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I get a ride with fate, who takes me to Lago Caburgua

The day was a fine one as I walked along. The hills were green and dotted with cows in pastures between the small farms. In one field, a group of turkeys reminded me that the day before had been thanksgiving. The clouds overhead were beginning to break up, and the icing was showing from underneath the summit of the volcano, visible from almost everywhere. In these surroundings and in a buoyant mood, I came to the place where the road split. A gravel track marked the way to Therma Huife, while the paved road led north, signposted to Caburgua. There hadn't been that many cars, but the last one to pass me up had sped up the dusty road to Huife. I was standing in the triangle when another pair of cars came along. I was too far away to hail the one that split off to Huife, but the other answered my summons and pulled off on the shoulder of the road to Caburgua. When I dashed over, the driver said he was just going 3 of the 8 km to Caburgua, but I was welcome to ride, so I hopped in back of his pickup.

Three km ahead, he made his turn, and I continued on foot up the road. I had gone another three or four km without a single car having passed when the driver appeared again with a load of wood in his pickup plus another man, a laborer, sitting in the back. He was going close to the lake he said, and I again could ride along. A hundred meters ahead, just over the hill, I saw a sign pointing the way to the park, and I asked the other man in back if that was my road. He answered in mumbled Spanish thick with Chilean accent something I couldn't understand, but it prevented me from stopping the driver, who continued on to a turning just before the lake, where he let me out. I asked him if the road continued around to the road to the thermas. Uh, no he said, that would be that road back there, the one you should have stopped me at. I thought as much, I thought to myself, as I thanked him for his trouble, and marched ahead to have a look at the lake anyway.

I saw then that this road ended at the little town of Caburgua on the lake. The lake was beautiful with forests reflected in its water, and I walked out to the beach to take a picture of the Andes mountain backdrop and a tugboat-sized boat that was being built there out of plywood (reminded me of home, in Oman, where they used to build dhows on the beach). But I only stayed for a few minutes there. I had my eye on the few cars parked at the end of the road, none of which seemed to be going anywhere. So I headed back up the road from where I had come, back over a few hills. A big bus passed heading into Caburgua and a few minutes later it came back heading my way, but the driver didn't want to stop since he was heading downhill into some tight turns, so I kept on walking for a couple of kilometers. The next car to appear did stop, and he carried me over the next hill to my turning for the thermas, so that ride had lasted only a hundred meters.

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Last updated: November 12, 1997