Los abagados

Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
Trip End Mar 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
with my friend Diego

Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My bus ride from Mendoza to Santiago was directly through the Andes mountains... it was breathtaking! and as usual someone took me under their wing... Raul, one of the operators of the bus invited me to partake in drinking Matte... in case I didnt explain this earlier everyone in Uruguay and Argentina drink matte.. and its a very communal thing to do.. you fill the cup up with herbs and then fill a cup full of hot water into it.. and then drink it out of a special straw. One person will drink the first cup, and then more water will be poured in for the second person, and so on and so fourth... its a way of forming a friendship when you invite someone to drink matte...

So after I pertook several rounds of matte with Raul and the bus driver he started pointing out places for me take photos, like my own personal guide... and he even helped me when I got lost from the group at the border (i had to go to the bathroom! and then i got lost hahaha). 

Needless to say I got to Santiago safe and sound.. but three hours later than what the bus office told me... I was worried that my friend Diego wouldnt be there for me, but he was! he waited the whole time :)

I met Diego in Mancora Peru last year and we went on a ton of adventures looking for surf breaks and places to skate board... so when I planned this trip I of course wanted to visit me. I didnt really expect more than just meeting up with him, but he let me stay with him in Santiago, and planned a surf trip for me!

My first night there he took me out to eat sushi and then we went out to check out the local party scene... everyone here is super into the 80s... it was fun, but I was tired and there wasnt enough dancing to keep me awake.. but I did sleep well that night.

The next day as we were waiting for Diegos friends to get out of work, we went to this park near his home where we took a tram to the top of a hill that overlooked the whole city.. I was sad I didnt have my camera, because it was so beautiful... at the top there was a huge statue of the virgen mary.. i kind of felt like it was chiles version of Brazils Cristo Redentor... except much smaller in comparison... at the tope there were rows of candles that people had lit, symbolic for their prayers or their gifts of thanks to the virgen... it was interesting seeing  massive amounts of wax leftover becaus it symbolizes the need for faith.

After our mini adventure, me and Diego got ready for our big adventure and packed the car with all our stuff.. even the rooftop was packed with boards and bags... and then somehow we packed three big guys and me into this suzuki... I was soon to find out that everyone in the car was a lawyer, which made me feel well protected. 

Reymundo was a defense lawyer who loved to read and write. He didnt surf, but just came to relax with us for a weekend before his big case on Monday... we also called him Hansito.

Aerial was a water lawyer and a big time surfer. Hes Jewish, and so we talked a lot about his ancestry, and how his grandfather had migrated here during WWII... we also called him Sergio.

Diego... well hes finishing up law school.. he did want to be an enviromental lawyer, but now that hes thinking about settling down, money starting to play a factor so hes still thinking about it... we also called him the old man.

and then me.. I think I was the most innocent undeceiving on the trip.. because in case you didnt know, lawyers lie a lot... haha.. oh, and my name on this trip was Rachel.

We camped at a place called Puertocillo... its a local surf spot filled with local surfers.  Its a super nice left, but the road down to it is super dangerous. Its called the Cuchillo because its super narrow and super steep and super bumpy... theres even a sign that says you must have 4 wheel drive to go down it, which guides you how to put your car in 4 wheel drive. I was pretty nervous because it was night time and we had a ton of weight, and Diego kept saying he hadnt gotten his car checked in awhile.. but thank God we made it... and it was well worth the drive..  the campground is set in the forrest, and the beach melts right into it... it was breathtaking... and the water.. well this country is called chile for a reason..

I looked pretty ridiculous heading out with my spring suit... but I got lucky because Sergio let me borrow his wetsuit hood.. the water must have been in the low to mid 50s... i didnt last more than an hour, hour and a half tops at a time... but it was worth it because it was a super nice wave, and i was in really good company. 

So we spent our days surfing, and our nights grilling meat and talking about, life, politics and religion.. you know the topics youre supposed to stay off of. 

On the way out theres another route we decided to take because Diego was nervous about going up the cuchillo with all the weight.. theres a private road owned by a man whos trying to build tourism in the area.. but hates all the surfers... its blocked off by security.. but being with lawyers who are able to lie through anything, they pretended their 4wd broke and convinced the guard to let us through! Im glad they did it.. not just because I didnt want to die.. but the road was so beautiful... and there were all these secret surf spots I got to see that you can only get to by this road or by boat.  I felt like I got the whole local experience.

Then when up in town we said our goodbyes to the other lawyers who were heading back to Santiago for work on Monday, and Diego drove me to Pichilemu to Los Lobos, to see where the big wave surf competition is held every year.. the wave was probably 9 ft, and that was small for los Lobos... I ended up staying in Pichilemu which was 10 mns from there with another heavy wave, but manageable. I ended up renting a wetsuit and a longer board and am really glad I did because it was super fun.. my first session was scary because there were overhead sets and I was unfamiliar with the rocks, but my second session was a lot more fun and smaller waves, about 3-6 ft, so I felt a ton more comfortable.

Tonight I hed to the airport. Im flying to ecuador at 330 in the morning to meet up with other lifeguards to volunteer and guard there for carnival. Im excited to see more familiar faces soon :)

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