Today we have another group of NOLS students coming. This time I was prepared for the mess of bags and smells that were to be decending on our hostel... this group, however, didnt smell as bad for some reason! And they had girls among their group. They were really cool and nice like the last group. We checked them in and they went out to the grocery store to get all the food and drinks that they missed while they were in the wilderness the last 80 days. This group was all Americans except two guys from the Netherlands and one from South America. The whole group seemed to get along pretty well but I could tell some of the guys were ready to take a bit of a break from the others. I ended up leaving the hostel with the two Dutch guys to go find some dinner and we met up with the rest of the group and all went to Casino de Bomberos (or Firefighter´s Restaurant), a place where a lot of locals go that I hadn´t been to before. We were a huge group and as soon as we entered the establishment the noise level increased tenfold. (darn crazy Americans!). They pushed 6 tables together and we sat in the center of the room. Everyone ordered food and got drinks at the bar if they wanted, to make it a little easier for the waiter. I didn´t want to spend much money so I just ordered some frites and a beer. All the food looked delicious and I am glad I was able to experience the restaurant. After eating the group wanted to go find a local bar for some drinks. I led them in what I thought was the correct direction, but ended up going the wrong way... good thing Coyhaique is small and I only took us a few minutes out of the way. hehe. We ended up splitting a bit but I had a good group of about 5 guys come with me to Pepe le Pub because I knew they would have good kareoke there (not just in spanish but in english too). We found a nice table by the door in the corner. My friend that I met through couchsurfing, Ceasar, works at this bar and it was another reason I wanted to come here because I wanted to say goodbye to him.
When we first got to the bar I noticed there were some extra party decorations that had been added. Turns out there was a birthday party there that night and as there was kareoke and a microphone floating around the room, there was a perfect opportunity for the DJ to stir up the party. Thus, he chose me (being the blondest and most foreign looking girl in the room) to sing happy birthday to the birthday guy. This is significant --- I had never in my life sang kareoke by myself, let alone sang in front of an entire room. I took it as a ¨why not¨ experience and I gave it my all. It was quite funny and I got some applause. haha. A little later the microphone came back to me and I sang my first actual kareoke song (Adele) with a little backup help from a few of my group. The night was turning out to be a fun success! There was even a shot competition (not sure what it was, but it was lit on fire) between me (USA) and one of the NOLS students (Holland) where the DJ had us stand on stage and they all did a countdown to see who could drink it faster. hahaha. An interesting experience!
I had a few more goodbyes to say that night so after a while I said farewell to the NOLS guys, gave a hug and bye to Ceasar, and went off to meet up with a few more friends at a different bar.
I met up with Marco, Yerko, and Nacho at a bar by my hostel that I hadn´t been to before. This one was brightly painted and had some cool murals. We hung out there for a bit before heading to yet another bar that I hadn´t even seen before where they had some fun lazers and a projection machine playing music videos. I saw a few of the other NOLS guys there and said hi. A little later we went to one of Marco´s friends house for an afterparty. At this point it was getting kind of late in the night (or morning) and after about awhile we decided to grab a cab and go home. I said goodbye to everyone and do hope I get to see these people again at some point. I doubt my travels will take me back down to Coyhaique, but I am happy for the friendships I have made during my time there....