Sunday, January 3, 2010

How do you say, "Coyhaique"

It is nearly two in the morning. I will have to wake-up in less than six hours to grab my last breakfast here at Kaweskar in Puerto Natales. Then Kaitlin and I are off to the bus station for our twenty-four hour ride north along Ruta 40 to Coyhaique, Chile.

We know very little about Coyhaique and the surrounding towns, Puerto Aisen and Puerto Chacabuco - but they all sound good in our heads and they are bordered by national parks and have affordable bed and breakfast type establishments that will be a welcome break from the busy hostel crowd..and it isn't Calafate or Bolson or Chalten or Bariloche.

We are determined to get back to speaking Spanish and figuring out what exactly it is that people in South America do - not what people traveling to South America should do.

I feel, to a certain extent, that my needs for this trip as a whole are fulfilled. We have proven ourselves worthy by three weeks in one of SA's biggest urban settings - without any major calamity and we have ventured into the volatile Patagonia and emerged trim and hardy.

From this point, everything is bonus. I still have my preferences, but I won't fret now about having to "accomplish" anything. I have a frame of reference now. I have caught a glimpse of the different ends of the spectrum and it is something I am malleable enough to endure - hell, even thrive in. That feeling is a comfort no matter what continent or country you roam, but for me in this time it is invaluable.

So we set off for Coyhaique. We have two weeks to see what there is to be seen in this Andean enclave before we intend to take the ferry from Puerto Chacabuco to Quellon on Isle Chiloe. Opening yet another path..

But first Coyhaique, Aisen, and Chacabuco - and sleep.

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