Today we had to wake up at 7 and quickly pack and get ready
to leave. We ate a quick breakfast, said a huge thank you and a sad goodbye to
our Argentinean family, and hit the road for Chile.
We stopped first in the
last town before entering the Cordillera los Andes, where Maxi and Vicente
decided they couldn’t leave Argentina without eating a pancho, which is like a
super long hot dog. Eventually, everyone but me ended up getting panchos.
bought some gum of a weird Argentinean brand instead. After they all finished
their panchos, we got back into our two cars and kept winding up the mountains.
Everyone went to sleep, but I stayed awake the whole time because the scenery
was just so gorgeous.
There was bright red rock, green grass, a river flowing
through the canyon, and gorgeous expanses in all directions. I even asked Eric
to stop the car one time so I could get out and take pictures. Crossing into
Chile, we first passed through this long tunnel, where there is a sign that
marks the actual border, and then we arrived at the customs station where they
check your car and your paperwork.
While waiting in the line, us kids got out
of the car and went to play by the river. It happened to be the exact same
place where Maxi and I had gone sledding on the car mats when we were up there
in September. It feels like it’s been so long since then, but also like no time
has passed at all.
Anyway, the customs process went easily and quickly, and then
we started winding down the mountains into Chile. We were stopped again because
they were doing roadwork in the Cordillera, and only one direction could go at
While we waited in the car, we saw a random wild burro walking down the
mountain. Maxi, Vicente, and I decided to go approach it. At first it was shy
around us, but we charmed it into trusting us, and it ended up coming up to me
and sucking on my fingers. I even gave it a kiss on the nose before we had to
go back to the car.
We kept on driving down the cordillera and out to Santiago
and I eventually fell asleep for a while. I woke up as we were arriving in
Santiago. We had planned on going to Tia Irma’s house to visit Nancy’s Tia
Alicia, who had grave lung cancer and will probably die within the month, but
Tia Alicia wasn’t there because she was in the hospital. Nancy and Eric decided
to stay in Santiago to visit her, but sent the rest of us home with Tio Mario.
We drove the rest of the way to Rancagua very tightly packed into one car, and
they dropped me off at my house. It was weird saying goodbye and realizing that
we weren’t in the same family anymore, but I was still thankful to be home and
able to be calm and chill for a while. I went inside and talked with Manuel for
a while about the trip. I showed him pictures and gave him the present I had
for my family—A turron, which is a bar of this honey-peanut substance that’s
super famous in Argentina. Then, I went to my room and relaxed and unpacked for
a while. As I was sitting on my computer, Sally walked into my room wearing my
socks, tights, shoes, and school skirt. She told me that she hadn’t been able
to go home last night (because her family was with me in Argentina), so she had
slept here and then borrowed my clothes to go to school. We hung out for a
while, although I didn’t talk too much about Argentina because I didn’t want
her to be sad that she couldn’t go, and then we ate once downstairs with the
family. By 9, I was getting tired, so I told Sally to occupy herself in my room
while I went to take a shower. When I got out, I found her skyping with our
friend Aiden, an exchange student from Santiago. We all talked for about an
hour. Around 10:30, Nancy and Eric came to pick Sally up, saying that Tia
Alicia was not doing well and that they were glad they had taken the
opportunity to go visit her one last time. They left, and then I dried my hair
and went to sleep.