Beth's Grossly Negligent Gap Year travel blog

Cheechy Vasquez



























View from inside the bunker










My cabana

I made that fire!









Garage sale








I arrived in Bahia Murta at about noon in desperate need of coffee. But there was literally no place like a cafe there. I found my cabana for the next two nights and the owner Patricio came out and remarked that I was very early. Although I was dying to get in and boil some water for coffee I knew I was 2 or 3 hours early so I didn't push it. He offered to call his buddy in Puerto Sanchez who could take me in his little boat to the isla de mármol which is a marble island with coves carved out by nature. I had planned to go see these the following day down the road in Puerto Rio Tranquilo which is famous for this and attracts a lot of tourists for this. You take a boat out to see them. I had heard those from Sanchez were better but the road there was bad. Patricio said the road was no problem and he called his guy Cheechy. Cheechy was about to take out two women but Patricio convinced him to wait 30 minutes or so for me. I drove rather fast up and over the hill and the road was indeed muy peligrosa at times. But incredible views which I decided I'd admire on the return trip. Cheechy was waiting for me on the road and I gave him a ride down to the boat. Turns out he was making a special trip for one of the women whose grandfather used to own two of the islands we would see. We saw a half sunken and a completely sunken boat on the way. We then went all in and around the marble caves. After, we pulled up to an island where you could see a concrete rectangle with a window sticking out of the marble island. I was told that this little island is owned by a Swiss man who made a bunker in the marble in case of the apocalypse. Apparently he has one on every continent. Cheechy is his caretaker and has keys to it so we got a special tour of it and the island. The Swiss guy is obviously muy loco. Must have cost him a fortune to blast the hole with the window escape route as well as fully functioning and self contained electricity. On the way down Cheechy got the boat and met us at the little dock on the other side of the island where the Swiss guy has a private beach and cabana.

Although it was only 8,000 clp (about $12) I gave him 15,000 because he went so far above and beyond for almost three hours with us. He looked at me questioning why and I told him to please accept it as a tip for a great tour. He smiled and thanked me and we said goodbye.

When I returned to the cabaña i got settled in and made dinner. The cabin is pretty rough inside. Seriously, I could probably build it better myself. Again, no smoke detector which I suppose would be difficult anyways with a wood burning stove like these. The bathroom was pretty much a disaster but functional. I know several friends who would've turned around and slept in the car. Lol. I got my dirty clothes together and went over to the house where Patricio told me a woman washes clothes. Sure enough there was a lavandería sign and this is when I met Orfilia a very chatty woman about the same age as me. She invited me in and we talked about all sorts of stuff and her two rooms and a cabana available to rent. We discussed how she was advertising. She was very interested in Airbnb (as it turns out few Chileans down here have even heard of Airbnb) so we agreed to discuss it the next morning and she would ride with me to Puerto Rio Tranquilo.

The second morning, after visiting Tranquilo, In the morning Orfelia came to my cabin and we got my friend Maureen on the phone because she rents out a room in her house through Airbnb and speaks Spanish so she gave Orfelia some good advice about advertising her rooms on Airbnb. I then helped her set it up.

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