Cañete to Tomé: Sergio, a fantastic guy!


Sergio goofing around with "Osama"Sergio and the familyhorse and cart
Cycling up and down hills in forests. Often overtaken, a little too close, by great long trucks full of tree trunks. I looked for a place to camp between the rows of pines. Then I thought. Screw it, I'll go to Caranilahue. I cycled around a bit and struggled to find a campsite or hospedaje so I asked for dirrections in a bike shop.

Sergio, the shop owner, would have none of it. I was to stay with him, he said. Seriously, what a generous man. He introduced me to his lovely family, gave me food, a shower, internet, washing machine, and a bed for the night. I listened to his son and his friend practising trumpet and viola for a concert the following night. He was constantly thinking of new ways to be generous. And to make me laugh. He had great fun teaching me Chilean slang words: Modismos.

In the morning, after a great breakfast, Sergio insisted we take my bike into the workshop for a tune-up. I began to fix the minor damage to the front brake. I thought I would just bend it back in place, but Sergio replaced the bent part and rebuilt the whole thing. And put new blocks on. Then Paulo, Sergio's assistant, cleaned the whole bike, tuned the brakes, adjusted the chain, plus oiled it, tightened all the bolts, and pumped up the tyres. I tried to pay but he would accept nothing, not even for the parts. Then it was time for a massive lunch of pasta and eggs. Sergio then decided that it was too dangerous for me to cycle to Conception so my bike and all my bags went in his pickup truck and he drove me to his other shop. Then he, his wife Nancy and I, went out for Once, hot-dogs and juice. Again, I tried to pay but he wouldn't have it. He said that I had to come with them to the concert.

Mozart and Beethoven. Fantastic stuff, even if you know nothing about classical music (like me), you'll recognise that great opening to "The 5th". Duh Duh Duh Der. Duh Duh Duh Der...
I was exhuasted by it, and all the clapping, but then we had to go and watch a football match at Sergio's brother's house (on telly!). The match was in a stadium nearby and on the way back we drove past with all the crowd spilling out. Then, I slept in his flat above the shop. In the morning, another huge breakfast and sandwiches for a packed lunch. "Thank you," didn't come close to being enough, but it was all I could say. And to tell him how generous he is: a massive understatement.

I set off out of Conception, overtaking a horse and cart, with a huge grin. Here is an idea. If you see a cyclist, tourist or a backpacker wondering around. Go over and chat. Invite them to your house, feed them and put them up for the night. You´ve got a sofa, right? This world needs more Sergios!! Better yet join

He does look a bit like Baldrick....

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    Just in case you don't meet a Sergio in the future Pete. Maybe try one of these? Think you might have missed atrick there!

  2. perhaps not as silly as it looks. hills could be hard.


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