In the wake of sundown and a familiar situation again facing the possibility of a roadside sleep, fortune brings us a rusty bucket with wheels, with a a driver who is, in a hurry.
Gerrit already in the front. I chuck my bag in the back and just as my right foot is inside the rear section, Mr Quick guns the accelerator, gravel kicks up from the hard shoulder and I scramble for the door that is still wide open.
Grabbing hold of the door I try slamming it shut, but the doors response was to let go of the door handle, letting it fall off, bounce on the seat and fall out of the car and out towards the moving earth beneath us. “Is everything okay” our driver murmurs whilst gazing into the rear view mirror. Oh dear, what do I say, i mean I don’t want to tell him his car has even more parts missing, as-well as quite possibly ending our ride with him. “Yes, yes I’m fine thank-you. Giving his mirror eyes a reassuring smile I grab the seal a little firmer and with my other hand grab the base of the door and with more a little more force I successfully force it shut.
After a 20 minute quiet ride down Ruta 5, Mr quick tells us that there is a place called Pucon, which is a beautiful area to visit. But he was not going there but would drop us off at an intersection which would place us on the road that goes directly there. Either this was genuine advice or his way of getting us out of his car. Either way we decided on going to the ‘beautiful’ Pucon.
Getting out of his pickup, I carefully close the rear door behind me and hoist my rucksack from the back and as I look back into the pickup I notice he is looking quite curious at the back door. Not a moment to hang about.
Sometimes you can wait a few minutes, sometimes maybe a few hours and sometimes forever and some might say I was staring karma in the face for losing a car door handle. We walked about 5 kilometres and as the night set in we became invisible to passing cars and trucks. Finding a gated entrance to an adjacent field, we step over some barbed wire into a field of high dry grass.
As exhaustion of continuous travel wore us down, we decided against erecting a tent, as the only light we had was from the fireflies perching in the tall grass. So using the rucksack as a pillow, we both clamber inside our sleeping bags, beneath the stars, somewhere on route to pucon.
The sunrise was a welcome relief. The night’s air had been colder than expected, so I awoke with tired muscle’s from a night of constant fidgeting.
As soon as I pull my head out from the sleeping bag a different sort of shock spread over me. “Gerrit”, I whisper, who is still deep in his sleeping bag, “Gerrit, I think we should get up”.
Gerrit wriggles his head out from his capsule, in semi-consciousness ‘whaaayyytttt’
We both stand up and peel ourselves out of our bags and as we rise with more insight to our immediate surroundings, a fully conscious Gerrit and myself both acknowledge the group of cows in formation around us in a complete circle. I cant quite understand how we have been circled by cows without being trampled on! Did they think we were some genetically modified butterfly about to hatch from its cocoon, if so, they were obviously shocked when we both peeled ourselves out from the bag as every single cow turned and ran in the direction they had probably come from during the night.