Archives for posts with tag: change

The town of Coñaripe is an interesting place. Located about 700 km south of Santiago, it sits on the shores of Lake Calafquén and in the shadow of Villarrica Volcano – one of South America’s most active. Coñaripe is a popular holiday spot for Chileans who can’t afford to stay in the flashier town of Pucón, on the other side of the fire breathing mountain, which caters to international tourists.

While Pucón has a neat grid of boutique hotels, bars and manicured parks, Coñaripe has a pot-holed main street that is dotted with cabins for rent and cheap-but-cheerful restaurants that churn out traditional favourites like pastel de choclo and cazuela. One thing both towns have in common is tourism companies. Lots of them. You can’t go for a five minute walk without being asked if you’d like to climb the volcano, go rafting or relax in the termas (natural hot springs).

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Harbour Bridge.

Nice view: one of the advantages of being back in Sydney.

“It’s good to have you back.”

They’re nice words and I’ve been blessed to hear them a lot lately, as I’ve caught up with friends and family members at all sorts of social gatherings, parties and catch-ups.

“Yeah, it’s great to be back,” I always respond.

And I mean it. Every time. After a 12-month absence, there are few things better than seeing friendly smiles on familiar faces and hearing equally friendly and familiar voices, without the distortion of Skype or the delay of an international call. It’s also nice to see leafy neighbourhoods, filled with grassy parks and tall gum trees, and to hear cockatoos screeching and kookaburras cackling. And jogging along the Parramatta River is great way to end the dat. Yes, it’s great to be back.

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