Horses, volcanoes, nose piercings, interviews and lost souls
12.11.2011 - 18.11.2011
Whilst I think I could very easily live in Pucón for a very long time, I did eventually get off my butt and leave. I can´t express enough how much I implore anyone visiting Chile to go there. The people speak Spanish very clearly and are very patient with this clumsy gringo and her very basic, broken language skills.
The day we arrived we went exploring the streets and stumbled upon a piercing shop, so I decided to get my nose pierced.... as you do. I had been thinking about it for a while and there was nothing stopping me this time so I just did it. Tash had the camera at the ready but the large, terrifying implements that the man used to undertake the procedure turned her off recording the event. Then whilst trekking up the volcano the next morning (that will be a separate blog post), the nost stud fell out into the snow after catching on my glove. So that evening I returned alone to the piercing man to explain (as best as I could - my Spanish piercing vocabulary is not exactly crash hot just yet) and try to get another stud through the whole. T´was to no avail, the inside of the hole had already closed so he needed to re-pierce it with the terrifying clamping instrument and ridiculously large needle. The needle went through, and for a split second everything seemed fine.... and then the blood started pouring out of the hole both on the inside and outside of my nose. Blood blood everywhere. The blood pushed the stud out of my nose and it didn´t look like it intended stopping bleeding anytime soon. I had to giggle at my predicament and the panicked looks on the faces of the young girls in the room. The only thing that was a slight issue, was that I had to call Australia in a matter of minutes. `El otro lado mañana? Porque mi nariz esta tan dificil??`(The other side tomorrow? Why is my nose so difficult?) I said to the man. He shook his head at my lack of concern and stubornness, but agreed, tomorrow we´ll try the other side. I want my damned nose pierced ok!
So holding tissue over my nose I headed to the call centre for a quick phone call to Brendan and then a call to Adelaide for an AYAD interview. My conversation with Brendan was prematurely cut-off and a wave of home-sick, whingey girlfriend emotion unexpectedly hit me at a very inconvenient time. Suck it up Reagan, breathe, make the Adelaide phone call and get the interview over with. Head is not in interview land, nose is hurting from sunburn and piercings, lump in throat.... this is not going to be good. Thank goodness I hadn´t agreed to a skype interview! They were already satisfied with my professional experience, and all they ended up asking me in the interview was why I thought I was ready to undetake an overseas posting on a personal level. So, choking back tears, I managed to splutter out enough about where I´m at personally to satisfy the lady that I am infact an emotionally stable and mature human being.
The next day we were booked in for horse-riding in the Chilean country-side. Whilst I have had many good friends from primary and high-school that loved horse-riding, it had never actually occurred to me to try it myself. I was introduced to my horse Pepe´, who would be my companion for the next four hours. After very limited horse-riding instruction we were off, with no helmets, along a winding mountain dirt road. It quickly became apparent that Pepe`was a stubborn horse and also had tendencies consistent with that of a procrastinator. Two stubborn procrastinators are not likely to operate very effectively so our guia brought me a small stick. ´Pepe´ needs more motivación sometimes´. Muwahahaha, Reagan has a stick! A very light tap on the butt is all Pepe´needed to keep up with everyone else. Oh dear, no one warned me about this, I should have warn my sports bra!! My legs and butt are going to pay for this tomorrow!
´Ok everyone, now we are going to gallop´says our guia. Ummm, sure, ok.... gallop. No further instruction seems forthcoming. So I ask what one is supposed to do whilst the horse is galloping. She demonstrates what position my body should be in. Rightyho. She takes off in a cloud of dust and Pepe´has no intention of galloping. I really like Pepe´right now, because frankly I have no intention of galloping either. A nice little trot is perfect thank you very much and a canter for a short while is bearable.
The riding thing gets a bit easier, even comfortable at sometimes. We cross a river and then cross back, we wind along riverside tracks and through dense bushes of yellow flowers. I did end up galloping toward the end for all of 10 seconds and it scared the living daylights out of me.
In the late afternoon Simone and Tash departed on a night bus to Santiago whilst I had decided to stay and immerse myself into this little town for a while. I headed back to my piercing man and we successfully pierced the other side of my face without a single drop of blood. It is not my good side, not my photogenic side but I will suck it up. The piercing still stands a week later
I spent the next few days getting into a routine in Pucón, early morning runs on the volcanic gravel beach, some kind of daily task that involves conversing with locals. Hours were spent chatting to other travellers in the common room - many lost souls end up drifting into Pucón and staying there for longer than expected. There are people who´s parents and grandparents all passed away within a couple of months. There are people who are just wandering aimlessly around the world and have been for 15 years, and loving it. There are Britains and Americans who have built successful businesses and will never leave. Helen and American born Australian citizen who spends half of each year in Indonesia and a few months in Byron, who didn´t really warm to me at first, ended up telling me her life story including the hilarious story of how she sent her very disobedient son from Australia to a very expensive brat camp in the American wilderness for 2 months and he ended up getting accepted to university this week. She doesn´t have a maternal bone in her body and really didn´t know what to do with this boy. She also ended up getting married to her partner of 15 years in Pucón on Sunday, never thought she´d ever marry again but he insisted in the spur of the moment. Tan romantico!
I learned a lot in Pucón and loved it. Perhaps Felipe the Narrabundah tarot card reader was on to something when he said¨Zere iz a place in Sous America somewhere an yoo will ave such an affinity wiz zis place, yoo will definitlee go bak zere to do somezing special later in your laife.´