Road Music – Disc#7
Only By the Night by Kings of Leon
As clouds immersed Cypress wooded hillsides and misty rain turned heavy we legged it back up the sidewalks of Caleta Tortel to the car parking housing Elvis, our camper van, and decided to scarper. Turned out not to be the best decision ever but there was some good music on the way!
With the Carretera Austral no more than a 1.5 lane wide mud and gravel road between Caleta and Cochrane to the north – 3 hours or so way – heavy rain and poor visibility was always going to make things interesting… And so it transpired, 15 minutes out of Caleta with the opening extremely punchy opening bars of ‘Crawl’ kicking in, Ballard comedy slid our camper van into a ditch.
Uoopa! As we ‘calmly’ exited the listing van it was obvious we’d been lucky. We weren’t hurt (apart from my pride), we hadn’t put any one else in danger and the van (although cill deep in gravel) was undamaged.
Right then how do we deal with this?! Well probably first job – turn off the stereo that was blaring out ‘sex on fire’! Not likely this evening I thought, and I reminded myself that it wasn’t the first time this bloody track had been associated with me coming to grief.
When KOL headlined Glastonbury I was floored and disoriented when a wellie wearing reveller decided it was the moment to get her top off to Caleb and forgot she was on her blokes shoulders and landed head first into me. The fact her top was round her neck at the time was the only saving grace.
Anyway back to Chile, and I set off walking back towards to Caleta in the rain to see if could get someone to pull us out. After 15 minutes jogging I came across a bloke and his missus in a 4×4 who understood the predicament but had no back seats so I had to run back to the van – this is my punishment I thought.As I arrived back, Gemma had also flagged down a group of plucky Argentines who were making an initial attempt to drag Elvis out with a tow rope fashioned from four or five bits of old climbing rope. This was not lucking a promising endeavour as Elvis seemed to dig in further. With the whole thing descending into a comedy sketch we were saved by a passing truck driver who handily had a crane on his wagon. With expert precision the trucker lifted Elvis back onto the road in a manner that made me think this must happen all the time 😉 – took some comfort from this.
With our savour paid in cans of beer. We headed tentatively off. So tentatively in fact that the stereo wasn’t turned back on until nearly the end of our journey. When it was I skipped the rest of the ill-fated track 3 and headed for ‘Use Somebody’. As we came to rest on the side of beautiful lake just South of Cochrane, the enchanting ‘Cold Desert’ drifted in. We watched the sun set over the lake and the stars begin to emerge from the twilight sky.
The peace only broken with a local fisherman turning up with his wife and daughter blasting out Chilean punchy punchy club dross from their motor. I went toe to toe with them by going back to ‘crawl’ but I quickly remembered this had got me into trouble earlier and backed off.
A day of real adventure, incident, great music and proof that as it says on our camper ‘Real Kings never die.’.
Favourite Track – All apart from my nemesis ‘Sex on Fire!’