Yesterday, while riding in-between the town of Nowhere and Land of Nothing, where the road goes out to infinity and the only sign of people are the occasional passing vehicle, we met Julio. He passed us, pulled over and waited for us to catch up. Admittedly, given the events of two days ago, we were a little suspicious at first. What was this guy doing?
Julio has done motorcycle touring in the past (like what we do, but with a motor). On occasion, people would take him in and offer a place to stay. Julio believes in keeping the good energy of the world going and in a way, paying it forward (this is essentially the basis of the WarmShowers organization). After chatting for a few minutes about our trip he invited us to his house in San Rafael for the night and for an asado.
Faith in the good people of the world…restored.
We arrived at Julio’s house this afternoon and joined the family for lunch. His son (Jalil, age 12) and daughter (Soraya, age 16) had prepared handmade noodles and a pasta sauce that their mother had canned (their mom and another sibling were out of town while we were there).
We spent the day relaxing at Julio’s house, watching a movie with Jalil, and later took a driving tour of San Rafael while Julio ran some errands. Spending the day doing normal family activities was a welcome change to our routine. Sometimes we miss normal life; the lazy afternoons watching a movie on the sofa, dinner with the family, sitting out on the deck chatting at night.
In the evening we had a grand asado and shared a bottle of wine from the Morreville vineyard we had toured earlier in the day. We talked long into the night (Argentinians stay up late!). Julio’s hospitality and warm reception were such that it felt like we were old friends. Like our visit was planned all along.
Sometimes I wonder how we are so lucky to meet such beautiful people in our travels. Is it luck? Or is it that we were always surrounded by beautiful people and we just needed to stop and say Hello to each other to realize it.
I travel to meet the friends I don’t know I have. – unknown