Temuco

Temuco would be our week-end of normality, a break from the travelling and touring of the past months. Located 12 hours South from Santiago, at the start of Chilean Patagonia, it is definitely not on the tourist map! But we went there to see our new-found friend Marisel, who we met in the Jeep ride from Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama in the North of Chile. She was vacationing with her bestie, Cote. We spent hours chatting in the Jeep, and hours again at the pub the next day, and we almost got to see Cote in Santiago. Marisel very kindly invited us to her hometown for the week-end, at her sister’s place. Temuco is also very close to Pucon which was our next destination.

We arrived on Friday morning, while Marisel was still at work. We decided to walk it from the bus station as we had time to spare. It was cold and grey (which is normal weather for a Patagonian summer!), but we managed to avoid the rain. We walked along the river towards the city center, past the National Park that gives access to the hills and forests of ancient Arcere trees surrounding Temuco. But it was closed due to recent forest fires.

In the city center we had breakfast at a cafe, past a Mapuche demonstration on the square (the local indigineous population), did a little window shopping, and then went to the mall to catch a movie! Finally we would get to see one, any one, after 4 months without setting foot in a cinema. There is just too little time for the ‘normal’ things in life when travelling!

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We saw ‘The Cure to Wellness’ a beautifully filmed thriller/suspense movie with all the codes: mysterious girl singing eary songs, snakes and baby foetuses in glass jars, haunted castle on the hill, the crazy dentist, etc!

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At Marisel’s place that evening we caught up with eachother’s news till late and ‘Netflix and chilled’, happy for the cosy home and comfy bed!

The next day we only set out in the afternoon, to check out the train museum, probably the only tourist attraction in Temuco!

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We then shopped for food and Renaud took advantage of the oven to cook us his speciality: gratin dauphinois (with cheese!!), roasted pork and white wine. Marisel’s friend Sarah came over for a drink and we all went out together to their favourite pub (or bar or club or karaoki, or all of the above!), called ‘Viking’s’. We lost count of how many 1.5L ‘chops’ of Kunstmann we emptied while laughing about Chilean prononciation and their unique tendency to permently reinvent their language, coming up with new, funny expressions every week, that somehow magically spread throughout the country and that no other Spanish-speaking people in the world understand! We also talked about our lives, relationships, travels, Europe, hobbies, music,… there was always something more to talk about! By the end of the night we were joining in with the karaoke in Spanish, in support for the people attempting to sing on stage!

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Needless to say, we weren’t up early the following morning! It was mainly spent breakfasting, packing and saying our goodbyes at the bus station. Hopefully we will see Marisel and Cote again, when they come over to Europe next year!

Gracias Marisel, y a tu hermana, para todo, fue un super fin de semana, inolvidable! Nos vemos pronto en Europa! Estan bienvenidas a casa, cuando quieren, en Grenoble!

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