The past 48 hours were amazing. I mentioned in the previous entry about meeting up with Anna and Nacio in a small rural mountain community where a healer lives (see photos in the link above). I got up very early on Sunday morning (about 6:30-ish) to meet Bonnie Jo and Bernardo, who were also going up there to look over the photos Anna had taken so far. The drive was 3 hours; we had a little trouble finding the road up there, but we eventually found it. The view was spetacular. No words or photos, I’m afraid, can do it justice. The road litterally was winding up the mountain, and you could look out the window and see these amazing landscape. HUGE hills, trees, the valley far below and even more mountains off in the distance.
We met Anna and Nacio in the center of the little town. When I say little, I mean little. It’s very isolated, they don’t get many visitors. Everyone knows everyone else. The houses are stone on the bottom with straw roofs. There are several of these towns sprinkled about around the mountains. Each house has a lot of land, very hilly. There are dogs running around, cats running around, cows running around, chickens running around and bugs flying around in your face.
After we met up with Anna and Nacio, we travelled about 15 mintues away to another small town where Anna and Nacio had been staying at a hostel since Thursday night. It was very comfortable, and the food was DELICIOUS. Maybe the food in Santiago is kinda iffy, but oh man, the food there was the best I’ve had this whole trip. We had bread, butter, honey and jam for breakfast (plus I had tea) and for lunch, I had this wonderful chicken and french fries. The chicken had a sweet, peppery flavor to it.
After lunch, we visited this small little museum. It used to be a traditional barn/house, where people lived with their animals. I was encouraged to spend the night up there and I decided why not? Bernardo and Bonnie Jo had to get back to Santiago after the museum. For the rest of the afternoon, we drove back to the town and spent some time with different people there. There was a lot of walking involved and lots of moments where I couldn’t get over the landscape. It’s very Tolkien-esque. LOTR could have easily been filmed up there. The little towns remind me of The Shire and we passed through a shady forest that could have easily been Lorien.
The sunset was great, and the stars are much more visible up there.
On Monday we visited a healer named Jesus and spent a lot of time at his house, doing an interview and photos. There is a cherry tree near his house and he and his wife asked us if we wanted some cherries. We agreed and they told Nacio to climb the tree and pick some. He did, and they kept telling him to go higher. Finally, Jesus climbed up the tree himself and started throwing down whole branches. The cherries were delicious. It was hilarious though, because this man is 76 years old, and he jumps around like a cat. On his way down, he pretended he was falling and started hanging from a branch. What was even funnnier was that on the way back to their house, Jose was carrying a walking cane and Anna said there was no reason for him to have a walking stick after his display up in the tree.
We had planned to get an interview with another man who does healing but were told that he didn’t finish cutting all the grass for his cows and wasn’t up for an interview at the moment. So we decided to go back on Wednesday. If Anna and Nacio end up going back, I will definately go. Anything to get out of the lab! We arrived back in Santiago around 11:30 last night.
Life up in those mountains is great. I wouldn’t mind moving up there. It’s peaceful, quiet, gorgeous and very relaxed. The only bad things are the tons of bugs and cow dung on the ground, but otherwise, I’m hooked. I can’t wait to go back!