Yesterday we picked up our home for the next 5 weeks – a Wicked campervan which has ‘Fuerza’ written on one door, and ‘Pasion’ on the other …. Power and Passion. So of course our trip’s theme song is Midnight Oil’s ‘Power and the Passion’. Hope the link works, it’s not available in Chile. If you can’t play it, please let us know in the comments and I’ll find another version.
The van is all good – the company provided some basics in terms of kitchenware, gas stove, an esky seats and a table. We brought cooking utensils, a better icebox, bedding, lighting and a few other things we regard as ‘essential’, including a large piece of shadecloth that we use as flooring instead of sitting on bare ground. Lots of storage under the bed, a little kitchen area at the back, and we’re working out where to put things and how to get set up and packed up in less than 90 minutes. It’s always the same – takes us ages to get it all worked out at the beginning of a trip, but within a few days we get really good at unpacking and packing up … and where things should go.
Last night we camped in the Rio de Los Cipreses Nature Reserve south of Santiago. Chileans are keen campers and there were lots of people at the camp, including a couple of kids who befriended us when they were looking for el zorro (the fox) which was roaming around the camp. The kids came back a couple of times to chat, even though our Spanish is still almost non-existent. The little boy told us that it’s his cumpleano birthday in 3 days, but I wasn’t able to find out how old he is. Around 7 or 8, I think. Seems like it’s still school holidays here until the beginning of next month, so we’re going to head south , then take our time and look at things on the way back. Also, as Greg just pointed out, the weather in Patagonia is probably going to be better now rather than later.
My impression of Chilean people is that they are polite, friendly and law-abiding. When we collected the van, the woman told us that we shouldn’t have any problems with corrupt officials or police in Chile …. but it could be different in Argentina. Okay, we’ve been warned.