After a 12-hour plane right, a 12-hour layover in Santiago, and a 12-hour bus ride, I finally arrived in Puerto Montt, Chile, at the Club Nautico Relocavi. The dock master took me across the channel in a small motorboat to Isla Tenglo where I met Christian, my Host for the next few weeks.
Christian immediately welcomed me into his home for breakfast, coffee, and WIFI. After being on the road for nearly 40 hours, I’m not sure which one I needed most.
As we ate, Christian shared some history about the island community and the local families I would be helping with various tasks.
After breakfast, Christian and I walked along the waterfront to “Casa Roja,” a beautiful two-story house overlooking the channel. I couldn’t believe it when he said this was going to be where I would stay. “Act like you’re the new owner” he said as he handed me the keys and left me alone in this 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom house.
As I unpacked, I admired Casa Roja. It had been recently renovated but still required some finishing touches – in particular window and door sealing. With lots of big windows and a large open living area, the house was undoubtedly a fantastic summer cottage, but with the cold wind and rain at this time of year, the house was a bit drafty even with a roaring fire in the wood-burning stove.
As the evening drew to a close, I chose a bedroom on the second floor (thinking “heat rises”), with a magnificent view of the channel. Before midnight, I was already up looking for extra blankets and putting on my fleece hat and socks. (After that first night, I moved downstairs to be closer to the fire, which was a much better choice. I can't enjoy the view anyway when I'm sleeping.)
All in all, I feel very welcome here, thanks to Christian and Lali. I look forward to my stay at Casa Roja. (Admittedly, it's taking me a bit of time to adjust to no WIFI or cell phone coverage, and having to worry about things like propane supply, maintaining a fire, etc. But I'm up for the challenge!
The beach in front of Casa Roja.