>Curicó was fun. I can’t say much about the city itself. On Friday almost everything was closed and the streets were pretty dead. The Plaza de Armas was beautiful and it had some interesting looking churches too. We tried to go to a vineyard that is just outside the city, but ended up wasting 600 pesos each because it was closed for the holiday. Boo.
But we ate some pretty good pizza that night and went to bed early to start our adventure to Siete Tazas National Park.
We didn’t exactly know how to get there, but we decided it was better to try and not succeed than spend a grey day doing nothing in Curicó. So, we left around 9:00am and took a micro to Molina. There we were hoping for a bus to Siete Tazas. We were momentarily hopeful because there was a sign reading “Buses, 7 Tazas” with a bus underneath, but our hopes were dashed when helpful Antonio let us know that the next (and only) bus of the day didn’t leave until 5pm. But, he informed us, we could still get there. How?? We anxiously wanted to know. Oh, by hitch-hiking, of course!
Hmm. We debated it. We decided not to. Then we walked around Molina and decided to go for it.
We took a micro to the last point before a VERY long dirt road (40km, to be exact). Then we waited at a dilapated old micro stop across from a school. And then waited. And waited some more until finally a pick-up with a nice old couple stopped. Would they bring us to Radal? Why yes they would. Perfect!
After being dropped in Radal and realizing it was another 7km to the park (uphill) we decided to set our goal to get to “El Velo de la Novia”…a huge water fall that looks like a bride’s veil. This was only 3 km away. So we set off, enjoying the beautiful scenery and farm animals along the way. We reached the water fall and met a couple who offered to take us in their car to 7 Tazas. Score! So we spent the rest of the day with them and they ended up bringing us back to what we thought was almost to where we needed to catch the bus. In fact the woman told us “No queda nada…solamente 7km hasta Molina!” We had to catch the bus before Molina, so we thought that meant that our bus stop was relatively close. Hmm…not so much. We walked on a yucky gravel/rock road for about 45 minutes until we finally reached our stop, where it said “Molina 8 km.” So obviously her house wasn’t only 7km from Molina.
All in all, it was a great adventure. I was pretty freaked out about hitch hiking, but we did it safely. We agreed only to take rides with groups of both men and women or couples or families (or gringos, if any happened by!). We refused to go with truck drivers, in the back of a pickup (too cold!) or with only men. We were also super lucky to find the couple who drove us up to 7 Tazas and back, or else we would have had to wait for a bus from there that didn’t leave until 7:00pm, and that would have made for a VERY long day.
If you want more advice about getting to Siete Tazas off season and you’re up for an adventure, leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.
P.S. For pictures you’ll have to look at facebook. Because I just wasted all my precious lesson-planning time writing this post and now I have to go to class. Without a lesson plan. Maybe we’ll talk about Curico and hitch-hiking.