Friday, December 6, 2013

Volunteering at 'Light House 42' on Rio Azul

After our Camping in Bolson and Lago Puelo, we wanted to find another volunteer spot.  Nobody on HelpX had replied to us, and we felt as if it was just the busy season approaching.  While at Lago Puelo, we met Vivian and Michael, from Czech Republic, and they told us of a spot back at Rio Azul, that they happened upon.  A group of people were getting together to build a sustainable community on a beautiful piece of land next to Rio Azul, just behind the town of El Bolson.

Vivian sent an email, telling them that we were looking to volunteer, and we had the invite to come check it out.  The directions on getting there were a little iffy, and we walked past the entrance, and down a trail by the river, to where we thought the property was.  Nobody came all day, and we ended up pitching the tent by the river for the night, which was gorgeous and not to mention, a free night of camping...

The next day we checked all over the property a couple times, and nobody was around.  I was getting the feeling we weren't in the right spot to begin with...I walked back to El Bolson, and halfway there, got picked up, hitch-hiking.  Went to an internet spot, and hadn't heard from them, so I went back to get Danica, at the river and thought maybe we'd camp out in Bolson again, while we plan our next move.

As we gathered up our camp, and walked back towards the dirt road by the riverbank, I heard someone hammering in the distance, on a property with an old barbed wire fence around it.  I decided to go check it out and see if someone there knew of 'Light House 42,' the name of the project...

It turned out to be Shannon, and her boyfriend Nahuel, the people we had talked with, and I had been looking on their neighbor's property.  She asked if we still wanted to volunteer for a week or so, and we obviously did.  We set up our tent on the massive property surrounded by huge bushes of Rose Hips, or "Mosqueta" in Spanish, that are like huge rose bushes with 3 times the thorns.

We started helping around the property, on several projects, ranging from shoveling gravel, to digging drainage trenches, and coming up with new ideas for the building projects on the existing old house, also, clearing out Mosqueta.

Looking back now, we spent 3 weeks volunteering there, and have made new friends, as well as were able to offer some help and ideas towards their project.

"Light House" 42, as they call it, is a group of folks with a gorgeous, river front property, looking to build sustainably, and create a community in the hills behind El Bolson.  Shannon, Jon, and Nahuel, have been the active ones, getting the land livable for their approaching move there.  Their neighbor, Pastor, has a similar project going on, and was another great guy to meet.

We were stoked to be able to offer some ideas and helping hands to what they already have going on.  I built an outside patio table for them, and spent a good couple weeks building them a brand new kitchen counter, using only recycled/things around the property, then installed a new sink and plumbing.  Danica, again, employed her artistic techniques around the place, painting, and building a shelf from tree branches.

 Not only were all of them really awesome people, but we learned a lot as well.  A fucnny, and another small-world connection was figured out during our first week, when Danica, being from the Bay Area of California, thought she recognized Jon...Turns out, Jon is from San Jose, and the two of them met at a party, some 7 years ago!  Wow, this world just seems to get smaller and smaller as we get further and further away from home!

We spent Christmas with Jon and Shannon, and had a blast, hiking up the river to an amazing water hole, and eating some delicious food.  We'd love to come back sometime!

For now, it's down the road...Way down.  Tine to jump aboard a 30 hour Chilean bus, all the way to Punta Arenas, Chile's biggest southern city, before making our way to Ushuaia!

Danica and Shannon, before we left

'Brewski' their awesome dog

Check out Light House 42 on Facebook:

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