crossed down from the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia into the north of Chile, from one very strange part of the world into another (and this one was incredibly dry).
San Pedro de Atacama.
Bolivia – Salar de Uyuni
Bolivia – just before crossing down into Chile
It probably seemed like any other day on our marvellous adventure through latin America. New country, new currency (we had less and less of it), and my spanish was no better.
But Chile presented a different face to what I had seen in this part of the world, something that perhaps we’d only caught glimpses of back in Lima, or Medellin or Bogota in Colombia. Perhaps it was that the road from the frontera down into San Pedro was sealed and the bus ride was smooth and it felt like in Chile that we wouldn’t really need our wits about us so much. Things were more expensive than they had been in Bolivia (like $4 for a bottle of wine instead of $2 – but wine is something truly magical here in Chile and deserves a whole lot of blogging to try to explain the wonder that it is.)
We stayed at a cool little hostel on the outskirts of town and eventually went looking for something to do that night. Lachie and I were having a drink at a bar and met some German folks. We’d got wind of a secret party that was going on so we teamed up with the Germans and headed off. Eventually we found this secret party and this is where hopefully the story begins to get even more radically interesting…
It was turning into a good night, 50+ people i dancing around a fire, lots of booze, smiles, pieces of conversation in spanish. Chile had just come off it’s fiestas patrias of September 18th (Independence day celebrations).
And then the magic started to happen.
As I was trying to point Lachie in the direction to find the loo, a beautiful girl appeared across the fire and we immediately locked eyes (“nuestras miradas se encontraron”!).
It as this moment that I instantly fell in love with a beautiful Chilenita by the name of Carina. A lovely girl from Santiago who was up in San Pedro with some friends and friends of friends for vacation. She was sweet, funny and fortunately spoke better english than I. We had a great night at the party and luckily I pulled myself together (with encouragement from Lachie to do so) and called Carina over Skype from the free WIFI in the town plaza and she was sitting at a café just on the other side! The luck! She invited me out to the Valle de la luna with her friends so I had to accept of course.
Carina – close to the Valle de la luna, San Pedro de Atacama
After an dreamlike afternoon with Carina and her friends:
: Carina and I said our goodbyes and Lachie and I later headed down through Chile and headed to Argentina and caught up with our good friend Geoff Kemp for a wonderful week in Mendoza riding bicycles to vineyards and drinking wine.
But I couldn’t get Carina off my mind. I think I showed her photo to most of Argentina whilst I was there. I had to see her again. After 1 week in Mendoza I jumped a bus to Chile.
I got to spend an unforgettable weekend in Santiago with Carina as well as get to visit the seaside town of Valparaiso AND we even saw an O.V.N.I (U.F.O).
looking down calle Templeman, Valparaiso (Oct 2011)
well, we were pretty sure that thing on the left was a UFO!
Then it was back to Argentina to get to spend one more month with Mr Prior, including a few days with Lachie’s cousin Mark in Mendoza, then Cordoba, Rosario, pachanga in Buenos Aires, Iguazu falls, a quick jump of to Uruguay, and then back to Argentina down to Tandíl to catch up with our mates Hernan and Georgina from our time on the farm in Colombia (Fundación Viracocha) and then down and across to Bariloche.
Iguazu falls, Argentina
Casa Pueblo (of artist Carlos Páez Vilaró), Punta del Este, Uruguay)
Punta de Este, Uruguay
mmmmm. Parilla, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I’m guessing that was the Millhouse hostel? Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lachie, Georgina & Hernan. Tandíl, Argentina
near Bariloche, Argentina
We crossed back into Chile and hung out in Pucón for a couple of days and road out to the falls at Caburgua, and headed off to Santiago.
Then, after 440 days and I am guessing more than 30,000km , Lachan left Chile for Australia.
It was a very sad moment. BUT, we’d just had one hell of a trip.
Some of the most amazing, and interesting, moments of my life had been spent with Danielle, Erin and Lachie whilst on the road. It is was a time that I will cherish and do my best never to forget. But Lachie and I had been on the road from the start to finish and had been through some serious shit like getting lost in a forest for 2 days walking 40km and running into narco traffickers in Mexico, climbing 6000m Huayna Potosí in Bolivia, a night in the amazon on Ayahuasca, riding in the back of a big truck with a family en route to Sucre whilst the driver was tanked on beer and honked at all the ladies that passed by.
Lachie, thank you mate.
I remember wondering to myself for months of the journey what I would do when, as all good things do, this dream adventure would eventually come to an end.
I had thought about the possibility of sticking around in Argentina or maybe Chile and see if I could get some work. But I also had a master plan to go to Australia and go pick fruit and eventually get onto doing a permaculture design course and get a little farm going somewhere. It was all pretty open.
But it’s funny how it works out.
Carina picked me up from the airport and here I am almost 1 year later!
So I think the next chapter of this story deserves a new post to itself.