Wednesday, April 16, 2008

South America 2008 #5

News from Here (4/16/08):

hi everybody.

i just uploaded some photos for you all again, have fuñ

since i last wrote, i think i was down in puerto natales a little over a month and a half ago or something. well... lots has changed since then. i have decided to stay in south america for another 6.5 months, making the whole thing last about 9 months in total, and with this amount of time traveling is a whole different experience.

anyways, after puerto natales i went to an island called chiloe (here in chile) where they specialize in phantom like creatures. i didnt see any though, just a bunch of weird cartoons. i also ate a ton of shellfish for one meal there and was feeling a little woozy cause im not used to that much slime. it was a quiet and relaxing little fishing village where i went to the really cool art gallery you may have seen in the pictures.

from there, we went to valdivia. what i remember from that place is intestinal discomfort and large ugly sea lions. i dont really wanna talk about it.

after that the 4 of us (i was with ed, noel, and shaunak still) went to a town called pucón, which was great. i guess normally its a pretty busy summer touristy lake town, but we hit it at the end of the season so it was warm and not too crowded. we spent a few days hanging out on the beautiful black sand beaches by the lake that was a few blocks from the hostel, i went on a 50k bike ride, and i hiked up a rather large volcano. it was a pretty cool experience, but i was kind of hating my life cause i hadnt slept well the 2 nights leading up to it... so each step seemed like it was taking all of my energy by the time we were halfway up. at the top i had a very minor choke attack from the sulfur that i was breating FROM THE ACTIVE VOLCANIC CRATER MAGMA! i felt like a champ, but maybe that was cause they gave us ice axes.

after pucón, i went to a city called valparaíso which was really sweet. its got a ton of very talented graffiti artists living there, and people like me can spend days admiring the crazy drawings all over the place. the city had a ton of character, and im only able to explain it mathematically... cause thats supposedly what i do. it was like if you had the 2nd root of a quadradic integral logged naturally and then exponentially sequenced to find all the eigenvectors associated with the kernel. get it? anyways, i dont wanna bore you TOO much, but check out the pictures. i met a few friends, the 3 of us found an abandoned mansion on top of a hill with an ocean view, and inquired about buying it (i think brett really would have) but we were told that it wasnt for sale. this let us down A LOT for some reason, so we spent half of a day searching for a beautiful house to buy, with no such luck.

and now the fun part... ive spent about a month here in santiago. the boys left after 2 days, and i was ALONE IN SOUTH AMERICA!!! it wasnt so bad though, ive met a ton of great people in the last month and have been adopted into a family of 5 - 2 australians, a chilean, an argentine, and another fellow santa cruzan. ive done a ton of things here over the last 2 months... notably... played some ultimate frisbee, went wine tasting, went hiking in a crappy place, got sick from accidentally eating a gross cheese and tripe sandwich for about a week and a half, almost went home cause thumper lost her balance for a bit, had a few bbqs, walked around the city a ton, eaten avocado everyday, gotten to stay at a free hoboesque apartment with no furniture and sort of floors, and some general much needed lounging around and enjoying the company ive had... be it travellers passing through or people living here.

this past week, ive been taking some spanish courses, brushing up on my subjunctive (which sucks)... but i think im gonna take off on saturday for other parts of the conuntry/continent. ken from UCLA is coming down tomorrow so were gonna travel together for about a week and a half before he goes back home... then i might head up to peru or something. i dunno though, cause my plans change bi-daily. my hope is that i end up somewhere and volunteering while doing some sort of homestay for a month or two... either that or becoming a ski instructor down here. i cant believe they have world class skiing 20 miles from santiago.

anyways, i think thats long enough. im sure there are plenty of stories i didnt tell you about, but its okay. hope all is well, and dont forget to pet your dog CAUSE YOU CAN!!