As we're overlanding South America, some of you might wonder where we stay every night?
Well, we've ended up camping in a bunch of different places. Sometimes we pay for campsites to have access to Mr. Human's two favourite inventions (the toilet and wifi, ideally at the same time). When there's free campsites, you can bet your butt we'll be there, sucking all the electricity we can get.
Other times we stay in a parking lot or a mechanic's garage or in a hostel. When we we're on the coast, we like to stay by the beach. And yeah, sometimes we'll just park up next to a couple trucks at a petrol station.
While it's always drop-dead gorgeouso, I admittedly still love staying anywhere in our van because I really love the fact that I can travel with a bed and fridge on access 24/7. Imagine being able to travel around AND being able to lay down whenever you want. Oh yes. Imagine going to the beach for a swim and then you feel like a snack and - oh yes - you can make two-minute noodles right then and there.
And every once in a while, we get to stay at a place like this... my favourite campsite ever.
We found this little spot on Chile's northern coast, known for its mesh of mountains and rocky coast.
We found this place from an app called iOverlander: overlanders all over the world can add in cool spots they've found for future overlanders to discover. According to the description of this spot, there was a colony of sea lions lurking nearby.
We began exploring, clamouring along giant jagged rocks to get further out from the coast. Vultures and sea gulls swept and screeched around us. Mr. Human glided elegantly over the rocks, silent and swift.
I, too, was a ninja darting from rock to rock.
When we finally found a spot close enough to observe them, it was AWESOME.
This was the first time I'd ever been this close to animals in the wild (besides kangaroos and birds.....). It was absolutely mesmerising watching the seal lions make loud URPP-ing sounds and scratch themselves with their tails.
Absolutely mesmerising. The facial expressions. The tail dexterity. The pure emotion.
One of the things I loved most about this place was that the nature felt so raw. It was beautiful, but real. Skeletons of dead sea animals littered the rocks. The ocean air reeked.
All that white you see on the rocks? Years and years of bird poo built up. Who would've thought.
The water was crashing all around us, this beautiful swirl of blue and white.
The rock that we were on, there was a badly injured sea lion. It seemed he'd chosen to stay away from the rest of the colony, in pain and dying nearby. As we approached, he began to limp away, slipping softly back into the water.
As the sun began to sink lower, we began to set up our bedroom (AKA Mr. Human set up our rooftop tent while I stood on the side and took photos). He and I made a deal a long time ago that he would set up the tent every time - by himself - and I would simply stay out of the way and not touch anything. Oh yes, I am winning in life.
And remember how I said the nature here was shockingly raw?
When I woke up in the morning, I looked outside our tent and saw some vultures feasting on a dead seal. Don't judge me for taking a picture. I had to. Nature is tough man. It re-affirms a thought I've had before from watching David Attenborough documentaries... I'm pretty sure if I was living in the wild, I would not be a predator. I would be the dead seal. :(
Anyways, so as to not leave you with the image of a dead seal being eaten, you can check out this quick video of my favourite campsite ever. If you listen closely, you can hear the magical Song of the Sea Lions in the background...