Chile fué mi primer viaje en avión, la primera vez que salía de Colombia, y la primera vez con mi bicicleta: Una gran aventura para alguien que creció entre la pobreza  del campo y luego en la humildad de los barrios de Bogotá, Yo ya no sé porqué decidí embarcarme con mi bicicleta, ya ir a una ciudad que  queda a 6 horas en avión es demasiado trabajo, pero compré mi tiquete de ida y vuelta en una agencia de viajes, contacté algunos riders Chilenos que me alojarían y me fuí.

Me bajé del avión, pase inmigración, tomé el bus a la ciudad y armé mi bicicleta, a los 10 minutos recibí el primero de los comentarios que me acompañarían en casi cada uno de mis viajes “ahh! Colombiano, traes Coca, no?”

Esa sensación de estar en otro país, otra cultura, otro aire, otros acentos, esa sensación entre emoción y miedo de estar lejos de casa, y todo sumado al embriagante sonido de mi bicicleta en las calles y la idea que no se me quita de la cabeza de que todos saben que no soy de allí, un sentimiento de superioridad temporal que debo decirlo es muy agradable.

Me quedé en la casa de Alfonso “Fonc”, un veterano del BMX, quien me llevó a algunos parques y me mostró un poco su ciudad. Montamos un par de dias.

Y sin mucho mas que hacer me fuí a Valparaiso, siempre es bueno ver el mar cuando vienes de Bogotá, a 900 km del mar: Valparaiso era aún mas rara, el ambiente de puerto que ahora me recuerda los puertos Portugueses, y el ambiente que yo confundí con tropical, porque estaban en verano pero de trópico no tenía nada.

En Viña del mar, una ciudad mas moderna, conocí a una chica en la playa, le pedí que me tomara una foto y hablamos un rato, me recomendó ir caminando hasta Reñaca, la ciudad de al lado, me tardé mas de una hora, y en ese camino, bordeando la playa, por primera vez en mi vida me sentí solo.

Nunca me había pasado, estaba solo, no solamente eso, no quería estar solo, quería conocer a la gente, quería estar con la chica de la playa, quería saber que había en las casas, pero no podía, y el tiempo pasaba, y estaba cansado, y todo era muy lindo, y descubrí por primera vez en mi vida un Camilo que no conocía, pensativo y un poco cuerdo que aparece en momentos de soledad.

camilo-acolombiantraveler-chile-3

Llegó la noche y no tenía hotel, no sabía en donde encontrar uno, así que caminé, se hizo mas de noche, y descubrí una segunda cosa sobre viajar solo, cuando se viaja solo, se tiende a tomar decisiones sin pensar, imprudentes, lo he comprobado en otros viajes en solitario, Yo simplemente caminé las calles en busca de un hotel, y cada hotel que encontraba pensaba que era muy caro, y terminé en una pensión muy económica y fria, donde no pasé muy buena noche y creo que no me bañé, todo por ahorrar un poco de dinero, que en el momento no me faltaba.

De regreso a Santiago, un poco mas de bicicleta, una noche más allí y me encontré con mi amigo Cristian, un Argentino que trabajaba conmigo en Bogotá, y con quien iba a pasar la cordillera de los andes en un microbus para pasar unos dias en la ciudad Argentina de Mendoza.

 

 

[In English] Chile was my first travel abroad, Again, I have to say I am not a hitch-hiking traveller, just a traveller. So it would be nice to explain how I or anyone could do this trip.

After a couple of years of working as a engineer in Bogota, and me having only 23 years, I meet a good argentinan friend form my work, Cristian Sparaccino invited me to his home town in Mendoza,  the problem: we couldn’t take vacations at the same time, so I went some days ahead to Santiago de Chile. The ticket price was 600 USD return. Even not cheap, I didn’t have a car, children or anything else to spend my savings on, I saved this money in some months and I wouldn’t expect less for an 8 hours flight trip. So I wend some days by myself to Chile.

So, Chile, my first trip abroad and my first travel by myself. What was in my bag? some coffe, clothes as usual and my bicycle as usual. Yes, Why not? anyway I had already contacted to a chilenian BMXer who will host me in his house, Fonc (Alfonso) was a veteran BMXer who ran a BMX website in Chile, so I had a bed and a friend there.

After getting off the bus in central Santiago, I felt for my first time how it is to be in a new country, my first time abroad… I felt… ok, everything was new, the colors were different, people too, It was a shame that in the first 10 minutes of my arrival, someone in a shop joked asking me if I had drugs with me, that jokes would accompaing me for the rest of my life and for the rest of the countries.

Some days in Chile, strange accents and nice people, walking walking… Fonc took me to some skatepark and I could ride with the locals, nice experience, with new mountains in the landscape and a completely blue sky I had never seen. I had contacted friends of friends and I spend the day with 2 chilenian girls, they took me to the center and to a free open concert where we danced and enjoyed, one of the bands where the famous colombian band ‘ateriopelados’ I felt proud and happy, I learnt that chileinan cheers saying in chorus ‘El que no salte es pinochet..’ “Who doesn’t jump is Pinochet”. I should read more about this Pinochet, hated dictator.

With no more plans to do, I took a bus to Valparaiso, once there, I walked and waked, self-taking some pictures of me and things i liked, students were celebrating the 1st day by putting stinky fish parts all over them and sending them to collect money. With 25 years old, I took my first train ride, from Valparaiso to Vina del Mar. Once there, more walking and see food eating with an australian and one argentinan that I meet in the street. After some hours or walking alone, I started feeling lonely, ans I saw a girl relaxing on the beach, I talked to her for a while, I felt so lonely that I got sad when she had to go and I really wanted her to stay, the girl is still my friend and I meet her again in Madrid some years later. After that I walked from valparaiso to Renaca, it took about 1 hours, with the sea by my left and the highway by my right, I didn’t really feel happy, neither sad but thinking and lonely. I discovered the gift of being alone.

In Vina del Mar, I started searching for a hotel, and I discovered that when alone, I am very cheap, I wanted to pay as little as possible, and I went from hotel to hotel, ending in a very ugly hotel in the centre, not really a good choice, I had the money to pay something better, anyway I chose the bad one and after all, I survived.

Santiago again, rolling in the street with my bicycle, in a city where, not like colombia, streets had names instead of numbers, how would I find my way? no maps, only asking people, who usually answered.. “but are you pedaling al the way there? you are crazy”… I felt for my first time that nice feeling when someone think you are crazy and you stand and head first just accomplish the plan, then you feel satisfied with your madness.

The last night in Santiago I decided to stay by myself somewhere in the centre, and not to disturb Fonc’s life in his house, I again took risks, I ended walking at 2 pm in the centre, lost and afraid, searching for a hotel. I got another bad and cheap hotel, but again, I survived. Next day I meet my friend Cristian, who came from Bogota and who would guide me to his house in Argentina, we just had to cross the Andes, the natural border between Chile and Argentina…. 🙂

(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)

Want to leave a comment?

comments

Leave a Reply