Wow, what a 3 days it’s been.
On March 12th we waited essentially the whole day while Christian and Isabelle cleaned and prepped Alfonso for our meeting. When we finally got the call to head over it felt like we were headed to our prom date’s house, waiting to watch them come down the stairs before heading to the dance. I had butterflies in my stomach like I’ve never experienced.
We turned the corner for the hostel that Alfonso was being stored at and thought we would see him right away, and my stomach dropped. Becca immediately yelled “WHERE IS IT?!?!” Alas, he was tucked safely behind a fence away from the street youths. Christian was right there to meet us with a beer in hand and a big smile, though deep down he was sad to let his home for the last 11 months go. We got a quick tour and then left for Base Camp, this time for the pizza (which is absolutely delicious) and some more beer. Dinner was a great chance to meet Christian and Isabelle and talk about all their adventures and learn more about Alfonso. After dinner we got some more beer (there’s a trend here) and headed for the hostel to turn Alfonso into our bed for the night and keep chatting.
The first night was rainy! And boy does rain make some serious noise against Alfonso’s white aluminum body. We also accidentally left a window slightly ajar for some circulation and I woke up with a very damp foot. The next day, we took Alfonso for his first spin and that was like learning to walk again. There are some interesting steps that need to be taken to start the bad boy up, that won’t be shared on this blog for confidentiality reasons. It would be like NASA telling everyone how they turn on one of the shuttles, you just don’t. We drove into town all of 400m and my heart was pounding! Turns out driving this van really gets my blood pumping. Unfortunately due to siesta we were not able to get insurance or anything like that but we forged on! Sometime later, once we managed to get their surfboard bag, 10 personal bags, and 4 bodies into Alfonso we took of for the gas station and our first encounter with a hitchhiker. She seemed nice but if we added one more person to the van the bumper would have been shooting sparks.
Christian let me take control for the 200km journey to Punta Arenas where we were going to try another attempt at getting insured. This van drives like an absolute land yacht, the wind hits the side and really makes things exciting in the driver seat. I let Christian take the con (yes, that was a Star Trek reference) for the last 100k so I could watch a pro drive and so he would have his last hurrah in Alfonso. We landed in Punta Arenas just after everything closed, so we went grocery shopping and Christian and Isabelle showed us a cool parking spot that had free wifi. We stayed there for the night as it was free parking after 9pm.
Isabelle (who should be a contestant on MasterChef) whipped up an amazing curry dinner with falafel and garlic bread out of Alfonso’s little kitchen which looked like witch craft. We enjoyed dinner in Alfonso around his dinner table and had a great chat before they caught a cab to the airport.
After they left Becca and I had a real moment of “holy banana’s our adventure has begun!” So we snuck over to the grocery store to use the facilities (we’re becoming very sneaky) and then got ready for bed. We were in the middle of a city with a highway right beside us, I’ll admit, not my best sleep.
Now we can well and truly say that our adventure has begun and we are so excited!