Dom: this is going to be a bit sketchy as I cant remember the names of the places we went to. But C wrote them on the photos. Not having much time in Chile and both feeling a little jaded from all the constant organising of hostels and buses, we decided to do a tour. We boarded the Pachamama Bus touring south to the lake district and back up to Santiago every seven days, with the option of getting off at any point and getting back on the next bus a week later.
On the second day we had a free afternoon so I had a surf lesson. Never surfed before so i was looking forward to it. The enthusiasm slowly ebbed away while i stood around for nearly an hour at the surf shop while people were busy 'chilling' instead of teaching. They were all speaking in Spanish but i was assured my instructor would speak English. He didn't. In fact my broken, basic Spanish was better than his English. This meant he resorted to teaching me the finer points of surfing by drawing pictures in the sand.
Out in the water the current was making paddling out to the waves a real challenge. I caught one big wave and just body surfed, too afraid by the power of it to attempt jumping up on the board. I was euphoric, the wave just went on for ages. Brilliant. But then i had to paddle back to the horizon, against the current. After 30mins of paddling i was about ready to throw up on the board through the effort. My instructor seemed pleased and wanted to finish up the lesson an hour early because i was tired,and so he could go and sit with his stunning girlfriend on the beach.
I'd had enough, my body was shaking involuntarily from the effort but i told him we weren't finished. I wanted my moneys worth. For the rest of the lesson he had to keep on pushing my board from behind because I was too knackered to function properly.
It was good fun and i'll definitely do another lesson, in English. What i couldn't believe was how physically exhausting it was. I'm hoping thats not normal. My hat goes off to any surfers out there.
C - On the way down to Pucon we also stopped at a little village named Pomaire, designated to making and selling pottery, we could have kitted out an entire house with all the pots and pans and utensils and it was so cheap! Luckily I held back knowing that what I buy, I carry. I wasnt so strong in Peru and Bolivia. Pichilemu was where Dom surfed. I took the easy option and sat on the beach with some people from the bus where we all enjoyed sunburn and being covered in black sand.
We stopped at a nice town called Santa Cruz to visit a museum. A few people were too hungover to make it out of the bus and most of the rest of us made it a whistle stop tour which is a bit of a shame as it was huge and packed with goodies! The museum is owned and funded by a really rich guy in Chile, who is only allowed to live in Chile, once he steps foot outside he could be arrested or worse. He was on the American Most Wanted list once as he was a bit naughty and supplied weapons to both Iraq and Iran at the same time. Ooops. But still he was an entrepreneur and years of searching for choice pieces have given the Colchagua Museum a reputation for being the best museum in the country filled with fossils, pre-columbian art, mummies, pieces from the Spanish Conquest and Colonial era in Chile and various examples of religious art. Other pieces worth a mention are the the vintage automobiles, items of agricultural machinery, a unique section dedicated to representing the historical development of the winemaking industry in Chile and a locomotive train and engine. Of course also a very large selection of weapons. And some random dinosaur bits.