And the search for something less touristy terminated swiftly with our arrival at Praderas del Sur, a goat farm just south of Osorno.
So, I had been dwelling a little on the terrors that Christmas outside of my warm family home might bring. A little, a lot, potato, potAto. Especially as we were arriving on 23rd December, so close to Christmas. So we bought each other some presents in Bariloche (I did anyway, egg was more prepared), downloaded some Christmas songs, bought a teeny bit of very nice chocolate, wrapped our presents and headed to Purranque.
On arrival we met Katrin, her two sons, Aaron and Nathan, Tommy another Wwoofer, 3 cats, 5 dogs, 1 horse, a flock of geese, 2 ducks, a bunch of chickens, 95 goats and 35 baby goats. And we immediately felt welcome.
I was initially disappointed that there was no tree, but this turned out to be amazing as it meant we got to go and choose the tree on Christmas eve. It also meant I had a Carrie moment when I emptied a bucket of water to use as the base only to discover it was full of goat blood and guts. Oops. And ugh.
So Christmas eve we spent getting to know the farm routine which is briefly:
Rest/play with dogs
Fix fences so goats don’t escape
Chase escaped goats
Have bucket shower
It sounds quite busy but in reality these tasks are juggled so you have about 6 hours work a day. And we really enjoyed all of it.
Goats are so much fun and really affectionate. Some have names,- by the time we left we could identify friendly goat, diahhorea goat, baby diarrhoea goat, Bambi, Elvis, the jumper family, canela, zebra goat, mangy goat and naima. They are also a pain in the arse and even after two sells it took us at least 20 mins (but normally more like an hour) to get them back home after grazing. 20 minutes of chasing, yelling, coercing, running hell. Oh sorry, I meant fun.
Christmas itself was pretty special. It was only us three wwoofers, so we got all the work done and had a lovely festive lunch and dinner together. I made Christmas custard (which worked) and meringues (which did not). The meringues were not really my fault as I left them in the oven too long due to the fact we had some unplanned goat chasing to do. For a while I was very concerned that we had managed to lose a third of Katrina,s goats on Christmas day. But they were recovered and all was well.
Most importantly egg made the day very special, I even got a stocking, and we had after eights as our one thing that felt very English.
Christmas eve is the more celebrated day here, so the night before the day we had the family’s traditional dinner, chicken with chips. Maybe not our idea of traditional but very good chips all the same.
The time went very quickly here; we used our free time to go to Frutillar, a lake side town we nearly did some workawaying in. We were glad we didn’t. It is a very stuffy, very quiet place, where the only thing of note was the very well designed theatre. So we decided to not even spend the day there and instead hoped on slither bus to Puerto Varas, which we much preferred. We found some internet too so I could catch up a bit with people which was nice.
New year’s eve was passed by Katrin’s friends joining us at the house, a big meal, lots of wine and a big fire outside onto which we put things from last year that we did not want to carry into 2014, so we will see if that worked.
I miss friendly goat and rocky (my favourite, and probably in general the least loved, dog) already.