¡QUE ONDA!

Late now but Feliz Navidad!!!

I am back in Chile. Feels good to be back, minus how everything is so expensive, but it’s good to hear the cachai’s and sipo’s, nopo’s, and what not. I missed it. Although I have more reminders here of how much I miss my friends in Mejillones! As well as a stream of good luck!

I spent a few days in Bariloche in Argentina, biked 30 kilometers or so, which was PAINFUL. Biking uphill is really no fun. Great pictures from some viewpoints from the bike ride and the next day when I went to Cerro Campanario. There is so much more to be done in and near Bariloche, but time was pressing!! Add it to the growing list of things to do “next time¨ I’m traveling in South America… haha. What I said earlier about running into people – I was walking on the streets and a friend from El Bolsón came out of a restaurant because he saw me through the window! I arrived back into Chile in Puerto Varas, a beautiful but touristy city as well. Foreign and domestic – who doesn’t want to be near lakes and gorgeous peaks?? I spent one night in a hostel in Puerto Varas too and in my room was a girl I had met almost 2 months ago in the north of Chile!!! SMALL traveling world. But great to see her again and talk about future plans to possibly travel together… also finally sold my hiking boots!!!

I am part of this wonderful world called couchsurfing, and was lucky enough to stay with a family and a girl who goes to university in Santiago. They took me over to Puerto Montt, which I was just going to skip but got to spend an afternoon there; took me out with her friends; oh and HOUSED AND FED ME!  So incredibly nice, unfortunately all I could do was give them a box of chocolate in thanks for their hospitality. Really think I’m going to love Couchsurfing – I get to practice my spanish instead of talking to other English speakers in the hostels, SAVE MONEY, and make new local friends! I met up with some more couchsurfers here in Pucón where I am currently, and will be staying with a few others in Santiago and Viña Del Mar. Only getting started but in the last month I will have saved almost 2 weeks of housing!! Couchsurfing. Don’t be scared, go for it! That was almost more of my experience than the other things I did in Puerto Varas… which was failing at doing a hiking trail. I ended up getting lost about 3 times trying to find the trail and then in the end I went on the wrong one and didn’t see as great of views as I had hoped for haha. I think the world is telling me to stop hiking for a while… and I will abide.

In between Puerto Varas and Pucón, I was in Valdivia for Christmas with a few American girls, a Swiss guy and a woman from Italy. With the hostel owner and employees, we had dinner along with wine, champagne, and this new Baileys like liquor – Colo del Mono? Something like that. They had an amazing seafood and produce market along the river and I stocked up on lots of cheap veggies, for probably about $4 in total. I will miss the deliciously fresh and cheap produce for sure. Strawberrys are here now too!!! MMMMMM…

Here in Pucón I went horseback riding with this man who is 77 years old!!!! He looks maybe 60. And he hiked with us to see these waterfalls that is a REALLY steep path down and then back up! Insane. He works all the time doing these horseback rides, sometimes 4 times a day! Really impressive. Horseback riding though… I don’t think I will do it again. I couldn’t hike because I twisted my ankle… again… but the other one… so horseback was the next best thing to being able to get out and see some sites. But I just feel SO bad for the horses… I know they are accustomed to it but I hate lugging MYSELF uphill and downhill, let alone carrying a PERSON on my back… and I guess they are muscular beasts but their legs look so skinny and in pain. It actually made me realize that I feel bad for most 4 legged animals that can’t see where they are putting their feet. Ever thought about that? Only me? Okay. Maybe just because I have enough problems on my 2 legs when I can see where I’m walking.

Tomorrow I might try this cray activity called hydrospeeding… we shall see. I will tell you about it afterwards if I go. Then a night bus up to Santiago to couchsurf for a night, then Viña del Mar for NEW YEARS EVE!!! I keep hearing more and more about how big it is in Valparaiso (next to Viña) and am getting excited… Apparently the Times Square of Chile.

I won’t lie, I probably won’t update before New Years, but Happy New Year in advance!!! I will be somewhat stationary for the first 2 weeks of January helping at English camps so I will be better then for writing. Pictures however ARE up!!

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