Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Iona in Chile


anyway, this is a story of Iona in Chile, (Yang: "my eyes are green, cuz i eat a lot of vegetables...") haha

Yang xx

written and photos by: Iona

Chi chi le le le – off the beaten track

“Chile has a lot of teenage moms, but more street dogs – some cute with sweaters, some less cute with diseases. If you need to choose cities, cancel smoggy Santiago and go to ├╝ber-cool Val Paraiso, the Cape Town of Chile, just because of all the amazing wonderful street art around. Don’t believe the hype of high economic growth rates, if you stare at a high Gini index. Despite having been colonised by the Spaniards, coffee being harvested a hop-and-a-skip away, it is close to impossible to find real, good coffee. Germans brought beer and cake (and have weird Amish-like camps somewhere). Pichilemu has nice waves, but not when I was there. Chilean nature is awesome. The Andean mountains rock, because they stretch for miles and miles and are covered in snow and those that aren’t have amazing shades of red-lilac-blue-yellow-grey. Wining in Chile is great – always; dining is great if you like steaks. Beware of pisco sour – the smack-my-bitch-up-local-aperitif – looks innocent and cute, but it’s a devil in disguise. When the Chilean soccer team wins, the Chileans party like there’s no tomorrow. Chile also has volcanos – and that rocks too. Goat herders wear ponchos and ride horses and are quite cool.”

This is what I got out of my 3 weeks in Chile – 3 weeks of learning the craft of the geographer along with 25 other delightfully Danish geographers-in-the-making working it in the field, which looked something like this:

a) staying out of trouble in the hood of the hood of Pudahuel in Santiago while learning about kiddie prostitution and the Chilean version of tik;

b) talking to farmers in a random village in a random valley called Putaendo somewhere in the middle of Chile, where simple life isn’t all that simple.

c) some post-work chilling in the surf capital of Pichilemu, where the swell had decided to go on vac the day we arrived.

No Atacama desert, No Land of Fire, No Robinson Crusoe Island (yes, it actually exists, right there off the coast of Chile – who knew), and No Rapa Nui (it’s practically Polynesian – need I say more)… Pretty painful to fly from one side of the world in summertime to the other side of the world plunged in winter, and not to do any of these to-die-for sights. But then again, time and money don’t grow on trees; and then again, I got to do plenty of wining and dining, plenty of great views and great company, and I got to go all native and off-the-beaten-track, which is every true backpackers true mission; to see the normal Chile, instead of chasing exotic fantasies – so fuck those Lonely Planet sights, they can wait till next time. If you have the possibility, do stop by Chile, cause it’s a pretty nice place.

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