We´ve been spending our days here sleeping late, eating fantasic breakfasts, meeting great new people, hanging out at the Waffleria and going for lazy walks along the beach. If only we could stay here longer! When we arrived in Santiago we managed to run & just make a bus leaving straight away to Pichilemu. No waiting in the station for 3hrs for the next bus - great news! So we arrived into ´Pichi´ around 10am and were the only ones at our lodge. We were greated by Gonzalo (the owner´s brother) & Manu (the dog) and were able to get into our room straight away.
After a 4K walk into town and a breif walk around we figured out that our bank cards didn´t work in the cash machines at the local bank we decided to head to the supermercado where we could use our credit card to buy some food. The banks here close around 2pm so we had to wait until the next day to exchange US$ to pesos. Note for next time we head to a small town - bring cash.
We had a nice lunch of olives, salami, local, cheese & wine and then went out to explore the beach. This was the first time Dan had seen the Pacific ocean. Too bad it was 12C and far too cold to get in! Back at the lodge we ran into a couple who had been on our overnight bus from Mendoza to Santiago - honeymooners Cally & Alan from Dublin. They didn´t know about the earlier bus that we took and ended up hanging around the station for 3hrs. Not too bad though since they were staying at the lodge for 4 nights. Here we were thinking we had found a ´hidden gem´and we are running into people who were on the same bus as us.
Since it was just the four of us at the lodge we decided to stay in for the dinner they offered at the lodge. Fantastic pasta with homemade bread to start and carrot cake to finish accompanied by some fantastic wine was the perfect end to our first day in paradise!
After some lazying around in hammocks we headed back to get the bbq started. Gonzalo had been putting wood into the stove which was in the pool for us. This is an alternate way of making a hot tub. We had some beer, some wine, some meat & salads, some more wine. Six more guests arrived at the hostel - two of which were actually at our hostel in Mendoza - this place is much more popular than we had anticipated! We got into the ´hot tub´ for a dip. Hot it was not. The pool is possibly a little too big for the stove. We were all huddling around the stove, but Cally & I did not last long! The weather in Pichi is hot in the day, a bit cooler on the beach with the cool ocean breeze, and a bit cold at night. Good thing for the big comfy beds & cozy duvets!
We had a long last day (sniff sniff) with a late bus back to Santiago where we were catching another bus further south to the edge of Patagonia. We went to the beach, hung out on the hammocks at the Waffleria again, walked to Punta de Lobos so that we could head out to the point to see the famous surfing waves up close and say goodbye to the Pacific coast for now.
The waves were big, there were tons of surfers climbing down the rocks on the edge of the point to get close to the break point, and there was a strong smell of dead sea creatures. The view was fantastic, but the smell was permeating our nostrils. We enjoyed the sun, took some photos and headed back to get our things to start our 3+11hr bus journey. We´ve decided that the overnight buses are a great way to travel. If you can get some sleep you arrive early into your next destination with a full day ahead of you.
Sad to say goodbye to your new friends & probably one of the best places we will stay at on this trip! Now onto even cooler climates, 1000 km to the south - Pucon - outdoor adventurer paradise!