After we left the boat we spent a few days in Chiloe’s capital – Castro. We needed some time to get our heads around the flat reality and decide on our next move. Unfortunately it was raining a lot and we spent a lot of time inside, only going out from time to time to eat.
Mario spent a lot of time watching the World Cup and I busied myself with short walks around town (there was this area of town where many houses typical of Chiloe could be seen, all perched on tilts over the water, boasting splendid bright colors). We went out for lunch a couple of times including on the day of the Chile vs. Spain game. Mario insisted I saw it with him at a local bar where many chilotes (name for the local inhabitants) were gathered. I am glad I did. It was an experience.
I got at the bar shortly before Mario and with difficulty managed to get us a small table in the corner of the smokers’ area. I ordered lunch and waited for Mario to show up and the lunch crowds to leave. The waitress assured me there will be space once everybody’s had their meal. Mario came, didn’t like the table I had managed to get (no surprise there) and kept an eye on a better spot. Luckily, some guys were leaving and we snatched the table from them.
The game began and so did the madness. The shouts started with the national anthem and pretty much didn’t cease until the end, despite the Chilean loss. Chile scored the first goal and people went mad, shouting, whistling, singing, jumping, laughing, and cheering. All that in a small restaurant. They did not let their spirits down even when Spain had scored two goals and it was clear that had won the game. They supported their team until the last minute, cheering and encouraging them as if they could hear them all the way in South Africa. It didn’t matter that Chile had lost the game, they had won the battle. They had qualified for the next round.
Just before the game began Ian entered the restaurant and stood a few steps away from us trying to get a seat. ‘Ian! Ian! Ian!’ I shouted trying to get his attention. Finally, he turned around and saw us. He came to sit with us and we all had lunch together while marveling at the madness that was going on around us. It was funny to see him again. We sure were happy and excited as if we hadn’t seen him in ages. It had only been a couple of days. He had come to town to get his hair cut.
It was funny to see him again. That intimacy, the feel that all is known and told on the boat had disappeared on solid ground. We were back to small talk and ‘civilized’ behavior, following the norms of the world out there. Curious…
After the game we all parted. Ian went looking for a hair dresser and Mario and I rushed back to the hostal, since we had a bus to catch. We were going to Puerto Varas on our way to Bariloche.