Monday, 1 October 2012

Long drive in Chile

Arriving back in Santiago, after the flight from Montevideo across the Andes and vast plains of Argentina, with my possessions now consisting of a megre 4.6kg of luggage, it was time to come to grips with the next leg. That consisted of picking up a hire car in downtown Santiago, and somewhat dry of mouth and moist of palm, launching into the traffic with little more than a GPS and an unreliable portion of hope.
Once on Ruta 5, one is kept alert by the toll stations placed less than an hour apart, a frantic scramble for cash, a dose of fresh air and a short conversation of "hola", and "gracias", selected from the frightfully small, and true to adult learning style of one new concept per day, slowly expanding Spanish vocabulary.
An overnight in Temuco, and onward to Chiloe, a total of nearly 1500 km through productive farmland and soils to die for. The Andes on the left hand side, unfortunately hidden behind cloud, but close enough to feel. One day......
A short ferry crossing, and I arrived at James' place in Ancud, a small fishing village facing the pacific. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, back in the 60s, decimated the island, lowering it a full meter into the ocean.
Preparing for another round of stimulating meetings over the next few days.

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