After two full days in the Cajon del Maipo valley, it would be an understatement to say that we all felt a little soar. We got an upper body workout during rafting, a couple nice bruises on our bums from the horseback riding, and our legs and feet got their fair share of exercise during the 10-mile hike in the Monumento Natural El Morado. I’m not complaining, but I am looking forward to a couple more relaxing days on Chile’s Central Coast in a small town called Zapallar.
Other than when we pass back through Santiago, the roads are beautiful and varied. We drive through winding mountain roads, down flat green expanses, and along coastal highways. Some of the driving reminds me a little of driving on the 5 Freeway in California in that the two-lane road is covered in trucks and everyone, including the trucks themselves, are attempting to make good time by weaving in and out of both lanes.
After almost three hours of driving and an hour lunch stop, we arrive in Zapallar and immediately head down to the beach to commence our relaxing couple of days.
This is a powerful yet short love story between Camila, a Chilean stable girl and Evan, a Clark Kent doppelgänger. Evan looks over the Maipo Gorge just outside a horse stable and stares longingly at the vastness and beauty of the Chilean landscape. Camila is caring for the horses and thinks she hears a noise outside. She peaks over the wood fence and immediately wishes she can be the Lois Lane to this Clark Kent who is not even aware of her presence. Evan now also hears something behind him and turns, but just before he can see Camila, she looks away.
They both now sense each other’s presence, but are currently performing the famous dance of pretending not to be aware of the other. Camila now confidently exits the stable with two horses in tow and the two lock eyes for the first time. Superman cracks a smile causing Lois to blush a little. Evan, in broken Spanish, asks if she is going to ride, and Camila smiles and asks if he wants to join. Evan answers with a cool yes, all the while not being over-enthusiastic about the opportunity to join her.
Camila leads, Evan follows and they ride for about half an hour with only few words shared. Eventually, they arrive at their destination. A fresh water stream glistening over colorful stones making for the perfect ambience for the two of them to share a moment upon its rocks. Evan’s hand gently passes by Camila’s and they both immediately look towards each other. Evan pulls his hand back just in time for Camila to reach for it. Camlia leans in and gives a gentle kiss on Evan’s unshaven cheek. Evan smiles and they both soak up their surroundings as if they have no other worries in the world.
From here, the story continues just as if the two were in fact Superman and Lois Lane minus the bad guys and the red and blue tights. The two continue on happily in their Smallville-like existence in the Chilean countryside.
There is no reason why fairytales can’t come true.
On our first full day in Chile, we pack our things and head off to Cajon del Maipo, a stunning gorge that starts just 25 km southeast of Santiago. We head off early because we have a date with the Maipo River at 10am, and we are not confident that we won’t get lost along the way.
After experiencing the Maipo river at its highest level of the year and therefore at its fastest, we grab a quick bite to eat and continue on to horseback riding along side of the Maipo gorge.