Yesterday I headed out of the city with a few friends from my program to the “National Reserve of Lake Peñuelas”. We were a little surprised when we arrived at the park to find out that the Lake had been sold by the government to a new property owner and that access was restricted, but that’s just how it sometimes is in countries that are perpetual privatizers of everything public. We had a few more surprises as well, not the least of which was a large herd of llamas that seemed rather suspicious of our presence in their territory, largely due to the fact that it seems as though this area doesn’t get a lot of visitors. This is largely due to the fact that it isn’t really a national park, it is more of a working tree farm where they plant eucalyptus and pine trees to be harvested every so often. The area that we went to had a couple of very short trails that were not in the tree farming area, and were full of trees called “espinos”, named so for their innumerable spines, and the whole area had an African savannah type feel to it. The trees belong to the acacia family, which is the same family of trees that exist in African savannahs, so needless to say we were all a little caught off guard by the area.
Nonetheless, we had a wonderful day out of the city breathing a bit of fresh air, and we cooked a delicious lunch of Mexican vegan tacos that ended up more like a taco salad due to the learning curve involved in making tortillas from corn flour. Guacamole, beans and peppers, warm corn flour dough, a little bit of salsa, all mixed with the cold weather that encompassed us, and we were some happy travellers. After lunch we packed up and headed home, and I fell asleep by 9 o clock, knocked out from a full day’s worth of activities (and a lack of sleep from the night before)!!
Today I am going to brave the rain and head to a town called Quillota to help a few friends set up for a meetup that is happening tomorrow. They have a wonderful piece of land called Jardín Botánico Paraíso Escalante, or “Rising Paradise Botanical Gardens” that includes an ecological pool (a pool filtered by aquatic plant life), a sweatlodge, a cactus garden, food forests with avocados and walnuts and other goodies, multiple cob structures, and tomorrow there will be music, poetry, workshops, artisan vendors, and all sorts of other wonderful stuff happening that I am grateful and lucky to be a part of. I will be camping out for 3 days and 2 nights, and honestly I wouldn’t mind if it rained the whole time, we have only had about 1 or 2 days of rain in the past month in what is normally the rainy season here, so the ground (and my soul) could use a little bit of moisture!!!
As always, I hope you are well, and thank you for reading!! 🙂