Coralie writes one last letter to her teammates, reflecting on their abbreviated time in Patagonia...
Here we are. The 12 of us split everywhere on this planet. Six weeks together and the end came way earlier than what we expected. But if I’ve learned something the past few years, is that there are situations in this life that don’t really leave you any choice... Sometimes you have to change all of your plans, to be where you should be right now. Whatever the price.
It went all so fast that we haven’t really had a chance to realize this was over. We just spent 6 weeks living, eating, hiking, climbing and learning all together. We shared and witnessed stunning landscapes, we climbed routes that we thought we would never be able to, we laughed, we cried, we asked thousands of questions, we tried to understand each other and we also hated each other so much that we would have given anything to be away from the group for a day or two. And yet, it has only been a few hours since the last of us said goodbye, but we haven’t stopped messaging each other for the last 3 days. It’s like if suddenly, we would give anything to be together again.
I keep looking at the hundreds of photos I took and I can’t stop smiling.
The good and the bad memories, I miss all of them. The hours talking about how we could improve our group, the giggles in the girl’s room, the bed bugs ruining our lives, the yummy and the less yummy dinners, the wraps we forgot, the river crossings as one big chain, the fears we shared, the pain and frustrations, the stories, the day drinking weekends, the improvisation nights, our birthday week, the empanadas, the games, our neighbor Fitz Roy, the life in El Chalten, all of it….
I will never forget about you Helena, for your amazing friendship and your never ending humor that was getting Logan really unsure about if he should laugh or not. Anders, for your beautiful imitation of Manuel “Tarang, tarang, go left” and your Danish humor coming out from nowhere. Big Tom, for your teddy bear’s cuddles, your endless love for local beers and for your incredible patience, both of you Morgadelaide’s for your endless laughter, your natural leadership, and your English lessons to me. Gala, for our stunning meditations and conversation about what is life for real and for our selfie meeting on top of the wall. Annie, for your cuddles, your listening, your incredible calm and steadiness in every situation and for your happy voice that was taking me on roller coaster every time you talked. Tom Pom, for your incredible knowledge and for your mumbling that after 6 weeks still had me asking “what did he say ?” Shane, for your Spanish with your Irish accent that I still don’t understand in English, and for all these special songs and dances you shared with us. Logan, for your incredible power of bringing us together & resolving all of our conflicts, and of course for your special haircut too “Mullets are the best." And Ronnie, for being a second version of myself but such in a different way, for the endless hours you spent by my side, sharing everything with me, from eating chipas, spending time with locals or getting my cold, it’s not everyday that we meet our best parasite mate!
As I had no words the other day when we were trying to share these last memories together I wrote them down for you. But I actually have so many more. Trying to list them was so hard. All of it was special. All of this experience was amazing. So “gracias, thank you, tussen takk, merci, chuurrr” to all of you for the last month and a half together.
A big thank you also to all the people that have been helping us out, teaching us. Manuel of course, for all the knowledge you shared with us, for all your local advice and for the “what happens in the mountains stays in the mountains”. But also Valeria, Santiago, Mariana, Esteban, Jan and the whole team at Hostal del Lago. And all the people that have been gravitating around us and that I might forget to name right now. “Un gracias especial” for you Matias, and for Gabrielle and the guys for sharing with Ronnie and I, all about your local life. Totally unexpected but unforgettable memories. And a thank you to the Pure Exploration team of course, that have been following us from NZ and trying their best everyday to keep us safe and happy.
It was only when I landed in New Zealand that I finally realized that this was over. But actually, I think it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning of something even bigger for all of us. Something I have been experiencing for 3 years. Something magical. With no borders. No time that matters. No restrictions. WORLD WIDE FRIENDSHIP. If any day of your life you feel lonely, or you feel down, if you want to have a talk or if you don’t know where to go, if you’re bored or if you just want to go for an adventure, you now have 11 buddies on your list, spread on this planet, with who you shared enough stories, passions, and struggles to be able to call them anytime. This was only half of what we were supposed to share and I know we all dream about a possible reunion to continue what we started so let’s see where life takes us. But remember, we all ate the calafate berry. We will all go back to Patagonia one day.
Love to all of you.