3 May 2017
We’ve had an unforgettable month in Chile. As I’m sitting on the small plane to Lima, Peru, my heart is full of precious, priceless memories. It has been an eye opening and both a habit and perspective changing experience.
Those who know me would be shocked to learn that I’ve exchanged my leave tea in potfuls for black instant coffee. I’m sipping it out of our little flask lid as I’m writing this. We were able to carry food, hot and cold water and our own can of coffee powder all the way through check-in, customs, the security check and onto the plane. And this is an international flight. I like it!!
The biggest adjustment was not the dirty dwellings, disgusting clinging shower curtains or having rock-hard white buns with a tiny slither of cheese served for breakfast, but the fact that toilets in South America cannot flush toilet paper. That is all I am going to say about that.
Our Chilean adventure started and ended in the capital city, Santiago. Upon arrival we chose to stay in the old city centre. Excellent choice! We very quickly discovered a colourful world, light years removed from our everyday existence in Brisbane, Australia. We ventured into interesting neighbourhoods with beautiful people, sometimes quite significantly off the beaten track. What a wonderful way to start our adventure!
When we returned to Santiago after a month, our biggest aim was to find new shoes for four out of the six pairs of feet. We opted for the modern side of the city for this reason.
Track running shoes is the compromise for being unable to have both walking boots and running shoes. Kali and I have destroyed our Asics running shoes over the hundreds of kilometres of walking over the course of a month. We ran a lot too, but that’s what they were made for. Ruzow’s shoes held up remarkably well, considering they were of no significant brand or price range. But one month was the absolute maximum he could squeeze out of them. Esto had his first shoe replacement in El Calafate, Argentina at an exhorbitant amount of money. It lasted him only three weeks, even though they looked better than the first pair towards the end. He completed the last two days of our Torres del Paine track in shoes with more hole than sole. And he had to wear them for two more days, walking long distances with his backpack, as one was a Sunday with no open shoe stores and the next was a public holiday in a different country. Eulain already had a shoe replacement and Jarik bought brand new trail runners just before we left Brisbane. The only surviving original pair.
We arrived back in Santiago on none other than a public holiday. That means EVERYTHING is closed. So the next day and our last in Chile, was dedicated to shoe shopping. After many miles of walking and many confusing bus rides, Kali, Ruzow and myself had fancy new Salomon trail runners and Esto the sturdiest hiking boots (which he will just have to run in too) we could find. These have a one year guarantee. Mmm… We shall see.
Jarik and I celebrated Chile with a bottle of the most delicious Syrah we acquired during our “shaky” day out in the Casablanca wine region. We’ve seen breathtakingly beautiful things, had incredible experiences, met beautiful people and made many precious memories. Our children’s eyes have been opened and their horizons broadened. We are better people for having encountered Chile.
– Mariza –