I was hearing from friends and relatives about this THING spreading in Europe. Here in Chile it was still quite calm – people are more worried about recent protests than some virus. Patagonia being one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world felt safe place to be. Very limited access with the only Chilean land access being Route 7 or better known as South road, Carretera Austral. Argentinian authorities closed borders with neighboring countries, including Chile very quickly.
When I arrived to the place I booked earlier the news were already in but opposite to European madness things were still very calm here. No shortage of toilet paper.
Warm welcome by the owners. The place is very nice. And then they show me around a massive kitchen that I can use. Ran to a little supermarket nearby and got going with some cooking. Nothing special, just warm food with about a billion calories! That’s what I need!
In the only other non empty room at the place was staying an English/American cycling couple. I met them at the breakfast. They were a little stressed as they both had cold – not what you want when you are foreign tourist and local media is shouting that there is deadly disease coming from abroad… They took the first available bus to Coyhaique and then flew from Balmaceda airport.
Today I was very late to pick up my clothes and backpack and everything else washable from a laundry in Panguipulli. Great service, but price close to England! It’s ok – according to people at the reception of my holiday home where I was staying, it was maybe the only place in town. After that had a long phone call with the family while was waiting for someone to serve me at the Restaurant y pizzeria Florencia.
When I was finishing that nice steak a family of four walked past. The father said something in spanish to his teenage son pointing at my fully loaded bike. They all had a chat and decided to stay at the same restaurant. The man kept looking at my bike and then again saying something to his son. After a while he turned to me and said something in Spanish. I replied with my usual “poco español”. He thought for a few moments and then pointing to my Gensis Longitude said in in English – it’s my dream! I did’t know what should I say back and just answered what I thought was a very honest answer – Just do it! (Nike should pay me something for that, come on!) The man made this very sad face as we all do when we are kids when we are not allowed something and pointed his finger at his wife. We all started laughing, including his wife 🙂 The kids could speak quite a good English so them being translators we had a good chat about bike touring and where I’m planning to go next.
Some people like the time around Christmas because of being with their family, receiving or giving presents, not having to go to work, eating and drinking too much. Normal stuff.
I’m alone on my own in Southern Spain and it is 2020, so these normal things are a bit out of reach.
But this one day I almost jumped into the air! I walk into my local Aldi and they have brussels sprouts! They must have Christmas thing here too. Or maybe there are so many British expats that it makes it profitable to sell them for a week or so 🙂 It was more than a year… Got as much as I thought I could fit in my backpack. Girl at the checkout gave me a strange look. But I really really like brussels sprouts! Weirdo.