Monday, April 26, 2010

Journal pages

It has been wonderful to hear in=person feedback from our blog-followers, now that we are home. I never imagined we'd have so many blogfans! Thank you all for caring enough about us to follow our journey.
For the final post, I thought I'd post some of the images I sketched in my journal, along the way. I hope you enjoy them. Capturing the beauty of any place, or moment, is nearly impossible, but I always enjoy the challenge of trying.

Beautiful wave at Quimixto, Mexico

Cartoon version of our setup in Chile

Punta Lobos, Chile

Ryan with Volcan Llaima in the background

Volcan Villarica the day after the terremoto

Lounging on Lago Villarica el dia despues del terremoto

Sube la luna, la noche despues del terremoto

Chilean heli bringing supplies to people camping en los cerros

Vista from Buchu

Dark, here, but on of my faves

Inspired by birds and seeds in Buchu

Chilean surf paradise

New friend, Maca, watching the waves in Chile

Celebrating Oliver's birth in Buchu

Rocky point with snoozing ducks

Facing the reality of coming home

While this is the final post for "Jess & Ryan's Southward Journey," we are certain that the journey is continuing. Each day of living brings challenges, surprises, and new joys. Each day we realize that we are not completely in control of the way the day unfolds. Traveling has reminded us of this. It has also reminded us to stay open to the possibility that something wacky might happen, open to meeting new people. It has reminded us that being vulnerable is okay, as long as we're also resourceful. It has certainly given us new perspectives. We feel so blessed to be exploring this awe-inspiring planet, and plan to continue doing so.
Thank you to those who helped make the trip happen, and to those who were interested enough to follow along. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: We LOVE you ALL!
Jess & Ryan

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It has been amazing to be back in Oregon, and to pick up right where we left off with family and friends. It has been most exciting to meet Oliver, one of our two new nephews. He is a bundle of love; we haven't tired of cuddling him yet. We both are earning firsthand knowledge of the work and joys of parenting, which is an amazing learning experience.
Mama and Baby share a strong resemblance!
Grandpa Went holding his great grandson!

He's sucking my thumb!!!!

We LOVE our new role as Tios!

Jess & Ryan
P.S. Next entry: watercolors and sketches from our travels.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back in Eugene

Just a quick note to let you know that we have arrived back in Eugene, after 27 hours of airport travel. It was a smooth trip, followed by a good night's sleep, and we are now ready to re-enter English-speaking society. We are soooo excited to catch up with all of you, and will be in touch.

Stay tuned for more blog reflections....


Jess & Ryan

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wrapping it up in Santiago

Hi everyone.
The previous post, of our final days at the beach (below) is much more exciting. This is just a note to tell you all that we are finally, really, heading home TONIGHT!!! We have spent the last few days here in Santiago dealing with the business of selling El Furgon. While parting with our home on wheels was slightly sad, we are, of course, thrilled to have sold it without difficulty. It worked out just how we had hoped. We have had some time here, also, to enjoy the sites in Santiago. My personal highlights have included art museums, running a part of the Santiago marathon, and conversations with Chileans along the way. The city is much much more bustling now than it was back in February, so we are pretty ready to leave the hustle.
We are currently anticipating a smooth 26 hours of travel, back to Eugene, and will be sure to be in touch with all ya´ll when we arrive.
Don´t worry, I have some follow-up blogging to do when we get home. This is not the final entry (ha, ha, HA!).
Love to you all.
Jess and Ryan

Leaving the Playa

Waves, waves, waves, waves, waves...

Our final days on the coast, here in Chile, were powerful indeed. We visited a wave that Ryan had heard about, and the surfing exceeded his expectations by a lot. The scenery exceeded our expectations as well; it was relatively near Santiago, but still very remote. The hike to reach the wave was pretty intense, so we got a lot of exercise each day. We were lucky to befriend a local surfer who was willing to give us rides down the road to the beach, which happened to be one of the most intense four-wheel-drive roads we had ever experienced.

For El Furgon, the road stopped here. The surf wave breaks off that point, so you can see it was quite a hike in.

Horses work better than Furgones on this road. They are transporting dried, packaged seaweed, called "Cochayuyos," which Chileans like to eat.
So, we are glad to report that our final days on the coast in Chile were fulfilling in many ways. There, we began to embrace the reality of leaving, and to enjoy feelings of anticipation about coming home, while also enjoying more of Chile´s beautiful Pacific coast.

Hiking out with a big smile, after a great surf session.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I can't believe almost a week has passed since we last wrote. As planned, we left Buchupureo with aspirations of exploring the mountains in this part of Chile. Essentially, we found what we sought, which was the beauty of the mountains. Unfortunately, we mainly saw them from a distance because the parks were closed. We even had overnight packs loaded--camping gear, premade meals, warm clothes, etc.--on our backs and were denied entry at the gate of the second park we tried.
What we eventually realized was that it was for our own good. We learned this as we were leaving the park by foot, along the road that had been closed due to rockfall and waterflow. We stopped for a few minutes to enjoy a tall, lightly-trickling water fall. We sat below it, took some photos, soaked in the sun. Then, as we were walking away down the road, we happened to look back in that direction. The clear, ephemeral, trickle had been replaced by a brown, frothing torrent of water.

At the least, we would have gotten very wet where we had been sitting. Considering this a suitable reminder that things happen for a reason, and that it was time for us to move on, we quickly hiked through the rock slides and, later that day, high-tailed it back to the coast.

So, here we are back in the region surrounding Buchupureo. This time, we are camped on the beach near Ryan's new favorite wave, and are loving being back in El Furgon.

Many amazing things have been happening. For example, this morning our battery died, but we ended up meeting an awesome truckload of Chileans as a result. Right now we are sitting in the internet cafe where, before the terremoto, we made the decision to leave the coast. It has reopened after almost a month closed. There are cracks in the walls but the computers and the cappuccino machine are working. The town is being rebuilt all around us. It is actually quite surreal.
We plan to spend the next week working our way north along the coast, and then back to Santiago. You'll know when we get there.
Lots of love to all,
Jess & Ryan

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buchu Dayz

Hi everyone,

We hope you are enjoying hints of spring, wherever you are. Here, we are enjoying hints of autumn: yellowing leaves, a cool nip in the breeze. LJ will leave us on Tuesday, to catch his return flight to the states. We will also leave Buchupureo on Tuesday, for a trip to the mountains. Though we can feel our time here winding down, there are still memories being made. As you will see from the photos, we are continuing to enjoy the beauty of this magical place, while also finding small ways to help the people who live here.

Any questions about why we love this place? This helps explain it...

The view from our Buchu home.

The footbridge to the beach here was washed out in the wave that followed the earthquake. If you look closely, you can see another piece of the bridge on the right bank of the river, just before the bend. That's how far it was carried, upriver, by the surge!

We helped the family that lived in this house pre-terremoto. They are currently living in temporary structures in their backyard. (Note: the following photos are all of this same home.)
This shows the adobe building style. The walls are almost two feet thick! In this case, the whole front wall of the house split off the rest of the structure. To me, knowing how violently the earth shook here for two and a half minutes, it is almost unbelievable that the walls are standing at all.

A stopsign on the streetcorner is visible through the crack between walls.

We helped them piece together temporary living structures, using materials salvaged from their demolished antique home.

Pondering the movements of the ocean

Ryan, pondering the waves.

We will miss LJ! He's been a great compadre!
While we are feeling nostalgic about leaving Buchupureo, and about parting ways with LJ, we still have two solid weeks left of this epic adventure, and we aim to make the most of it! Who knows what is in store????
Love to you all,
Jess, Ryan, and LJ :)
P.S. For Oliver-fans, I added a couple photos to the "It's a..." post.