Chile was a country of many firsts.
It was the first place I felt an earthquake (over 8 magnitude). Climbed and looked into the crater of a Volcano. It was the first time I have seen the nearest galaxy to ours, cooked pancakes on a mountain top. Slack lined. Had a drip feed in my arm after days walking. Attacked for money and lost nothing and felt the few raindrops that drops on the driest desert in the world. But another first was the introduction to serendipity, to the art of ambivalence: choosing to not know where I was going.
HITCHHIKING THE ROADS AROUND CHILE
I wanted to leave Santiago. I Wanted to visit Valpariaso. I started asking around the hostel about buses to Valpo, But before I had the chance to make a decision I met Gerrit.
This humble man from Germany would be my inspiration, my role model, my teacher to a new world of which I would begin to love. Gerrit enthusiastically influenced my decision to hitchhike with him to Valpariso. “Hitchhike…are you mad”. I didn’t say that, I said “sure”. But to the core of my soul, butterflies were hatching from their cocoons, and vomiting in unison, I had that ‘uneasy’ feeling.
A bus was almost like home on the road. A safe place to kick back a few hours, relax and know you will eventually end up somewhere you chose and I say eventually as you might be aware how precarious some buses are in this part of the world.
My safety net had been hoisted , but as Gerrit explained, at least this was going to be an adventure and I suddenly thought, I’d been traveling from city to city, mountain to mountain, hostel to hostel but not once had it felt adventurous. Hitchhiking would become my traveling addiction.