The end of our first Patagonia Adventure Retreat had come to en end... and what better way to celebrate the week with a final dinner! Amazing food, good views, and fantastic company; I don't think any of us will forget our last night together!
For our final menu, Cesar, our chef extraordinaire, whipped up a homemade vegan quiche, a vegetarian coconut curry, basmati rice, several different salad options with local, organic greens, and of course the traditional Chilean cocktail - pisco sours!
As a surprise, we had invited all of the guides who worked with us throughout the week. Every single one of them made it, except for our horseback guides, who live more than a day's horseback ride away (check out our blog post about our adventure with the Chilean cowboys)! We put together a huge table with the 8 of us who participated in the retreat, Cesar, the whitewater rafting and kayak guides, and our hiking guide and flora and fauna expert, Fernanda.
We shared laughs and stories from the week, made plans to stay in touch in the future, and made more toasts and "cheers" than I can count! The highlight of the night for me was when we shared our "roses, buds, and thorns" of the week. Each of us at the table shared our best moments, something that we were excited about for the future, and our toughest moment. There weren't many tough moments, but there were many beautiful highlights.
Dan and Ellen, a couple from San Francisco, talked about how they were amazed at the sense of community in this small town. They felt like they had really become a part of the community during the week that they shared with us, and that was really special for them. The local guides talked about how much they loved seeing Lelikelen Yoga grow, and how they appreciated the chance to share this beautiful place with so many curious and open-minded travelers. Paulo, an outdoor guide from Chile, talked about how he learned to see outdoor adventures as a way to connect within, and Claudia, his partner from Argentina, was blown away by the connections that we had made within our small group - language barriers, mix of cultures, and all!
I had a LOT of roses this week... but one of the big ones was seeing the group bond and become a family. After the retreat was over, I received a selfie from part of the group - they had gotten together for a post-retreat dinner and drink! I can't have imagined a better first group for our Patagonia Adventure Retreats, and I know we'll all stay in touch.