Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pan de Azucar: Gourmet Camping

So, since you just got one blog, I'm going to try to stay short on words and long on photos. My roommate Kanke, and her two friends Prema and Belen, and I took a road trip north. We stopped each day to camp on the beach--sometimes in official camp sites, sometimes not.

All three girls were extraordinary cooks. I felt I actually ate better than I ever have on this trip. Tortilla-like bread made from scratch, pasta with spices, Chai tea from scratch, stew, soy hamburger--all I can say is WOW! Check out the adven!

An incredible time with incredible company--and what a Spanish lesson--I've never had one last 10 days before.

Chao Chicos!

Playing Catch Up

Where did January and February go? I wanted to post a few blogs, share a few photos before I head off to the South (woo hoo!) and wend my way to Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world...though I guess it's not really the end cuz there's just more world the farther you go. But still, it sounds dramatic, doesn't it?

So what the heck have I been doing? I've been playing journalist--some of you may have read my first article on Matador. It has ignited my curiosity about the world and my concern with...well...the way the world is.

I talked with a guy who heads education for a dog shelter. After being attacked by dogs in Cajon de Maipo, I've been particularly sensitive to the stray dog issue in Santiago and in Chile in general. I was seeking an answer and 4A was one of them. I then helped them give away puppies in downtown Santiago one Saturday. I plan on helping them more when I get back from vacation.

To escape the heat (and to write an article on beach cities), I went with my roommate to Vina del Mar. It is a very crowded beach (see photo below for evidence); but if you feel self-conscious about your body in a swimsuit, this place is perfect in some ways. It's so easy to get lost in the crowd.

We also went to Algarrobo and viewed the world's largest swimming pool. It's a little outrageous because twenty feet away is the ocean. The idea of a huge swimming pool right next to the ocean seemed like an American scheme to me, something you'd find in Las Vegas instead of Chile. This is also the place for the self-conscious suitwearer because there's practically no one around (again photo as evidence).

I have this theory that Chileans really, really, really need to be next to each other...all the time. They're just used to it in Santiago, in the metro, in line, on the street. So why spread out ever? Why change what's comfortable? How else to explain the crowded beach on one hand and the practically deserted beach on the other--both equidistant from the capital.

By the way, see the buildings in the background, behind the beach? The length of the pool covers the width of all those buildings put together.

I also worked on an article about murals and graffiti in Santiago. Here's one I really liked.

And now, a little view of what has been growing right outside my window during the summer--the beautiful upside to too much sun.

And that's all folks! The next blog will be mostly photos from my recent trip up North--to the Atacama desert--the most arid desert in the world!

Chao Chicos!