Beth's Grossly Negligent Gap Year travel blog


La Junta. South Chileans love Pinochet, he expanded the Carretera Austral, the...




The short ferry crossing to get to PRMB


My hostel. I loved it.


Sala y comedor


A bedroom

Upstairs hallway










House where we bought bread




Ferry on my way back










The drive to PRMB was scenic as it was lush and green with a huge river along the way but at times it was very narrow and curvy and I prayed a huge truck didn't come barreling from the other direction as it had warned in my book. If you need to see a man about a horse on these roads you just stop and drop trou. There are rarely other cars and rarely any houses. I reached the ramps and saw the ferry, which only takes six cars, on the other side. It was 5:33. The sign at the beginning of the road said it went until 6:30 but the sign here said 5:30. Uh oh. I sat and waited and about 5 minutes later another car drove up behind me. I asked him and he said it was until 6:30 and it would come in a few minutes which it did. I boarded with my car and on the other side had to back out and up the road quite a ways until I could turn around. I found my hostel just down the road about 2 or 3 km. I found this hostel on and knew it would be a large house with many bedrooms many shared bathrooms, a kitchen, sitting room and large dining area. The man was outside and showed me around including the large wood stove (not an actual stove or oven) that served as the heater for the entire house. The pipe runs up through the second floor and produces heat from there too. I was the only guest and no one else arrived later. There are 7 rooms upstairs and 3 down and a total of five bathrooms. All rooms have two beds and they are very spacious and the place very clean. I took a bedroom upstairs near the pipe. The man showed me how to open and close the wood fireplace and showed me where the wood was outside. I didn't see any small pieces like kindling but decided I'd figure this out later. When I asked some questions about the fireplace stove he asked if I didn't have one of these where I lived. Nope can't say that I do. But I was a Girl Scout :) and I've certainly been camping enough in my life time. I cooked my delicious spaghetti sauce and although I had a small fire on the stove (it was actually a pretty big fire in my pan that then produced a huge amount of smoke) :( when I let my oil get too hot while a chopped up my onion and tomato with the dull knife I was able to put it out quickly and note there is no fire alarm in the hostel. For a house made entirely of wood with a gas stove and a wood fireplace that is no Bueno. Anyways, I ate dinner and the man came a little later to add some wood to the fire and I settled on the couch listening to my book on tape. I apparently fell asleep and awoke after feeling someone touch my feet. It was about 10 pm and the man (who lives with his wife next door) was there to put a last log into the fire and tell me to lock up. He started laughing when I awoke with a start and I laughed too because my book on tape was still playing out loud but I was apparently in a death sleep. He told me that all electricity goes off at 1:00 am until 7:00 am (not sure why but it's for the whole town) and I said ok. I went to bed upstairs. I awoke at about 3 am and it was so completely dark I couldn't even see my own hand in front of my face. No lights outside. Nada. Plus it was raining like hell outside so cloud cover means no moon. I used my phone flashlight to get to the bathroom. It was still completely dark at 4:30 am when some off kilter rooster started cock a doodle dooing prematurely. If I had my BB gun...... Ah la naturaleza. I went back to sleep and in the morning tried to make a fire but given there was no kindling, couldn't so I took my coffee back to bed and figured the man would be over at some point later and I'd ask for some kindling. The woman came around 10 am and it turns out they don't use kindling they have plastic one liter bottle of oil that they squirt onto the wood, light the match and voila, a fire. Looked like my kitchen fire the night before. ;)

I drove down to the big rampa where the beach is and decided that this would indeed be a paradise in the dead of summer. Long stretches of beach on the fjord, calm water perfect for canoeing and kayaking, good fishing. Today, I was the only person present. I walked along the sendero and the beach and then drove by the supermercado which is about the size of a single car garage. It was 12:30 and closed. A man was walking by so I asked him if he knew what time the store opened. 4 pm. Hahahahaha ok!!!j

Around 3 in the afternoon on Friday, three young women arrived in a vehicle. La duena y dueno (the owners of the hostel) met them and they all seemed very friendly. Turns out that Lolo is their daughter and she and her two friends Mena and Mele drove up from Coyhaique. Mena is from Switzerland but is working here now and Mele originally is from Santiago and they work in Coyhaique now. Lolo was staying with her parents but M and M were staying at the hostel. We all introduced ourselves and set in by the wood stove and started talking and drank some wine. At about 4:30 we all set off to the supermercado in the absolute pouring rain. I resisted at first and then I thought YOLO but I did take my umbrella because it was pouring. There wasn't much in the supermercado. I was really glad I had enough food with me. I had earlier thawed the chicken in warm water in the sink so I knew I was good to go with that. M asked the owner where we could find some pan or empanadas he he described a house up the road so we left or purchases at the tienda to pick up on the way back and walked a good kilometer up the road and found a little White House and knocked on the door. The woman, who of course none of us knew, greeted us with abrazos y besos (hugs and kisses) and sat us around her wood stove and we all talked. Sure enough she made rolls and we purchased ten of them. M was hungry so she ate one right there and the woman gave her some butter. She talked really fast so I could only keep up with about 75% of the conversation but it was very pleasant. M wanted to find some fish and the woman told us the house to go to. So we set off back down the street and knocked on the door of the green house. A woman answered the door and we asked if they had some fish to sell but she she no. We thanked her and started laughing as we walked. Did that mean she never sold fish? She was out of fish at the moment? We didn't know but we laughed at how we were just knocking on doors. We got our stuff from the tienda and headed back to the hostel. In the pouring rain of course. I was making a roasted chicken, onions and potatoes again for dinner and they were making lentils with mushrooms and other veges so we decided to all share and cooked together in the kitchen. The gas oven has no temperature setting so I wasn't sure about how the chicken was cooking and I checked it occasionally and adjusted the gas. Eventually I determined it was done and we set out everything on the dining room table with our wine and they served a bowl of the lentil stew and I served the chicken and veges. Unbelievable that the chicken came out perfectly cooked and juicy and the lentil stew was delicious. The man came to put more wood in our stove and he stayed and talked to us for awhile. I had already told the girls the story about how he woke me from my death sleep on the couch the night before by touching my feet and he told them again although when he told the story he said that he had said my name several times trying to wake me up. Mary...Mary...Mary. (I tell people my legal name Mary because it's the name on my passport when I check in - plus, Beth is a difficult word for Spanish speakers because they don't have the sound "th"). Anyways, when the man left, I can't remember his name, both M and M started laughing and snickering at me. I asked them what's so funny? And they both said que el esta enamorada conmigo. Hahaha (Look it up.) And they started teasing me, pretending like they were touching my feet. We laughed all night about it. Of course, he's married, so we won't be laughing about it in front of Lolo or her mother!! It never stopped raining all night. Pouring rain. I left in the morning. On to


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