Turns out Central Chile is my home's Southern Hemisphere version of itself. Puerto Montt was all about smoked salmon; Pucon nights feel like August at 9 pm - still light out and just crisp enough out that a long sleeved shirt feels perfect with shorts and flip flops; Villarica had blackberries growing like weeds. Blueberries (3 bucks for a monster box. I'm still high on my overdose yesterday), peaches and nectarines, it's a fresh fruit extravaganza and I can't get enough of it.
We've breezed through most of Chile, which I feel great about, even though it has been plenty pleasant. Beyond pleasant.
I originally had high and magical visions of a horseback ride through Patagonia (mostly planted by this girl I met at a work conference i happened to go to a month before we left who, in an odd turn of events, was taking a short sabbatical to travel South America. She was crossing the Andes for 10 days on horseback, which is too long for me, but I loved the idea of camping out under the stars with our faithful horses tethered nearby. Rustic and amazing, right?) and had communicated with the company most highly praised on TripAdvisor (mostly by one snob if a horse rider who was traveling with her non horseman boyfriend and went on and on and on about how great the company was and how healthy the horses. Sounds great, right??) Well, we didn't confirm it in time and lost our spot and then got stuck in the doldrums of not wanting to plan anything ever again (definitely hitting a wall in that department) so we bagged the overnight trip and opted for a quick jaunt in the countryside. Shorter, less romantic, but in all honesty, probably a better match for my behind.
I apparently got the naughty horse, and had to be led out for the first 10 minutes which wouldn't have been embarrassing probably if the leader of the group wasn't a 12 year old boy who kept mumbling directions like I spoke 12 year old mumbled Spanish and not polished, enunciated classroom Spanish. We were led to a very cool waterfall with a 'complicatado' trail, meaning straight up and down on tree roots. Porter took a quick dip (seriously, those shorts! Isn't he the cutest?)