Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pan de Azucar National Park, Chile, December 13, 2017

We had a short drive from our beach campsite to the Pan de Azucar National Park.  I didn't have a very good sleep because the waves kept crashing in and it seemed like I was trying to sleep on a busy freeway.  Some people find the waves relaxing but not me!

The rock formations along the way are interesting-

Pan de Azucar National Park was quite a let down.  When I think of a National Park, I think of evergreens, lush grass and free firewood.  Well, this place is a dump!  There are 3 areas where we could have camped - 2 with no restaurants so we chose the third one.  Even though it's the middle of summer and close to Christmas, it seems to be off season because no tourists are around and it ended up that 2 of the 3 restaurants were closed.  We eventually found a woman who made us loco empanadas - that's local for marisico and they were delicious.  There was no beer to be had, so Richard and Norm hired a local to take them 30 km to the supermarket for supplies.  A few of us spent most of the afternoon having a party in the truck.  Others did short hikes.

On this island there are a lot of penguins, sea lions and otters but I didn't bother to go.  I've seen all of that-

Later, I went walking around the village and came upon the empanada woman having supper in her home with her partner.  She looked about 50 and he 30.  Whatever works.  Another family showed up for empanadas and then a Dad and daughter from Santiago came to eat too. She must be a good cook!  Again, I practiced my Spanish and did all right.  I went back to my tent for a sleep and woke up in the dark.  I went to see about supper and they had already eaten but had kindly saved me a plate of delicious stew.

I had a cool shower and went to bed.

We're supposed to stay here 2 nights but we're leaving in the morning.   Hopefullly we find a nicer place to camp as we head south to Santiago.

Our driver, Jono Fisher, is 42 and from Yorkshire, England.  He's been driving 4 years in South America and been a truck driver for 25 years.  He worked in Africa with Dragoman, 5 years in New Zealand, 2 in Australia and many years in Europe.  Not only is he an overland truck driver, he's also a coach driver.  He's single and a working traveller.  It's a lifestyle he's chosen and loves!  As a driver, he's very cautious and makes sure we're travelling safely.  Thanks Jono!

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