Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thursday, February 20

Today we rolled out of bed around 10 and went to eat breakfast at this bread store and breakfast restaurant in town. Then we drove a little further to the center of Villarica, where we found a huge feria artesenal and a Mapuche cultural center.
While Nancy entertained herself shopping in the feria (the rest of us really couldn’t handle any more ferias at that point), we went to tour the Mapuche hut. Inside was a translation of some of their language and a bunch of their weapons and tools on display. There were people dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry (all silver) and booths set up all around the giant hut selling Mapuche artwork and remedies.
There was also a lot of woodwork, including giant statues of Mapuches. We even found the famous flores de madera, which are flowers made out of wood and painted to look real, which they really do. I thought it was just a normal patch of flowers until Eric told me to touch one. After we finished in the cultural center, we met up with Nancy in the feria, and Nancy, Monse, and I all had braids put in our hair decorated with little shells.
Then we piled back into the car and rove about 30 minutes to Pucon. I remembered that right at the beginning of my exchange my friend Pelao had sent me a gorgeous picture of a volcano while he was on vacation in Pucon.
When we got there, the first thing I did was take that same awesome picture that he had sent me. It was cool to think that the volcano had gone from something I could only dream of seeing in pictures to something tangible and right before my eyes. I felt really lucky to have such an awesome family to take my sightseeing all through the south.
Pucon was a really pretty and really touristy town. We stopped in an artisan chocolate shop to have snacks while we walked along main street toward the marina (there are lakes in basically every town in the south). After a nice long walk, we returned to the car and drove back to Villarica. On the way, we stopped at a garden so Nancy could buy 3 giant hortencia plants because apparently they don’t sell them in the north on Chile. We all yelled that we absolutely could not buy any more after that because the car was so full that the tires would deflate with any extra added weight. We then drove back to Villarica and had a late lunch in the same restaurant we had eaten in the night before (I actually had the exact same food too). Then we said goodbye to our vacation and drove the 6 hours back to Talca to our grandparents’ house. During the ride, I read a lot of my book Elegi Vivir, and then Maxi and I watched movies on his computer. We got to Talca at like 12:30 at night, greeted the tatas and had a quick once, and then I crashed into bed.

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