In one days time I will travel 14000km from Scotland to Puerto Natales in Chilean Patagonia. I had applied for a job in the summer but had been turned down. Barely three weeks ago I still had no idea what to do with myself for the winter, so it was to my surprise when a phone-call delivered some exciting news; ‘Someone has dropped out, can you come’
This is the first time I have committed to an adventure on such short notice, I will be going for seven months with none of the usual planning, background reading and late-night GoogleEarth wanderings normally expected with such a trip, instead I have a contract and a date. Within one week from now I will be guiding in the Torres Del Paine national park as a kayaker for Tutravesia.
I am eagerly nervous, for it is also the first time I will be living in a country that I cannot speak the native language; the extent of my spanish stretches embarrassingly to just four simple expressions;
how are you?
Can I order a beer please?
You are beautiful
Some might argue it is all I should ever need; but I am left feeling under prepared and over excited.
Amidst a chaotic final month in Scotland I am now here with a freshly shaved toothbrush and a bedroom floor buried in assorted essentials, all waiting to be crammed into a 70L canvas sack.
I have only briefly studied the routes on some rudimentary photocopied maps, my inner child is desperate to see the Guanaco (a relative of the Llama), the Andean Condors, perhaps even Pumas! Patagonia also has penguins but alas after reading the entire Penguin Classic Book series I am left none-the-wiser….they didn’t mention penguins once, not even in Jules Vernes account of 10000 leagues under the sea!
My first and perhaps most important challenge is to find where my kind hosts live in Puerto Natales; the rest I am sure will flow from there.
Life is not about sitting at home knowing what is coming next but jumping straight into new unknown opportunities.
Next time I write it will be from the Southern Hemisphere; hope to see you soon.