Tuesday, April 21, 2009

um...still in Santiago

Hey there all you patient people. I have been a slacker, there's no denying it. Oh well. Where to start...

After my last entry, I was in Santiago another week or so. The hostel here, Casa Roja, is awesome, but it's a black hole too. No one ever seems to leave. It's so much fun, an old mansion that's been restored and has tons and tons of rooms, housing I would guess 70-80 people at a time. I have met a ridiculous amount of people here from all over the world, and I've made so many contacts for future travels. And all this has been through my normal ebbs and flows of socialness. I still get a little ancy for time to myself, and half the time find myself choosing the empty table out in the courtyard even if I have friends out there. Even so, I've found some great friends that don't take offense at my inconsistent social habits.

One in particular, named James, from California, had been working here at the hostel for about a month and a half, and he approached me the night before I left for Mendoza, Argentina, asking if he could catch up with me in a couple of days, at which of course I was thrilled to have someone else to travel with. So I left for Mendoza on Thursday, April 2nd. Got there, and the hostel had given away my bed even though I'd reserved it. I got in late, and that's a long story in and of itself which I can go over later. If you're lucky. So they put me up in another hostel down the road, and then I went back to the first hostel the next night. It's called Hostal Independencia, and it was much smaller than Casa Roja but still a great place to meet people and connect. James arrived a couple of days after me and I was able to save him a bed, because they stayed pretty full. While we were there we ate good steak which is one of the things Argentina is known for, and we did tours, and just walked around the city. It is a beautiful city, very green, lots of plazas, etc. Great vibe altogether. We also met some cool folks there - 3 girls from Holland that made every place and situation interesting - a 19 year old South African rugby player named Zach, and a Canadian named Joel. We did a good bit together.

James and I spent a week altogether there, and then headed back to Santiago to Casa Roja. After a day or two here, we went to Valaparaiso which is a city on the coast of Chile, just a couple hours from here. I was blown away by Valpo...it was full of graffiti, but really stunning graffiti. We spent a whole day just wandering and seeing as much of the graffiti as we could. It's a fascinating city to just get lost in because everyone agrees that the roads make absolutely no sense whatsoever. They wind up hills, around, you take back alleys, through neighborhoods, and you never seem to get to the end of them.

We stayed in Valpo a week as well, and came back to - where else - Santiago. It's been really nice coming back here repeatedly, as it's a nice familiar place that's really easy to live in and get your bearings about you.

A big question has been where to from here. James and I had been planning to head south together and get as far south as we could in Chile before winter makes travel impossible. However, my current cash situation has sort of limited my opportunities as well. It's been a big question for me if I need to go ahead and find work here in Santiago (which honestly wouldn't be too hard), go on south and be as cheap as possible, or find a viable 3rd option. The 3rd option, thankfully has surfaced and worked out well. I've been talking to an orphanage in Bolivia for a bit, and at first, they told me they were full and didn't need help. But they got back with me a week later and told me that they were working on a construction project there at the home, adding a room, and there was only one guy working on it. He's obviously desperate if he wants me to help with construction :). And so long story short, they've accepted me there at Casa de Amor in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I'm pretty stoked to be doing something with a little more purpose to it again. Of course I will have to find work eventually, but for now, at least for 3 weeks, I'm squared away.

The plan was to leave tomorrow, but I am feeling a bit under the weather with a pretty nasty cough. So the orphanage has been very cool with me, and so I'll probably wait till Friday to leave now so that I'm not traveling sick.

In other news...some of you heard my iPod got stolen, which was royally crappy. Fortunately, the staff here at the hostel found out who did it and got it back, which I certainly was not expecting. The bad thing is, it was wiped clean by whoever stole it, and all my music is back in Ecuador on my hard drive, sitting there in Quito. I also have music on Tyler's network back in Roswell, and I am attempting to transfer it to my friend Oli's laptop as we speak. I've been on his computer for probably 3 hours now transferring files, and it has transferred...wait for it...0.1 gigs out of 15.4 total. Not looking real promising.

Whatever. I've met so many people who have had their iPods jacked or broken and they've been without music for up to 4 months now. And they still seem to be living and breathing like other human beings with iPods. There's still time, sort of.

Ok so this was way too long. Thanks if you've made it this far. Tonight...off to hear traditional Chilean music with friends. Even with a cough and without music...life is good.

Cheers folks.


1 comment:

  1. I love your updates :) Hope you got some music to soothe your brain. Hoping to see you in a month or so! Love you.