10am Sunday morning and I’m sitting at The Mandala cafe in Futeleufu, partaking in a cappuccino before climbing on a bus and heading back down the valley to the Carretera Austral, then south to La Junta. I spent four nights camping here, next to the river, listening to it roar all night. Sometimes I would wake up thinking it was a gale blowing in the trees, then remember where I was. My air mattress sprung a leak and I slept on ground, waking often to toss or turn. This is not the village to find anything related to camping so no pad but I’m getting used to it. I’ll have to find a new pad and tent in Coyhaique, about three or for days down the road. Mother Nature is not kind to the unprepared around here, there are Antarctic influenced weather patterns that rear up in minutes. I spent my first day in Futeleufu walking into a river of wind flowing in through the pass from Argentina, an east wind that I had to lean into to move forward. I was looking for the Chico river but turned around, willing to wait for a better day. This while surrounded by high, jagged peaked, snow capped mountains with waterfalls spouting out of glaciers as if from giant whales. The weather did turn and I had three days of 85 degrees and hiked to the Argentine border and found the Chico river and much more and spent a lot of time sitting in or by the Espolon river just contemplating what the heck this odd life is about. Sometimes if I stop to think about it I feel like I’m living out a pre-prepared script. Weird eh?
So now I’m headed out, another goodbye, kinda sadditude because I don’t know if I’ll ever see this amazing place again.