What is this marvellous drink? It simply is close to, but not boiling water poured over yerba (tastes like green tea) in a gourd. Bueno, it doesn’t have to be a gourd. It can be a fancier gourd-like object made out of metal or madera or algo así. Regardless, it is DELICIOUS. That is if you like bitter drinks. If not, well either you add sugar or you can forget it.
[It’s the mate himself (hot thermus in right hand, gourd in left)]
I loved it so much that while we were traveling in Argentina, i even bought myself a gourd and a wooden straw to go with it. It just so happens that i already had yerba in Brasil because before traveling, i mistakened mate in a grocery store for a brand of café. It’s like it was meant to be!!!!
So what is so special about this mate?
As we traveled throughout Argentina and Chile we were constantly meeting people from all over: Israelis, Canadians, Japanese, Chinese, French, Mexicans, Argentinians, Brazilians…WOOT WOOT, Dutch, Colombians need i continue? I mean so many people. And we all gathered for the same reason, to explore South America. All of us with an eager heart to conocer una cultura desconocida. And sometimes we shared a mate.
ERGO, mate is a symbol of our need to be in relationship.
In relationship with not just ourselves, but also with each other and nature.
I also view it as an important indicator to be in relationship with God because He propels me to be in deep relationship with myself, people, and nature.
Anyway, this mate drink shows the importance of being in relationship with another because rarely did i witness an argentino tomando mate solito. One time, i drank mate with argentinos guapos, an argentinian couple, and two dutch people after we snorkeled with sea lions. Another day, in El Chaltén (Southern Argentina) i drank some mate with our host family allá, brasileños, and other argentinos practically all day long. In Bariloche, Jake’s host sister, even gave us mate before we embarked on our lazy day at Colonia Suíza.
Basically, mate just brings people together. It draws you to conversation and relajarse because you pass around a gourd filled with yerba and hot water. Yum.
As for relationship with nature? Welllll most of our time in Patagonia we ran into mate, and Patagonia is constantly screaming I AM FILLED WITH MAJESTIC WONDER. It was incredible to see how gorgeous even clouds are in Patagonia. EVEN CLOUDS (i know i already mentioned Patagonia’s clouds, but they’re just that beautiful).
Patagonia majestic wonders
[my favorite combo: water and mountains]
Reppin Bucky at El Glaciar Perito Moreno
[Who knew ice could be so beautiful?]
I also found Lago Argentino as another place that drew me closer to nature because it was so serene made up of the glacial water and indigo mountains. Not only the lake, but the Lagoon was also just so peaceful.
[Laguna Nuñez, El Calafate, Argentina]
(Lago Argentino, El Calafate, Argentina)
In Torres del Paine, enough said basically. You are constantly surrounded by gorgeous sights, and in just four days you witness a glacier, icebergs, rivers, lakes, mountains, and the eighth World Wonder, Torres. And furthermore, you constantly cross foreigners’ paths just demonstrating my first point how we are made to be in relationship with one another. This nature is so beautiful that people from all around the world come together to appreciate it, and sometimes with mate in hand.
[Our first site before starting our trail in Torres del Paine]
(During the French Valley Hike)
[Me and The French Valley in Torres del Paine it’s a ‘lil windy…]
[The lovely Torres at sunrise]
[And all of that brought us four randos together]
Did i mention that at Torres you could straight up drink from the water trickling down the mountains? YUP. I think that had to be one of my favorite parts because how often do you get to drink from the water source? That’s how life used to be when humans didn’t go to cray with mother nature.
[so much fun]
This exposure to naturaleza has really moved me to be more aware of how i use energy and natural resources. This beauty is not going to be here forever and of course neither will i, and i owe it to future generations to cuidar de ella. I’m not saying all of the sudden i’m a perfectly sustainably living being, quite the opposite actually. BUT i am noticing the problem and am working on it.
Not that the purpose of my blog is to encourage you readers to do anything, but these life lessons i’m learning aren’t just for me. I think that is really what travelling is about, sharing these life long lessons. If you haven’t even realized how beautiful this earth is OPEN YOUR OJOS. It is marvelous and it is begging us to take care of it. Not just for ourselves but for each other. We have such an exciting life to live: to live and experience this nature together with people.
And what’s crazy about this realization, is that it brings me back to my appreciation for mate.
[sippin’ mate while admiring Bariloche’s pristine lakes]