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I left Mexico City at 7:30 PM on Tuesday and arrived in Santiago (+ 2 hour time change. Santiago is on Daylight Savings time and is therefore on the same time as Rio) We were on approach to Santiago as the dawn was coming on. The Andes against a vermilion sky, incredible. I was on the starboard side of the plane so was not able to get a photo but it was a memorable sight.
I am staying at the home of my friend Margarita in a working class suburb about 45 minutes from the center of Santiago. There is a good public transport system here, metro and buses that are linked to the neighborhoods by ´´colectivos´´shared taxis that get you close to home. The neighborhoods are gated communites of neat little row houses. There was a police car on the street last night that was totally enclosed with steel mesh frames over every glass surface. I have never seen anything like it but it was too dark for a picture.
One of the hazards of travel is getting exposed to all kinds of new respiratory and intestinal bugs. I have been lucky with the intestinal stuff but on Monday started coming down with a ´´resfrio¨ (cold) I am not one to let those things slow me down much but combined with an all night flight (damn those are a bitch anymore), I am a bit knocked down. Margarita is filling me with all kinds of herbal concoctions that she is brewing up. She explains them to me and I probably understand about half of what she is saying, she speaks no English, and my increasingly better Spanish is no match for her technical detail but I just do as she says.
Margarita is a yoga teacher, massage therapist and esthetician. She lives very simply. It is interesting to see another side of Chile than what I saw when I was here on a MotoDiscovery tour in 2008, which is when I met Margarita. She visited me in Colorado in the summer of ´08 and we have kept in touch over the internet. She ran for city council here in October but was defeated. When we met I was on the city council in Telluride, I ran for mayor in 2011 and was defeated. We both not get to pursue our private lives outside of the public spotlight. We have kept in touch over the internet and with google translate and it is nice to have a reunion with a ¨simpatica amiga´´.
I am temporarily without a wireless connection to my Ipad so I have not figured out how to post some pictures. Will get that worked out.
We are headed to the beach tomorrow and will be there (Vina del Mar) for the weekend, staying at the home of Margarita´s amiga Carolina.
´´Chao´´ (the way it is spelled in castellano chileno) as opposed to the ´´Italian ciao´´.