Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Unexpected

If I've learned one thing on my trip to Chile so far, it's that the unexpected always happens, and you can either let it affect you in a good way or a bad way. I think I've found that if you embrace it, whatever it is, you can find the good in it and enjoy life for exciting and unexpected things that happen.

We arrived in Osorno this morning on a 10-hour, over-night bus ride from Santiago. Lost and freezing, we wandered the streets at 8 o'clock this morning. There were a few things we needed to accomplish and soon. First, we needed to find a place to stay. It needed to be cheap, and we had to be able to leave our stuff there for awhile. Second, we needed to figure out how to get to Antillanca, the volcano we would be using for snowboarding. And third, we needed to get some food in our stomachs. I had been throwing up for the past few days and eating little, so now that I was feeling better, I needed to get some nutrition to make up for what I lost and energy for the snowboarding to come.

Thankfully, we found a place to stay fairly quickly. The nice old babushka let us leave our stuff there and even use her personal room to change into snowboarding gear. We paid her 14,000 pesos for a double and promised to return that evening after snowboarding. Next, we searched for a bus to take us to Antillanca. The best we could find was a bus that would take us as far as Aguas Calientes, the hot springs near the volcano. From there, we were told we could catch another bus to the base of the volcano.

We rode for about an hour and half, drifting in and out of consciousness. I'd wake up one moment to see the bus packed full, people crowding the aisles, drifting off again, and waking up to mostly empty seats. We cut around mountains, peered down into valleys full of water, and across the lakes to see waterfalls crashing across the rocks in the distance, falling what seemed like hundreds and hundreds of feet. We finally arrived, exited the bus, and asked around about how to make it up to the base of the volcano. 

Everyone was confused by our question. Finally, someone explained that buses don't go to Antillanca. You have to have your own car or hitchhike with someone. We wandered the national park near Aguas Calientes, literally just a few miles from Argentina, thinking of what we could possibly do. With no cars passing through the area, however, we had to lay our hopes of snowboarding to rest for the day. What we found instead though, was a great meal at the restaurant near the hot springs, a beautiful hike through the forest, and a much-needed siesta back at the hostel when we returned.

We embraced the unexpected, looked to the positive, and now refuse to imagine it happening any other way. The unexpected in life is exciting and beautiful.



Grant said...

Great post...bummer you didn't get to snowboard though!

t.fraticelli said...

Nice post. Life is what we make it. In many cases, like you've experienced lately, we need to actually choose to enjoy ourselves. Way to control your perspective!