Recently I traveled to the Patagonia Region of Chile with Megan, the other student studying in Chile from Ole Miss. We were almost as far south in the world as you can get (before Antarctica, of course). We began our trip by flying to Punta Arenas and from there we took a bus to Puerto Natales. When we arrived at our hostel in Puerto Natales we immediately scheduled a tour to see the very famous Torres del Paine National Park. If you have never heard of this park, I highly recommend searching online to see the beauty. This park is where you can see most of the mountains and landmarks that you would find by typing “Patagonia” into Google. Unfortunately, it was extremely cloudy so we did not have the opportunity to see the same picturesque land formations as many of our friends did (they traveled earlier in the season). It was still great to visit and I would recommend others to take a trip and also to check out the Argentinean side of Patagonia. While there, we walked through La Cueva de Milodón and saw various lagoons with flamingos, similar to those of the Atacama Desert. We were also lucky enough to see guanacos and a cheetah in the flesh, which happened to be eating some sort of prey. After another night in Puerto Natales we took a bus back to Punta Arenas where we stayed for two nights before heading back to Santiago.
Chile has an odd way of changing their time. Most other countries, like the United States for example, participate in Daylight Savings Time where they “fall back” and “spring forward.” Chile did not participate in this change when the U.S. did, but as the U.S. was blooming into Spring, Chiles temperature was becoming increasingly cooler as the Southern Hemisphere was entering Fall and eventually Winter. So with the sunset becoming earlier and earlier, Chile decided to change their clocks this May. Apparently they will change back in August, but what I found odd about this time change is that it was not recognized by anyone else in the world (at the time at least, literally). Our iPhones did not change the times automatically like what we are used to, but instead we had to manually change our times. First world problems. Something else that I noticed was that if you searched for what time it was in Chile, the old time was always the result and never the time change. I am still really confused by the whole thing, but I suppose it is something I should Google (common theme here).
In an earlier post I wrote about how I seemingly ALWAYS have bad luck when it comes to flying or traveling. My bad luck had subdued for quite some time, but I knew it would not be much longer before something happened during one of my travels. Well the bad luck decided to make its presence known on my flight back to Santiago from Punta Arenas. When Megan and I were in the air, I felt nauseous so I decided to go to the bathroom at the front of the plane. I said to the flight attendant, “I think I’m going to throw up” and before I knew it, I woke up on the floor of the plane with three flight attendants standing over me and another passenger taking my pulse. As one flight attendant lifted my legs into the air, another fanned me, while the other asked me what my name was (in Spanish). I could not even think in English, let alone in Spanish, but I managed to spit some words out to tell them my name and that I realized what was going on. I hit my nose on a counter as I fell according to the flight attendant that saw the fall, but I do not remember falling. After some water and a Sprite I felt slightly better and went back to my seat. I was truly scared about the whole ordeal at first, but realized this was probably the third time this has happened to me. Everyone that knew what happened was extremely caring and checked on me frequently throughout the flight.
Unfortunately, the bad luck does not end there. Except this time it was not on a plane, but instead, in the streets of Viña del Mar. The week after Patagonia, I was leaving a restaurant with my friend Ciarra and walking home. We decided to run across the street, but I managed to trip and fall over a speed bump. I sat in the street for a second unable to move or get up, until this man helped me up to cross the street. I remember laughing to myself wondering how I had not been hit by a car yet, considering the crazy drivers of Chile. After I gathered myself, I walked home in a little bit of pain, but generally feeling fine. I could not have been more wrong. I woke up the next day in excruciating pain, unable to move my ankle at all as it was the size of a tennis ball. I propped it up and decided to wait a few days before deciding to see a doctor in case the swelling went away on its own. Two days later nothing changed so I decided to visit a doctor in Viña del Mar. After they did x-rays they told me it was luckily just a sprain. My ankle is still swollen and pretty blue, but I’m still kickin’ it (not literally).
With all the whirlwind of events during the month of May, I realize now that I only have eights days left here in Chile as the month of June continues. I am very eager to go home, but time is flying and before I know it, I will be back on a plane to the U.S.. Below are some pictures from Patagonia and the past few weeks, but to see more of my adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram @Riley Dunworth 🙂