Monday, December 28, 2009

Chile - The Final Days: La Serena

The foam washed around my bare feet, and even though I had been walking for nearly eleven hours straight, it was only the sting of a sure-fire sunburn that dampened my spirits. Otherwise, I felt worlds away from everything, and that was exactly what I sought.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chile - The longest ride: Bariloche-to-Osorno-to-Santiago-to-La Serena

We got to Osorno three hours late, and I was so exhausted that I couldn't walk. They didn't want to, but it took 30 men to carry me and my lethargy off the bus. AndesMar considered charging me for the extra drama, but I told them I'd bring them bad luck for a century if they tried.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bariloche, Argentina: A World of Wonder

Home will always be home, and the view atop Cadillac Mountain on a crystal clear day, when the air is so crisp that one can stand on the granite slabs, overlook Frenchman's Bay and the "porcupines" that protect Bar Harbor, and hear, word for word, the radio conversations between lobsterman about a half-mile away, will always be my most heartfelt favorite in the world. But Bariloche, Argentina, with its cavalry of white peaks standing guard over the massive and forever fresh and blue Lago Nahuel Huapi, is the most beautiful place I've ever seen on earth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chile - Day Seven: Puerto Varas

So I got up and rushed around to run errands before hopping on a bus from Pucon to Puerto Varas. I needed to photocopy the Bariloche, Argentina info out of the hostel’s guidebook (because I didn't have the Argentinean book - only Chile), eat breakfast, buy lunch, shop the bus companies for prices, and get a picture of the still unseen volcano Villarica.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chile - Days Five & Six: Pucon

The last time someone wrote "rien" in his diary he got his head chopped off. I'm not going to tempt fate, mainly because there is a steaming volcano a few miles from here, but what the hell - Pucon is small, it's Sunday in a country that still shuts down on Sundays, and I'm in a summer tourist town in the thrust of early spring. In other words, it's slow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chile - Day Three: Valparaiso and Vina del mar

Whoever said central Chile is similar to the Mediterranean was spot on. Unlike American deserts, or even unlike the semi-arid climate of Colorado, it is both dry and lush; around Santiago, there is enough brown in between the green that one might think they are in the desert after it has rained, but there is real grass here and the grass holds to the ground so there isn´t dust or loose dirt blowing through the air as it does in Colorado or Dallas or New Mexico. I´ve said it before - this is Greece in South America.

The closer one gets to Valparaiso, and the dark Pacific Ocean that dominates its business, the greener the land gets with vineyards and tall, thin sequoia-like trees. I don´t know what the trees are exactly, but they are as tall a tree as I´ve ever seen. The fir trees look soft, as if their needles would make a comfortable bed if they fell to the ground. But the dirt is still a hardened mud red. The landscape has now turned into the Sierras of California.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chile - Day Two: Santiago

Santiago is an ugly city, and the Mapocho River smells like shit, the air is thick with pollutants, and everything is dirty. The women are much too average and the men are stiff in their suits. I am disappointed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chile Day One: Getting There

Yeah, OK, so no worries here. There`s not a care in the world. This is when I unveil the sword and prime it for the knarled jungle vines ahead. I hit Logan and Logan spit me off to Philly, and Philly spun me to Toronto, and I`m now circling Toronto and I want to see the CN Tower. But all I can see from here to eternity are straight lines of flickering lights intersected at ninety-degree angles by more straight lines that fade to infinity on this flat world, has no curves that I can see that bring all the straight lines beautifully together; there's just people going one way versus others going another way versus me rounding in the plane above them on my way to the straight runway below.