...Back on the adventure trail
Ok, that's enough Spanish. And is not far off the extent of my knowledge of the language... But anyway, seem to be getting by so far in the communication stakes here in Santiago de Chile...
Was the longest Monday ever getting over. Set off at 6pm in the evening, on Monday, and arrived at 1pm in the afternoon, on Monday - after an 11 hour flight. Pretty random. But that's round the world travel for you! I've now officially crossed the international dateline, which doesn't happen every day I suppose.
Took me a couple of days to settle into my new travel scene. Not exactly a culture shock, but still pretty hardwork in comparison to the previous few months. I think both the jetlag and the surrounds in which I found myself on my first two nigts here - a hostel which is well recommended but which I hated because it was dirty, dark and freezing (think it might be grand in the summer?) - didn't help. Laid wide awake watching my breath in the air, thinking "hmm, so ten weeks to go then...."
But places always look better in the sunshine, and I always feel better when there is central heating, so am pleased to announce that I have now encountered my first radiator since leaving home. They're white and gleaming and lovely and all over the place in my super new hostel. I was on the same plane as a guy I met in New Zealand and when we met the next day to swap notes he told me I should move to his hostel pronto, and it´s sooo nice, deffo in the top five of hostels stayed in so far.
Plus the weather is now picking up and the last couple of days have been bright and sunny, it's so nice to feel warm again and walk round in a T-shirt, although is still pretty nippy at night.
The first couple of days I pottered around the city getting to grips with my new surroundings and running all the usual travel errands - honestly, a traveller's chores are never done! You try finding an adapter which converts a British plug to a Chilean one when you don't speak the language and are a stranger in a new city in deepest darkest South America...
So yesterday it was time to do some proper sightseeing and me and my Columbian room-mate (my little Shakira!) and a Dutch guy we met on the bus, went off for the day to Valparaiso, which is a port city classed as the bohemium capital of Chile. Loads of artwork on the houses, lots of little galleries and museums and just a really nice place to wander the hilly streets, like really hilly - any Holmfirthers think Cooper Lane, anyone else think steep hill that you need escensurs (kind of lift/cable car things) to get up and down. Anyway it was a really nice day and tired me out sufficiently that I actually slept last night - bonus!
We might go skiing tomorrow cos the best resorts in the country are just over an hour away, but it's disappointingly expensive (was hoping it would be like 50p or something) so we may just do a day trip to the Andes instead, Marcella is mega keen to see snow!
Very excited to get to Buenos Aires on Sunday, am flying over and will stay for just over a week until dearest Jen arrives to check on her old flatmate. Don't know whether I've mentioned this in the blog, but Jenny is coming over to see me for a couple of weeks and we're going to travel from BA to Rio together. Am soooo excited to see a familiar face, should be fab. This is also a total change of itinery as I wasn't going to do Brazil at all. But cos I'm here sooner than planned it's way too cold to go down to Patagonia so am heading north to Brazil and then across to Bolivia and Peru from there, well that's the rough plan anyway. Bueno.
*New Zealand pics*
Annoyingly I forgot to put my North Island pics on the blog before I wiped everything from my camera to start a fresh memory card over here. But they are safely on disc and hopefully safely winging their way home.. So photo fans (that´s you Elinor), you´ll have to peruse those ones when I get home and be content with just the South Island ones for now. Apols for that, very bad blog-keeping.