Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
Victor Hostel

Flag of Chile  , Araucanía,
Sunday, April 25, 2010


  In Flanders fields the poppies blow
   Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
   Scarce heard amid the guns below.

   We are the Dead. Short days ago
 We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
 Loved and were loved, and now we lie
               In Flanders fields

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
  To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
               In Flanders fields.

 I have been carrying a poppy in my backpack for 4 months now. The same one I had whist serving in Timor Leste (East Timor) last ANZAC day. The poem above, the one I recited in Masterton to five thousand people the ANZAC day before.

The night before I had decided to Climb Volcano Villarrica by myself. Hiring the equipment and organising transport was difficult; but with a few white lies, I was prepared and looking forward to the forth filling challenge ahead.
A proud moment for me reaching the top. I enjoyed every bit of the climb, having the option to rest and enjoy what nature had to offer at my free will. Not having some guide telling me when to start/stop and hear him say things like "ok you should take a photo here" leaving everyone with really "unique photos"
Sulfuric gases rose from the depths of the volcano. Eyes watering, nose slightly burning. I peered into the ominous unpredictable belly of the beast. Deep from within; purging sounds of immense pressure increased to suddenly release an incredibly beautiful, bright red lava jet around the inner walls. The bright red illuminating colours dissolved into the thick, black, volcanic  soil. Instantly changing its solid form into liquid, before slowly dripping back down into its fiery furnace. Wow! I see why its called The Devils House.
One last photo of the poppie and it was laid it to rest, on the top. I  reciting a verse from the poet Laurence Binyon " For The Fallen" (The one all us Kiwis and Aussies know) then descended down.

Others were sliding down the Volcano using plastic seats, 3 inches thick; supplied by the tourist agencies. I had a plastic bag.... Quick note for young players, don't! use a plastic bag to slide down a volcano. After 600m your pants will be desolated. The guides had a good laugh, mainly at the hole on my right bum cheek, then offered me a ride back to Pucon. On return, I brought them some beers for their generosity and some rum for myself.

I had a fantastic ANZAC day, apart from the rum and coffe...

My thoughts go out to all the boys on operations over seas and those who have fallen in past wars.


                                                     We will remember them

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