Friday, 18 January 2008

the Andes to the Pacific

part ONE : the mountains : about 10km from the border with argentina : about 2000m above sea level : termas del flaco : tinguiririca valley : almost too hot to bear suplhuric smelly and magic all healing water : mud : the valley where the plane with the uruguayan rugby team crashed in the 70's inspiring the film 'alive' : tiny intensely coloured flowers : dust : a wildly swinging and swaying bridge over an icy very fast flowing river : waterfalls and boulders : dinosaur footprints in the rock : a mine : statues of the virgen mary in impossibly desolate locations : impeccably well dressed huasos (chilean cowboys) : scratchy prickly plants : rainbow coloured rocks : stars and satellites : flocks of noisy yellow and blue parrots : condors that remained invisble

part TWO : the central valley : santa cruz : a small town amidst a sea of vineyards fruit trees vegetable fields : bustling and wealthy but also rural and simple : single storey abode buildings : the classic central plaza full of palm trees and monkey puzzles : a museum with a glittering display of mapuche jewelry and just about everything else you could imagine : breakfast of almond cake and a juicy juicy peach sitting in the plaza : the usual lunch of avocado tomato and cheese sandwich in the incredibly friendly panificadora : horses and carts clip clopping down the main street : a constant parade of flat wide brimmed 'huaso' hats

part THREE : the ocean : pichilemu : a seaside surfing town : a chilean newquay : a wide curving bay of dark grey sand : a rocky headland : white frothy waves and a steely grey sea : thick sea fog rolling in off the ocean : outer space monster seaweed : sad llamas with hats being paraded up and down the beach for people to have their photo taken with : empanada capital : a vague air of faded grandeur : a hilltop promenade of palm trees and topiary that has seen better days : an old abandoned casino covered in scaffolding and being done up : arcades : gokarts : a rickety funfair : a delicious dinner of grilled fish and tomato and onion salad with a huge glass of freshly whizzzed papaya juice served by an extremely kind and very old woman with a wicked sense of humour and a glint in her eye

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