Imagine a quiet town, no bigger then 70 people, spawled on a small hill...
A peaceful lake greets you at the bottom. And a magnificent and active Volcan meets you in the sky. And all around you are the Coastal Mountains of Chile.
Cochamo was supposed to be a 2 hour stopover; check it out and hop the next bus away. But there's tranquility to Cochamo that I long for...
We quickly found a charming hostel on the waterfront. A beautiful, light gray, rock church with a grassy knoll was neaby. Lambs were feasting on green, green grass as the wind gently brushed by.
As we strolled around town on gravel and paved roads, we met the inhabitants of Cochamo. Smiling and walking, everyone was out for the late afternoon sun. It took less then an hour for the whole town to know we were there. I think it was the blonde hair that gave us away.
The black beach, covered with white clam shells, led you to the water's edge. And as you stood there, facing that magestic Volcan, you felt it's pull. I breathed deep and long...and I felt the earth.
So lost in thought I failed to hear this high pitched screaming of a little Chilean boy, "Buenos Dias! Buenos Dias! Buenos Dias!" HE WOULDN'T STOP SCREAMING IT! I finally whipped around and screamed, "BUENOS DIAS!!!" He hid behind a tree.
As we walked away, passing beached boats, free running hens and roosters, baby kittens and children playing tag (same in any country), I finally got it. I got why people live in a small town.
I've been a big town, big city girl for the last 10 years... I like the noise. But there, at that moment, I longed for the community of a small town.
And this town also had a KUCHEN lady! She didn't have any made because she was fixing her toaster and her hands were dirty, "Pero Manana!" (But tomorrow!).
We bought wine, cheese and bread...popping open the vino on the open deck of the hostel as the sun set and the starry night appeared.
Quiet waves lapped the beach reminding me how peaceful the world can be.
Sadly, the next day we were up by the crack of dawn and on the next bus--circumstances in traveling had forced us onward... but a piece of me will always be there--ebbing and flowing with the waves of Cochamo.
And for one day Cochamo had 70 people and 3 Gringos.