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Published: January 7th 2013
New Year in Sydney - awesome!
Some things in life are dry; the Sahara is a fine example. Jacob's cream crackers, another. Even Jack Dee is dryer than a laundrette's tumbler range, but I, my friends, am not. It is not too much of a curse; I may be a sweaty man, but I am thankfully not a smelly man. If I were, I would have to cut short my time in Santiago and move directly to Antarctica, not passing go, certainly not collecting 200 pounds (or 400 dollars, if you are one of the Australian contingent), but I would perhaps be able to slide my way there on the curve of a single armpit, rather than take the already booked flight down south.
Yes, it is hot here. I read a Michael J. Fox book in the last few days where part of it talks about faith, and how he once saw a man tell children that hell was like a thousand candle flames a mere few centimetres from each inch of your skin. I am pleased to say that it is not that hot, but hotter than Melbourne it is fair to say. It is also pretty quiet, which was really the point of
coming here, though 7 days may be stretching it. I have, so far, attended a free walking tour of the city, been up a couple of the hills in the city, been to an art gallery (fine art, if you please, though the definition of fine can be stretched in several ways, it turns out), a natural history museum (a thousand stuffed animals later, I was not sure this was as natural as could be), and admired the tan that had formed on my calves with a line to my ankles more purely defined than any white line you could wish to see in Scarface. Actually, in my case, this line turned out to be dirt, and a shower soon showed me my error.
I blame the hill I had walked up: Cerro San Cristobal. It is a hill in Santiago that has a statue of the virgin Mary on top that looks out across the city. It is a fairly steep walk of a few kilometres, though there is a bus that you can catch for 500 Peso's. This equates to about 1 Australian Dollar. It turns out that my ability to laugh in the face of hills
equates to far more than this, and this resulted in not only the dirt/tan line but also my cap forming sweat lines and many, many looks from darker skinned locals who clearly realise that white men can't walk. But it was a rewarding experience, nonetheless, and a great point from which to see the city that houses over a third of all of the inhabitants of Chile. It is a city that has seen massive political upheaval - I can't remember the various names and events from the talk that Franco gave us on the tour - and it is quite something that it seems as settled now as it does. But then, I don't live here 😊
I have booked a glacier hike on Tuesday that I am looking forward to, and Monday night prior to this I will be off to an Irish bar that does a language exchange to try and learn some basic Spanish before I drive myself mad. It is not cool knowing terribly little and I certainly regret not making more of an effort before I left Melbourne. Oh well, can't change much now. And then Thursday I jump back on a plane
Look into my eyes...
to go to Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, and then for me the adventure really begins.
I hope all is well in your various parts of the world - until next time, cheerio!
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