What matters is…

Hello from Pookaverse. It’s been a while hasn’t it? Our absence? A mixture really of visiting several sites that can be accessed for Puerto Natales. By boat and jittery mini-bus driven over compacted hardcore without tarmac.

It’s mainly concrete, single-carriageway with yellow lines and many parking spaces along the way. Pulling up onto gravel and hardcore. Just in case you were interested.

Secondly the Just OK hotel that we stayed at last night – friday, for one night – had no internet connection. For guests. The front office staff who Pookaverse believes to be one of the sons of the owner. Did. That´s allright then isnt it?

It is called the Alcatar Hotel in Puerto Natales. It has four stars on Trip Advisor. We don’t know why it has four stars on Trip advisor. The last review in 2012? Probably written by another one of the Owner’s sons? That´s probably not fair is it?

Fabianne and Brendan outside their joint venture in Puerte Natales... where Yorkshire meets Chile and stays a while

Fabianne and Brendan outside their joint venture in Puerte Natales… where Yorkshire meets Chile and chooses to stay a while

It cost 62p more at £40.65 per night than Fabianne’s Pire Mapu Bed and Breakfast. So by local prices it is not bargain basement lodging. It that was the case, Pookaverse will look the other way.

Should have known. After all. Nobody exclaims that a hotel serves “the best breakfast in Patagonia” unless English is your second language. Or you are a child. Or have been beaten as a child. Or deluded. Pissed. Unsavoury. Or if you have stayed there.

Banged up till slop out in Room Diez. What did we do before Trip Advisor?

Before the hooms resigned themselves to ‘the experience’, we went for a walk. And were stopped in the steet by schoolchildren in the Puerto Natales yesterday. With their teacher.

They wanted to ask both hooms questions in English from carefully prepared lists. Their English grammar was good and it must have been hard asking a question in a language as complicated as English. Even harder to ask a swivel-eyed, creepy-looking bald fellow. Totally pissed off with having to go back to his cell in a few hours time.

Brian – the boy who asked the question and Rohan had his picture taken with the children. An uncomfortable experience. Let’s hope there is no reappearance of this picture on the Chillean equivalent of ‘Police-Camera-Action’. Perhaps ‘Policia-Camara-Cabron’. With apologies to Andy Thompson.

As not many people speak English here. Including the husband and wife team at Alcatraz.

As we christened it when seeing the solid brick wall outside the window. The shitty table lamp that switched itself off depending on which fake floorboard you stood on. We are not trying to engage you in kidology. Not trying to make stuff up to make it interesting.

The reality is more interesting than anything that could be conceived of in the hoom imagination even for an unsatisfactory and depressing experience.

We were spoilt. By Brendan and Fabiannia you see. Their home, their business and the warmth were we shown whilst staying with them. Four days leaving Friday Morning. On the last night we gave Fabianna some chocolates for them both.

Even though we know Brendan craves Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut. That is not found in this part of the world. We will fix that on our return.

For all the stuff that the money can’t buy. That we got for free from them both. A taste of home. Brendan’s accent. His dry sense of humour. Fabianna’s flamboyant style. Her way of putting things. Laughter. A different perspective.

To say thankyou. For going the extra mile. The detail which Fabianna is so precise about. It is a standard of customer service that has long since passed. As well as both being interesting people on an interesting journey. Together at last. After finding each other in the Falkland Islands. We have their story.

And out of respect for two people we are quite fond of we will protect it. Ask the hooms on their return and we will tell you.

The night before we left, Fabiana showed Pookaverse how to make Pisco Sour. The quantities, the balance between Sugar and Lemon. And the egg white. For it is the egg white that gives the frothy head to this pale yellow. Innocuous. “Mummy this Lemonade tastes funny”. Loopy juice.

Two glasses and you are high – not drunk. High. How is this possible? It is all in the sugar. Apparently. As our new host Luis told us on arriving at our new destination for the next two nights. Following our return to Punta Arenas From Puerte Natales – the 3-hr coach ride to the airport to be collected by Pamela. It´s not called the hidden house for nothing. Too soon. More later.

We will show you how. Without tearing out your liver in the process. We now carry the torch back from the ‘New world’ to the ‘Old world’.It’s not that difficult. As Pisco tastes remarkably like blended whisky in it’s raw form.

At least it does. When. You take a swig from a bottle. In a fucked-up place. Waiting for the morning to come. And escape. Remembering that there are better places to be and more interesting people to be around. Only a few hundred yards away.


2 Responses to “What matters is…”

  1. Terri and Andrew Says:

    Hi Ali and Rohan,
    Glad Yorkshire man made you feel at home so far away from the UK!! Glad you escaped your last place! Thinking of you especially today Ali.
    Lots of Love and safe travels,
    Terri and Andrew xx

  2. Thompson Says:

    Glad to hear that you survived Alcatraz – hope the next place is a bit nicer. At least secret of Pisco Sour will be a much better souvenir to bring home with you than a “Kiss Me Quick” hat.

    Hope you are both well – thanks so much for the lovely card!


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