Thursday, 15 March 2007


The journey has now begun, and I have to say the journey was a long one. I am totally totally tired!!

Greetings from Santiago, captital of Chile.

The last few days have been so busy, and to be honest quite stressful. Over the weekend myself and Sam went down to my brother´s. He has been quite ill, and was hospitalised for a dew days. Over the weekend he experienced yelping pain once more and was taken back to the hospital. Tests finally revealed a kidney stone in his ureter. So this put a dampener on the weekend a little, but Sam and Lauren still managed to have great fun bouncing around on the trampoline, and we were able to have Saturday lunch in a great rural pub that serves homegrown and homecooked organic food. I had steak and ale pie. Even the real ale they serve there is organic.

Once back from Berkshire, it was on with the house cleaning and clearing. Given that we live in a "just in time" society, I can confirm myself and Greg were still mopping, dusting, and polishing, ten minutes AFTER we should have set off for Liverpool airport.

All flights were on time, Areolinas Argentinas were fine and I slept well on their smooth transatlantic flight. The flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago was spectacular, and we flew over the area of Aconagua, the highest peak in the Western hemishere. Here´s my first South American pic.

My first impressions of Santiago are very positive. It looks and feels like Madrid or Barcelona. Sections of manicured and watered grass alongside patches of brown scrub, overlooked by the pervasive warm weather smog. Everything seems very efficient, the airport bus was clean and cheap, the roads in great condition, and the city metro far superior to London´s!

Found my hotel and showered before heading back downtown for lunch and a little exploration.

I headed to the Plaza De Armas, dominated by the cathedral facade. For lunch I had a sort of hamburger, although the meat (pork) was roasted and it came with a vast amount of green beans. My goal for the afternoon was to visit the Museum of Pre Colombian Cultures. The exhibits were beautiful, and very well presented and explained. I learned that all of the civilisations that have emerged and then disappeared in South and Central America, over the past five thousand years, have been very much into decapitation, also into paediatric cranial deformation, but none of them had yet to realise the benefit of wearing underpants.

I have made progress on my hoped for visit to the place "you have not heard off, but you have heard of it". I may be going on Saturday, my birthday. Anwers by e mail or text if you can think of where I am heading.

Brother had his procedure to remove the stone yesterday, however the urologist succeeding in pushing it back up to his kidney. Another procedure soon.

Time for bed, well maybe a beer..........Adios amigos!