We decided our next stop would be Chillán which would act as a halfway point to Santiago, however it was still 440 km and around 8 hours on the bus – a little more bearable than the 15 / 18 hours to the capital. We decided to get an early bus so that we would have the entire day on the bus travelling up to Chillán.
Chillán isn’t really known as a backpackers hot spot but we decided to stop off there for a couple of days to explore the market which is one of the bigger ones in Chile with a view to sending home a package from Santiago or buying presents for John’s family in New Zealand.
We arrived at our hostel after a taxi ride from the bus Station. We had our usual argument with John wanting to walk 2 kilometers to the hostel with our backpacks. We started and after John admitted we were going the wrong way we jumped in a cab. We were furious with each other. We eventually arrived at the hostel, Manutara hostel / B and B where we were greeted by a lovely couple and then it was all fine, no animosity, and we were friends again.
It’s amazing how many times this has happened. We get lost, John gets frustrated about being lost (he really hates getting lost), he then takes it out on me for no reason. I take charge, John’s then in a sulk, I get in a mood with him. But we get to our destination, then something new or interesting is there and all those feelings go out of the window. This must be standard with all couples on long-term travel. I guess it just shows that although we can get annoyed with each other, the experience of being somewhere new or doing something interesting can counter those feelings.
Anyway, sulking out of the way, hostel Manutara was a tiny place but bang in the middle of the city. Run by a family, we were the only people there so we had the entire place to ourselves which was kind of like a granny flat stuck on the back of the family home.
We headed out and went to the local market to buy some food. There were some great delhi type foods but the most prominent item being sold was longaniza (sausages) which was the city’s speciality. So that made our meal choice easy, we decided to make choripan with fresh guacamole! The market was shutting for the evening but we still managed to grab some food. My spanish managed to order three huge sausages. The market workers are so used to handing out kilos it’s hard to ask for just three single sausages; they tried to give us 3kg of sausages which would have been around 15 sausages but in the end we managed to grab just three with some puzzled looks on the workers faces.
We made our evening meal but only managed to eat 2 sausages between us. Then we went for a little walk and got some sleep!