I had to make one last stop in Puerto Natales before I left Patagonia. For no other reason, but to go to Aluen Patagonia, the most amazing gelateria I have ever been to. Well, OK, perhaps I’m lying, I also had to catch a flight back to Santiago. I was sad to leave Patagonia, but I was also very grateful for the experiences I had and people I met there.
Three weeks in Chile & Argentina is a very short period of time. Life might not be designed for 9-5 office workers with a limited amount of holidays, but it is worth making the most of what we can with what little time we are given. Having so much freedom wandering around Patagonia reminded me how much I loved adventures and gave me a massive boost in confidence. I struggled with my sense of self before I left the UK, but dragging a huge backpack for days through some the most beautiful scenery on earth, refreshed my perspective in life.
Now, seventeen days later, I was back to Santiago, thinking how scared I was the first day arrived in Chile. It was my first time in South America and after hearing a mixed bag of stories before I left the UK, I was not feeling safe travelling on my own. The thoughts going through my head back then seemed to be ridiculous after spending some time here.
Funnily enough, the trip awakened my forgotten love to myself and a day before I left South America was Valentine’s day. I decided to treat myself to, if my memory doesn’t lie, a 14 course (!) lunch in Peumayen Ancestral Food restaurant. The trays of various small dishes were cooked using techniques adopted from indigenous people and the food was presented in a very modern way. It was like a journey in time through various parts of Chile, with an awakened sense of awe. I bet my taste buds were guessing what on earth was happening after spending so long eating oats and couscous.
Although it might sound weird, after my fancy lunch I ended up going to Cementerio General de Santiago. It is one of the biggest cemetery in Latin America, with an estimated 2 million people being buried there. It is an absolutely stunning place. It’s huge, green and brilliant for reminding that life was very short and silly little things didn’t matter.
I spent the evening enjoying a few last pisco sours and reflecting on my time in South America. I knew it was time to go home and turn my life around. What I didn’t know, that it was my last trip before the pandemic put life on hold.