Welp, I’ve definitely learned the Chilean way of life, that’s for sure.
As I’ve mentioned before, Chileans are on their own time schedule. Who cares if you’re 20 minutes late? Just blame it on the metro/micro. But it also includes flexibility, and that’s one value that I learn constantly here.
A couple weekends ago I went surfing with Brenna in Viña del Mar. Well, close to it… We had thought about going surfing at the beginning of April, but it just didn’t work out. However, we had already contacted the guy at the surfing company. Good thing he was flexible and was totally okay with us coming a different day. The week came and we booked a hostel and worked ourselves up for the most epic thing that would happen to us in Chile (being second to Patagonia of course) and then we got the dreadful email THE DAY BEFORE that there was a minimum of 4 people to go out and the surf guy only had the two of us signed up for the class… But everything else was set! The hostel, our bus tickets… We decided to go anyways and try to talk our way into doing it.
So we arrive in Viña, finally find our hostel thanks to a taxi colectivo (in which the driver was a lady! que extraño! You don’t see many of those around here) and wake up Saturday morning with the surf company address in hand. We prepared ourselves to play the dumb gringa card so maybe just maybe we could still surf. (Disclaimer: We also noted that the hostel we stayed at had a surfing opportunity offered through them, but quickly realized it wouldn’t be a logical backup plan because they would have to call the prof and prepare…)
While we ate breakfast, the lady working at the hostel said that we were very lucky! Usually it’s cloudy and cold in the mornings, and it was the exact opposite on this lovely day! So we walk to the address of the surfing company, which was only about 5-10 minutes from the hostel. Turns out, they’re not there anymore. They’ve moved and decided not to inform the rest of the world via internet that they have changed locations. Lucky for us, I had the number of the surf guy so I called him and pretended I hadn’t gotten the email (playing dumb gringa right here). He insisted that surfing still wouldn’t happen that day…but was kind enough to inform us of another surf company we could go with…which was 30 minutes down the road.
After a short bus ride and walking up the cerro a bit, we finally find the surf company and about 4 others lined up on the beach! SO CUTE. By this time it was 11:00, and we figured that we had already missed the morning classes offered. Sad! The people surfing looked so cool. I wanted to be one of them stat!
Our little friend Marcelo made that happen. He was the owner of the small little surf shack we walked up to. Good news: classes started any time we wanted, it could only be the two of us, and it was the same price of the original surf company. Sign us up!! In no time, we were in the water, attempting to stand up on the board and surf those waves like it was nobody’s business. We spent HOURS out there, and the best part was, Marcelo didn’t care! Everything was so chill and so perfect. If we hadn’t been optimistic and spontaneous about going 30 minutes down the road to Playa La Boca in Concón, we wouldn’t have gotten to hang ten. But I’m so glad we did. It was AWESOME. AND I can now say that the first time I’ve ever gone surfing was in the Pacific in Chile.
And about our trip to Mendoza: if the weather cancels it again, I might scream. Two weekends ago we had planned on going to the wine country of Argentina, only to learn that there was a storm heading that way and the pass between Chile and Argentina would be closed. We were informed that buses would be cancelled that weekend, so we decided to delay our trip a week and explore around Santiago a bit, including Barrios (neighborhoods) Brasil, Yungay & Concha y Toro. Brenna and I also tried our hand at baking pan palafito, Chilote bread! It may not have looked the same as it did at the hostel breakfast in Chiloe, but it was still scrumptious! (Ps thanks Ally for listening to our SOS and helping us fix our dough. Much love!)
So here comes the next weekend. Boiling over with excitement to actually go to Mendoza this time (okay maybe not excited to that extent, but you catch my drift). Annnnnd alas, the bus company calls us again. This time in the middle of our first shadowing day of clinical observation (eeeeee!). The buses are cancelled. For that night and probably cancelled for the next day as well…because of another storm. Grrrrr. Just in case the storm would blow over, we made a plan for the little time we’d be there. I am sad to report that we never got to carry out this plan. BUT this weekend, things could change. We are planning on going…again. Third times a charm, right?
Despite the adversities, I enjoyed my weekends in Santiago. I even got to adventure to Pomaire, a little town outside of Santiago and walk through the marketplace and make pottery!! Cute little piggies. Who doesn’t love those?!
Without the troubles, I wouldn’t have been able to know Santiago better. I would have loved to gone to Mendoza this past weekend (especially because Parker was there and it totally would have been cool to meet up with him!!!) but everything happens for a reason, right? I have come to learn this firsthand. If I had gone to Mendoza, I wouldn’t have attended church and had one of the best worship services of my life (it was ROCKIN, for the record). I wouldn’t have sat under the trees in the park and soaked up the sun. I wouldn’t have aimlessly explored the city and discovered parts of town I didn’t know existed.
I guess you could say that all these cancellations were blessings in disguise. Bendiciones disfrazadas.