Short Stories
Entry No. 53 April 27, 2005

Chilean Hospitality
Just North of Temuco, Chile

Closing in on our destination of Temuco proved to be fairly easy. We had a slow start on our journey south from Santiago for bike parts and lost wallet searches for Susie. Nevertheless, we were making fair progress and decided to push for Temuco from Chillan. As we approached the turnoff for Temuco, we decided to stop at a, who would have thought, Copec Gas station. It is kind of ironic how much we have been depending on the very entity that I am campaigning against. I am trying to justify it by giving out my pamphlets, you know, creating general environmental awareness at gas stations. At the same time, I am shamelessly stocking up on chocolate, other goodies, camping behind the station, and using their bathrooms and hot water. It is humbling but I still don't like gas stations and would prefer to support the local tiendas but I don't always. There I said it. I know I am going to hear about this when I get back. Remember that I was distributing pamphlets!

Anyway, we met a man at the Copec who was just doing some bike touring around the area. He invited us to his house for some dinner before we headed to Temuco. He wound up giving us all a bed to sleep in, a shower, dinner, dessert, breakfast the next morning, a tour around town, and then lunch as well. Remember there were four of us. Four dirty, smelly bikers were invited in to Andres Ovalle Walker's house without even a thought. He and his wife were so amazing and funny. By the looks of his home, Orian bet that he was an educated, liberal-minded professor. Sheldon thought not because there was not enough African art. As we were invited into the dining area, we noticed a 3 piece drawing of naked black villagers carrying babies or something. We looked at each other and laughed. As it turns out, Andres is a retired forestry engineer and his wife is studying Psychology. It was such a nice visit and we got everything done we needed to do. Now, on to Puerto Montt where our highway ends and some crazy caminos(1) begin.


(1) A camino is a trail or small road

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