Saturday, 11.02.2013 - 4:20 pm.
Hi, I'm writing from the Santiago airport. Andrew and I are on our way home from Punta Arenas, after an amazing week. The psych congress took most of monday and tuesday, and then we had the rest of the week to go sightseeing. And there is a lot to see and to cry out of joy about. Our hotel room had the view of Tierra del Fuego, Jesus Christ (it looks like you could get there in 10 minutes but it takes like two hours). After that, you get to the Antarctic.
I didn't do much at the congress. I dressed nicely and carried around a poster about our research, until I had to post it to a wall for half an hour. Nobody asked any questions. Andrew had a more demanding schedule but we still had the chance to go to some places in the city. And when he was busy and I wasn't, a good friend of ours, Lorena (also there for the congress) and I walked around town.
On wednesday, Andrew, Lorena and I took a day trip to Torres del Paine. We spent most of our time in a van with a bunch of slightly annoying people and four hipsters, also slightly annoying. We stopped on certain spots to take pictures. The place is unbelievable. It's breathtaking, magnificent, you put the words. Whatever they are, they don't do it justice. We also went to a lake/glacier.
The day before, Andrew and I bought a new camera. Halfway through our trip, we get the message that the memory card had failed. I held my breath, it had happened before with my old camera and the pictures were still there. And luckily, I'd also taken my old camera with me, so I still got to take pictures. But after having seen the quality of the new camera, I resented the quality of the old one.
I tried not to ruin the trip with possibilities and I tried to forget about it. There were spectacular views and I needed to be in the moment to fully appreciate them (not to difficult: snowy mountains, waterfalls, glaciers). We left the hotel at 5:45 am and got back at 12:30 am the next day. The van was uncomfortable, also. The trip back home was five hours long. We were drained.
When we got home, we checked the memory card and the fucking thing had deleted everything. 75+ pictures of Puerto Natales and the Mylodon cave. Pissed off and hearbroken, I started to cry. In Puerto Natales, our first stop, there was this sort of giant hand coming from the ground, and I'd taken a picture there for my old friend CR, recreating the Hand of Perfection passage from Fight Club (the book). I'd waited years to do that, since I knew such a hand existed. Those pictures, gone.
The next day, thursday, we spent it buying gifts, walking around, taking it easy. Although we weren't as sore as we expected from the trip the day before. The amount of loot we're bringing back surpassed my budget but I regret nothing. I got nice coats for winter and gifts for a lot of people. Andrew got a ridiculous amount of tea for $16, he was so happy.
I was still bummed by the pictures, however. We bought a new memory card and couldn't return the faulty one because the store didn't open that day (it was a holiday) and we weren't coming back to that area of the city. And then Andrew said, let's go tomorrow to Puerto Natales again and get your pictures back. I said no. The trip is three hours long. It's a long way for a silly thing. But he seemed all for it and Lorena insisted we should go.
So we went. I was thankful because he understood how much those pictures meant to me and did something about it. We took a bus on thursday at 7:30 am and arrived there at 10:30. And then I was so glad we did it. We had stopped by on our way to Torres del Paine but just at the entrance of the town. It was very peaceful and beautiful, with snowy mountains on the background. We had breakfast at a wonderful restaurant/souvenir store and I sent a couple of postcards from there. I wish I had taken more addresses with me, it was pretty much writing from the end of the world.
After eating, we took to the shore and we got our pictures back. They didn't turn out as awesome as the first ones (the daylight and the tide were different) but it was a huge difference going just the two of us with time on our hands, instead of tagging along with a bunch of peoople wanting to take the same pictures as us with five minutes to do so.
We took the next bus back, at 2:30 pm. We were there just for a few hours because few buses go back and forth during the day. We were back in Punta Arenas at 5:30, in time for dinner and to pack our stuff to go back home today. We agreed that we have to come back and spend a few days in Puerto Natales, which is nearer to Torres del Paine, so you gain pretty much six hours to cover more ground. And literally, there is a lot of ground to cover. Also, to take a ferry to Tierra del Fuego and go to the penguins' island. And maybe go back to the mylodon cave because we only have one picture of it in Andrew's phone, the rest got lost.
So that was our trip, in a nutshell. The best trip Andrew and I have had: amazing places, great food, cool weather, nice people, comfortable hotel and a lot of loot for a good price. We ran into a lot of people: friends and professors from the university, because of the congress; and the friends whose wedding we attended the night before our flight a week ago. They were on their honeymoon and we ran into each other several times, in a mall and in the middle of nowhere. And we shared the first flight today.
The long trip from Puerto Natales gave Andrew and I plenty of time to begin planning our wedding: guests, budgets, setting. I'm slowly changing my mind from "let's do nothing at all!", to, "yeah, ok, we gotta do something". Nothing big, nothing fancy, just the opportunity to be with friends and family in light of our wonderful relationship. We will have to pull two events through though, in Chile and in my home country. I get so lazy just thinking about it but Andrew has been urging us to get married lately and really, there's no point in delaying the event any longer. Don't get me wrong: I want to be married to Andrew, as soon as possible and for the rest of our lives. It's the wedding what makes me feel lazy.