21 February 2011, Room 4, Natural Surf Lodge, Pichilemu – Western Chile – 11:21pm

I think seeing the sun set over the South Pacific is a good way to see the day end. I'm currently in the most comfortable and cool place I've stayed on my trip so far. It's a wooden, modern lodge, nestled on the side of a small hill, about 500 meters from the South Pacific Ocean in western Chile. After arriving on the bus, a taxi dropped me at the door after there was no answer from the place on the phone. And on arriving there was nobody at reception except the Chilean, non-english speaking cleaner. But after chatting to some of the other guests, a friend of the owners died so they are off in Santiago at the funeral. So eventually I get a room and then head off with Daniel, an Australian accountant, to the beach which is about 3km up the road. He's been surfing since he was 11, so he helps me find a suitable board and wetsuit and he head out into the sea which is full of other beginner types, plus a few really good surfers out on the main wave (one of the best waves in the world apparently) A couple of hours of just learning how to balance whilst lying on the board and learning the way the water moves you around, how to avoid being bashed on your head by your board and I'm somewhat confident about doing some classes the following day. Back to the hostel in a shared cab ride (the taxis here have things to keep surfboards safe in the boot of the car) and I make a cheap homecooked dinner of fried rice with salchichas, (that's hot dog sausages to you and me) and spend a few hours chatting to Daniel, his girlfriend Gabby and a German couple. Joachim and his girlfriend, tell us stories about their travels and all the various illnesses they've had including things like Cholera on the Mexican/Guatemalan border and other such delightful tales.

Off to bed in my 4 bed dorm, but I'm the only person in it. It's strange, a room all to myself and I now kind of miss having a varied selection of people in my room. I thought I would love the privacy of my own bedroom but actually I don't really mind sharing my space with others in the same situation as myself. Oh well, I guess I should savour having my own room, probably won't happen again for a while.

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