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.
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.