Sunday, May 17, 2009

---> This is NZ | Yeah Right

Yesterday I went to a place that was definitely nothing like New Zealand. It is a national park in the Atacama Region of Chile called Pan de Azúcar, or Sugar Bread.

Two false facts about the desert.
1. It's boring
2. It's hot

1. The scenery was amazing. At first it was just desert, but then we were driving through this coastal town and to get there the road was literally built on the most jagged rocks I have ever seen. Luckily the road was a nice safe looking one. The rocks weren't. 

The first place in the park where we stopped to take photos (we as in the 4WD convoy of people who my host dad works with) was mountains mountains mountains GREEN! And I was so excited to see green again!
The mountains were amazing, the weren't particularly big as in what we would call mountains (and they weren't the Andes either, in case you're wondering), but it was a massive range of them. About the same size as the hills by Urenui /Uruti, when you're driving to Aukland.
So after the hills, it was not hilly, but uneven ground and covered in cacti! There wasn't any road, we were just driving on a track that previous jeeps had left. The cacti were big (for me) and it was misty and you could see the mountains in the background. I think I actually really let out a sigh of awe that day, the scenery was so dramatic and amazing.
Host sisters by a cactus.
We stopped again because it was spectacular, the road going into the mountains. These photographs really do it no justice.
At one point was a very, very, very high cliff, with the sea at the bottom, and it was like desert, desert desert, sea, mist, and nothing. Surreal.
At the 'beach' you couldn't swim, it was so rocky, but it was where we had a typicaly Chilean lunch of seafood and meat stew, cooked over a fire, and sausages and bread rolls. Instead of each family taking their own picnic, everyone brought some food, and we all pitched in at the tables preparing it and cooking it. 
This is the sausages and bread being cooked

Me eating lunch. It wasn't cold, the jacket was to stop me getting sunburnt. And the beer wasn't mine. Those round thangs are potatoes baked in earth

A fox we saw (the only wildlife we saw in the park. No llamas, unfortunately)
Host family and the Grunt Wagon

After we returned to the place where the other families had camped, we had tea and biscuits (I tried Happy Chirimoya flavour, which were like wine biscuits with a chirimoya and orange filling), the group of us was invited to have tea at the place of one of the families that lives there (I think). In any case, it's rude to refuse, so we all drove the short distance there, where not only was there tea, but the little girls (the daughters of collegues of my host dads, nobody actually seemed to have any sons) were rolling out dough to make empanadas, and there was also fish, sopaipillas (fried bread dough) and rice. I wasn't hungry so was satisfied with just an empanada. It's a Chilean custom to invite people over to have tea but actually have a proper meal! While the adults were talking, I sat on one of the sofas outside, and in another sofa was a little girl called Sofia pressing the on and off switch on the torch. So I sat next to her and started talking to her, and then got out my camera so we could press more buttons. But what are cameras for, but taking photos? So we took some photos. More girls gathered round (all young, about 3-5yrs) and I showed them photos on my iPod of my dog and the beach, and they  tried to imitate the 'peace' sign. All were absolultely adorable, although it was hard to understand baby spanish talk!

At one stage I was telling Sofia that when I was a little girl, I used to have blonde hair.
She looked at me in shock, and said, incredibly surprised 'What happened?'
Her mum was on the sofa then too, and we were both in fits of laughter! Cutest thing ever! I do miss being around younguns', eg the kids I babysit in NZ and my little brother. But I got a big enough dose of warm fuzzies to tide me over for a while.

The gorgeous Sofia (showing off her Winnie the Pooh top)
Me and the girls. Guiliana, on the right, was 5 and the most well behaved, sweet little girl I have ever met!
Monsi, in the middle, reminded me of my cousin Annabel (especially her hair!)

And finally, we returned to Copiapó VERY late. Here's a photo of the sunset in the camping place. 

Friday, also, was the Day of the Student, so instead of normal classes there were class competitions for singing and dancing. It was also my first day back after two days off, and I was greeted extra enthusiastically, which was really nice. School also started later, and so I got a bit of a sleep in too! 
After that, I went out with my friends to have lunch, so we went to the supermarket and bought pizza and soft drinks, then got back and ate it, and after played Pictionary. The pictionary game was hilarious! Instead of drawing, we mimed the things, and one of the things I had to mime was Tractor! It was a really fun day, and a nice break from normal classes. I also felt more like a part of a group of friends, rather than The Exchange Student. 
Playing pictionary. Cony, Me, Nicole, Andrea and Nicole
But everyone was like 'whoooaaa' when I said something really fast, something random like 'I think the doll is a girl'. It was a funny moment, we were actually discussing the gender of a doll. My spanish is at the level when I am translating in my head less and less and just automatically knowing what the words mean. I have managed to make another mistake - I wanted to jokingly say 'I'm going to marry a chilean' but instead said 'I'm going to hunt chileans'. So watch out! 


tessyj said...

NO LLAMAS!!! i want a llama i would call him cletice fitzgerald franklin jones. i miss you. at school the otha day i felt sick and we had to copy something out so i sat staring at my book and people kept asking me what was the matter and i would just say "i miss anita, i want anita" till it became a chant. that would've been boring, belle broke her pinky while playing netball.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxo etc. etc.

tessyj said...

Hi anita Dado here. great piece of writing in your blog. How about a chilean friends Marmite test!!!. Dad.xoxo.

Anita said...

Hi Teresa!!!!
Darling I miss you too!!!!! I promise I will find a pet llama for you. Get facebook!!!!! You'll be able to see photos of me and dayum hot chilean dudes haha

Haha when I first read your comment I though WHO IS THIS CRAZY PERSON then I realised it was my sister! yes I miss your craziness.

Poor belle! tell her I will give it a kiss better when I get back. Then she'll say eww gross and laugh and it will magically get better. I hope it doesn't hurt her too much.
besos y abrazos :)