The Paine Circuit

December's paper just went to press yesterday morning, and I definitely feel like I need a bit of a rest after it. So tomorrow after a long time without visiting the park, I'm heading into Torres del Paine tomorrow morning. It'll just be me and my Dutch friend Marijke doing the big circuit, about 8-9 days. The first night we'll be staying in Ecocamp where Roberto works, and I think he'll be there that night, too. We'll see. I haven't really been doing any exercise since I've been in Natales, so I think I might be more out of breath than I'd like, but super looking forward to it. It's still closed because of snow on the biggest pass, etc., but mostly it's closed because the government park organization can't get its ish together to open the refugios and make repairs to the rope ladders and what not. Anyway, that just means that we have to be careful. Anyway, I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully upload all my end of the world pictures some time soon. I think I stopped uploading pictures somewhere in mid-Bolivia.

Nos vemos when I'm back from the park! xoxoxo

Another November beginning

It’s springtime and windy as all hell. To me, it’s pretty cold to be spring and my bare skin hasn’t seen the light of day in way too long. About a week ago or so, we went kayaking with some friends on Lago Sofia. It was a gray day but still lovely to see (what we could in the fog and low clouds) of the mountains from the water. Nobody in the region of Magallanes knows how to swim, because, even though they’re super close to two oceans, the water is freezing and it’s just not water that people swim in. And it wasn’t until the last couple years that the region got its first swimming pool. So, for example, even the army, when they’re choosing people to do whatever kind of special mission where swimming is a required skill, people from around here are excused from knowing how to swim, because it’s known that nobody knows how.

Home for the holidays?

My dear friend Lydia pointed out the alarming trend of one blog entry per month, gee that’s pretty bad. So here I am with my first blog entry of November, but it shan’t be my last. The whole computer situation is about to change, I really am planning to get internet and should sign a contract to work next week. I need the contract to stay in the country and to show that I’m capable of paying a monthly internet bill.

Anyway, the best part about this contract I’m about to sign is that it’s with Black Sheep instead of Cascada. Yep, that’s right. I quit my other job. I really liked the people I was working with, but hated traveling to Punta Arenas every day, well three days a week. So tiring. 6-8 hours of pure sitting in the van. Leaving way too early in the morning, and often without breakfast because some of the drivers would arrive earlier than I was expecting them (meaning we got different information from the office). Most of the time we’d arrive to Punta Arenas an hour or so before we’d even have to pick up people, and would have to just wait in the car outside the hotel or airport until the magical hour arrived. Man, I’ll stop complaining, but I was crazy to think I’d actually enjoy all that. Plus, who am I kidding? I’m just not an early morning person. I still might help out with their web site, but I’m waiting to hear how much they’re willing to pay me.

So, yeah, Black Sheep, writing, editing, traveling (to fun places) in order to write reports or interview people, the possibilities are endless. More my pace, passion, onda. Yay. Very happy about all this. Plus overall I’m meeting more people and feeling more comfortable, inviting folks over for dinner, and I even have some friends who I can speak English with. The people I work with in the BS office (a bunch of people from Oregon and Holland) say they always have a big holiday dinner for the folks here, all without family, but really, there’s no reason for me to stay here for the holidays when I miss my family and friends so much. So… I’m coming home! I arrive around 10.30 on Christmas morning. That was the cheapest way. And I’m so so so happy and relieved to know that I’ll be home.


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