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After Patagonia, we counted the money we spent and the money we have left, and that basically decided for the plans…
Alex had to work anyway, only the week ends were free.
I wanted to go to Pucon for 5 days, but unfortunately, the prices of the buses increased a lot because it is summer, and summer break…
So I didn’t go to Pucon.
The first week end, we met Jay and Cindy, the canadian couple that we went trekking with in Torres del Paine. They were having 2 days in Santiago before going back to Canada.
We walked through the parque forestal, which is a really long park in the middle of Santiago, and to the market “La Vega”. On our way we saw a pretty funny sport : mud fighting in the park… why not?!
The second week, I went to a tour through Santiago. 4 hours walking and listening to explanations about history, politics, movies, funny stories, cafés, food, drinks, chilean way of life… (in english, luckily, otherwise it would have been a bit complicated!)
At the week end, we had a party at home, and we slept most of the Saturday… and Sunday wasn’t much more… It was really warm, that we couldn’t really go out in the middle of the day without melting, so we decided to go to the hill of the city (San Cristobal) around 18:00 and walk around.
So we did, even if it was still too warm (at least for me!) but the view was alright… it is in the middle of the city, with a lot of smog that covers the Andes, but it was better than staying at home!
Afterwards, I decided to not stay in the city for 2 more weeks. I wanted to see something else and change the air around me. So, I took a bus on Tuesday to Talca (3,5 hours south of Santiago), and walk 30 minutes through the city in the sun, with 35 degrees celcius, to the center.
I went to the official tourist information point to get information about the national park “Altos de Lircay”. Talca is the closest city for this, with buses to the park… but without any maps! They were not able to tell me anything about the hikes in the park, how long, how far, how beautiful, if campings or free campgrounds… They had no idea about it at all, they have never been there so they couldn’t even tell me how nice it was… (actually they did tell me it was amazing, but when I asked details they told me they haven’t been there…)
Anyway, I got out of the office and was a bit disapointed because I had no idea if I would go with all my camping gears, for 2 days, or only for a day trip.
I contacted my host for couchsurfing (Paula) to spend the night at her place. I met also an american girl and we hung around chatting (all in Chilean-Spanish with Paula!) and went out to try the Mango sour and a ceviche.
And on Wednesday I got up early to catch a bus to the national park. 2 hours later, I started walking the first kilometers to the official park entrance. Eventually, I got a map when I paid the entrance fees (6 euros one day, and if I want to stay the next day it is “only” 3 euros more…) and decided to stay only one day (meaning that I had to get out of the park before 10:00 am the next day).
I started walking, and as the first campground was 16 euros for one night for one person, I decided to walk 2 hours more with all my stuff to the next one, which was free.
I set up my tent there, took only my small backpack and started walking at 12:00. Pretty late, but I couldn’t do better because I took the first bus in the morning! I met a few rivers and got fresh water.
I planned a loop to do in 8 hours, so I would be back to my tent around 20:00, just before the night! The first part took me 1 hour anda half instead of 2, and it was like that all the way. I arrived 2 hours before the expected time on the top, on the “el enladrillado”, a beautiful platform with a view on a plain, on a deep valley and on volcanos.
Most of the tracks were in the forest, except above 2000 meters, the vegetation stopped, and all was really exposed to the sun, and dry.
After wards, the track was going all along the ridge, all about the valley where the campgrounds are, a really nice view with different types of rocks, a plain, mountains with snow…
And I started the way down to my tent.
I got there around 17:30, there was nobody. I started reading a book, I went to the river to wash my legs because there were covered of dark dust from the tracks, and it got really boring in the campground. I felt a bit lonely in the forest, and decided to go back on the track a little bit to get mobile reception. When I got there, I sent a text to Paula, asking her if I could come back to her place tonight cause it was shorter than expected. I asked a group of people if they knew at what time the last bus was leaving to Talca, and they told me 20:15. Paula told me I could come back, so I decided to got back to the campground, pack my stuff and try to catch the last bus.
And I did well, I was down at the bus stop at 19:30, and a guy (Juan Pablo) in his 4WD asked me if I needed a lift (in English), so that was a bit funny because he was Chilean de Santiago and talked to me in English, when I was answering in Spanish… And he drove me down to San Clemente, a village where I got a busto Talca. It was really nice, cheaper and faster!
And I went back to Paula’s house. Paula drove me to the “cerro de la virgen” to see the city by night. It was really nice!
And in the following morning I walked again to the bus terminal, and took a bus back to Santiago.
That was really nice to get a little bit of fresh air out of the capital!
Back at home, time for cooking and partying of course…
On Sunday, we decided to go to Pomaire, a small village, less than one hour way from Santiago. We took a bus, that left us on the side of the highway, and waked the last 3 kilometers to Pomaire, an artisanal village, all was about pottery, giant empanadas and pigs (almost all).
We went back to Santiago a few hours later, and we had to hail the bus on the highway… we were not really sure at the beginning, but after a bit of time a few people joined us on the side of the road and were trying to hail a bus as well. so we got a bit more confident and managed to get in one bus.
For one of our farewell parties, we decided to try the most Chilean drink called Terremoto (that means earthquake). To have a proper terremoto, we needed to go in a “special” place, because it is more about the environment than the drink itself…
In this awesome drink, there is : White wine (the worst possible wine ever), and Pinapple ice cream. On the top, a bit of grenadine syrop or Fernet (bitter spirit)… it is a bit weird to drink, and really really sweet, like everything in Chile!
And that is not possible to drink 2 of them! If you want, afterwards it is possible to get the “replica” (meaning Aftershock) but it is the same in a smaller glass…
So now we can say it’s done! we tried it!
And now, the Chilean adventure is over, we clean our room and pack everything… we are flying tonight (Friday) to Miami, this time hopefully without the suitcase, to go to the beach for a couple of hours and we fly to Dusseldorf on Saturday night. We will arrive to Germany on Sunday morning, around 7.00.
I will come back to France one week later, on Sunday 10th of February.
See you soon!
And thanks to all the people I met here! Was a great adventure, experience, a great house!
Gracias a todo la gente que yo encontré aquí! Fué una experiencia muy linda, y una casona muy divertida!!
(and no, my Spanish is not good enough to write my blog in Spanish 😉 )