... Only fools rush in.
13.07.2008 - 13.07.2008 3 °C
The springs were fantastic and its worth saying a little about them. In a place where it has felt like my cojones have frozen, being otside and almost naked felt like a heroic achievement. Heroic, that is, until you see 5 year olds happily doing the same!
The walk down to Las Termas involved negotiating a 20m walk in the rain. The feeling through my body as I went from 5 deg to 45 deg was invigorating. So much so, that after a few minutes, I noticed a path leading out from the springs and into what sounded from afar like a fast running river. I took a walk.
Everyone was staring at me from the comfort of the natural hot tub. I could see "What the hell is he doing" etched on their faces.
When I approached the river, I realised that it was running fast. I hesitantly dipped a toe in. It was ice cold. But you know how it is....Gradually, I made my way up to my knees, then up to my waist, then finally when I'd lost all feeling in my limbs, I ducked my head in for a few seconds.
I could swear my brain contracted. I'm sure I could feel more space between my ears than was either necessary or normal.
I got back to the springs where I received a round of applause! Not sure what happened next, except 4 people got out and did the same. All guys. One of them Greg (just 17) was using his summer break between his A-Levels to do a 2 month placement as a teaching assistant. 17!!!. Kids eh?
Later on in the cafe, where it was nice and warm, I asked a question to our tour guide, the answer to which provoked and motiviated my next move. I was interested in discovering a bit more about the natives of Chile. The indigenous. Did they even exist?
According to some research (Does Google count as research?!)...Apparently here in Chile, there exists a tribe called Los Mapuches. They have their own language, instruments, dress, food etc. The language was called Mapuchedungun (I think). Perhaps, I thought to myself, in my naivety, they were the original indians. Who knows? Anyway it turns out that there is a village not too far away called 'Chol Chol' where a Mapuche community still lives. The guide worried or at least seemed a touch apprehensive. He suggested, or rather subtly asked by anyone might want to visit these people. His companion told me that the Mapuche were fairly useless and all ugly! He may well have been joking, but I took this to be racism. It wasn't until later, that I began to understand how deep and widespread this notion was.
Anyway it was good tour of Pucon overall. On the way back in the bus, 80's music was playing on the radio and people started singing along. Cyndi Lauper described Girls just wanting to have fun and Simple Minds reminded us not to forget about people we've temporarily left in another land. It was so cool!