2 April 2017
Our ferry was there to pick us up, along with a whole horde of others, some equally surprised by the change in ferry times, at 6:35pm from magical Torres Del Paine. We craned our necks this way and that to drink in the spectacular sights all around us. A sundrenched peak over here and a snow-capped mountain over there. Too much beauty to absorb.
On the other side of the lake we scrambled to secure six seats on a bus to Puerto Natales. The first bumpy stretch saw both Kali and me green with motion sickness. All the dry biscuits and mints in the world could not have made it better. I even had my Annie’s motion sickness wristband on, but to no avail. More than three hours of this – oh my!
We all had a little snooze on the bus. Esto was not happy to be dragged off his seat and have a heavy backpack loaded onto his back. After sleepwalking for the first few blocks, he was wide awake by the time we reached our destination.
Even though we arrived in the middle of the night, our friendly hosts were there in full force to welcome us into their home. The mum and dad speak no English, so the daughter played translator. Alison is seventeen and a lovely, friendly girl. The parents are warm, wonderful people with a heart as big as the wide open spaces around this gorgeous little town. What a treasure we have found in these beautiful people.
On Sunday morning we all had a sleep-in. Bliss!! People in Chile go to bed late and get up late too. We sat eating and talking around the breakfast table for a long time. Precious, precious, precious!!! We reluctantly left the warm house to walk to the bus ticket office. We made it just in time for the siesta, so we had to go back after 4pm.
We wandered through the streets of this interesting little town. A house next to a shop next to a bar next to a house next to a mechanic next to a house next to an adult club next to a school… all mixed together to form a colourful neighbourhood.
Our host, Gloria, went out of her way to prepare a traditional Chilean meal for her guests. Delicious!! We found ourselves squeezed in around a table with two North Koreans, two Swedish, one Argentinean, three Chileans and a fluffy dog. Happy babbling in different languages and lots of hand signage made for a very festive family dinner. Again we sat long and talked much, drinking in the richness of being together.
Everything from washing dishes to brushing teeth is a shared affair, accompanied by much laughter and arm waving. What we experienced in that cosy home is beyond description. Community like we love it. Thank you Oscar, Gloria and Alison for opening your hearts and home to us.
– Mariza –