LOCATION: ARAUCANIA, CHILE
Hey there. I’m back. I somehow I fell out of my routine in the last few weeks when my computer broke (I spilt water on it) and it’s taken some effort to get myself back into it. But here I am, back again.
The big (and exciting) news around here lately is that we bought a car! We’ll be traveling for a little bit after I finish my teaching period here, and we have some visitors coming over pretty soon so we decided buying and selling before we leave made the most sense for us. It’s been pretty freeing having our own set of wheels and planning out all the weekend trips we’re going to take. Last weekend we went with a couple friends to visit two small towns nearby, Lican Ray and Coñaripe. It was an insanely windy day, but the lake was beautiful. Our first stop was lunch in Lican Ray followed by an easy walk out on the peninsula with stunning views.
After our walk we headed on over to the next town, Coñaripe, with the intent to make a stop at the hot springs. The drive up the mountain to the hot springs was filled with many frequent screeches of “wait, STOP!” as we spotted baby goats along the way. We even saw a llama quite incredibly squeeze itself under a fence to cross the street. Quite possibly the highlight of the drive. Turned out when we finally got to the hot springs we felt like it was a little too expensive for the time that we’d be able to spend there, so we ended up just turning around and driving back down. We all agreed that the beauty of the drive itself was worth it though.
We ended the day back in Villarrica with fajitas (Texas-style), good drinks, and even better conversation. To many more days and nights just like that one!
I Have No Idea What I'm Doing
During life's ebbs and flows I go through stages where I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I begin to question all my past decisions and stress about all the future ones. I start to panic about the imminent occasion where I will have to, once again, make a (relatively) important decision about what my life will look like. I feel lost. As if everything is closing in on me and I can't see out. I attempt to claw my way out by laying out some options and forcing myself to make a hasty decision on the matter. Occasionally it works temporarily and I begin to feel the sufficating sensation slip away, but it usually comes back, even stronger than before.
An Unexpected Refuge in Colchagua Wine Region
Tucked away in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in San Fernando, Chile is the coziest lodge. The instant you pull into the property you can feel your shoulders drop and you begin breathing a little deeper. Walking up to the lodge you’re greeted by two friendly Saint Bernards who then escort you to the door. You’re shown to one of four rooms to drop off your luggage before joining the others for a glass of wine by the fire.
I was wandering around in search of something and nothing at all,
finding the most unexpected treasures along the way.
The roads were windy, with sharp turns and the occasional dead end,
I once stumbled upon a tiny footpath, barely visible from the outside.
The footprints had long been covered with dirt and leaves,
but I knew that someone had been there before.
I imagined what they felt as they turned into the thick forest,
clearing the brush as they slowly inched forward,
making a path where there had been none before.
What made them leave the road that had been so carefully laid out before them?
Were they in search of something or did they knowingly brave the unknown?
Hiking the Andes Mountains
It rained, no, it poured, all day for two days straight before we saw a gap in the forecast that might allow us to explore these mountains in our backyard. Although we were thoroughly enjoying the days spent drinking wine by the fire, we were staying right in the foothills of the Andes and were anxious to get out and see the outdoors. So as soon as we saw a rain-free day we planned to make the most of it and spend the day hiking.
With a very rough map in hand we started out packed with food, water, and extra layers. The first stop on our map was a waterfall hidden amongst a bamboo forest. We walked towards the crescendo of rushing water as we parted the sticks of bamboo moving steadily through the forest. Once we spent significant time admiring the unique beauty of the lagoon, we continued on our way passing through sections of thick forest to wide open spaces where the vastness of the mountains was undeniable. Almost every half hour one of us gawked at the incredible view before us.