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Walter and Marcelo certainly know how to look after their guests at Casa Moro. Despite them having spent most of New Years Eve cooking and entertaining we’re woken on New Years Day by the smell of freshly baked scones and bread.

After copious amounts of tea we decide to spend our last few hours in Chile strolling around the streets of Santiago. The streets are quiet but littered with paper decorations and so look even more colourful than they do normally. Surprisingly only a few smell of wee after last night’s festivities! We reach the oasis of Santa Lucia gardens and sit awhile contemplating the peace and tranquility. Whilst we’re ready to settle for a few days having travelled quite hard for the last month, neither of us wants to leave Chile, and our hearts are heavy.

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We get back to the guesthouse at 1.30pm expecting to lunch on some cereal bars we’d squirreled away (all of the shops and cafes are closed) but we’re given very little choice about joining Walter, Marcelo and family at the table to partake of last nights delicious leftovers and yet more wine. Walter’s dad takes a shine to Rich, and regales us with stories of his global travels, adventures and memories of fish and chip suppers whilst studying at an English school! Walter’s mum is poorly and can no longer see or eat very well but is extremely witty and gracious. We were made to feel so very welcome, making our impending departure that much harder still. Walter and Marcelo have only owned the guesthouse for 3 years but in that time they’ve turned it from a dilapidated shell which had lain empty for 25 years, to a place of beauty. It’s beautiful not only in the way it looks, but in the way that it feels and the love that it both contains and disseminates to all who walk through its doors, whether they be human, dog or cat. With their background in art it really is quite a creation, and a space which inspires creativity in those living in it, even if temporarily. Marcelo creates and conserves stained glass and I cannot resist buying a little brooch which he’s made. I love buying small pieces of hand made jewellery when we travel.

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Walter very kindly gives us a lift to the airport after lunch where we’ve plenty of time to sit some more as all of the airport shops are closed too. We talk about how quickly you get used to living out of a bag, and dressing in clothes which could probably do with a good wash. Neither of us are particularly image conscious so stuff like this doesn’t bother us, not when we’ve had the adventures and experiences that we have, and met such wonderful people. Chile has well and truly gotten under our skin, and we talk about how soon we can return. Maybe early next year? The though of never seeing it again brings tears to my eyes.

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It’s now been 6 months since we left, and  we’re still planning a return trip in the near future. Travel really does broaden the mind and gives you the confidence and vision to take steps in your life that you might not have otherwise. We’re that much more confident, assertive and experienced than we were before landing in South America, and have used those life skills well in the last 6 months. Our guts are telling us that Chile isn’t finished with us yet though…

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