Chi Chi Chi...

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The following thought took place at approximately 1.30pm on 12 Ocotober 2006:
"These penguins better be fucking worth it. In fact, after 4 hours on this fucking mountain bike, on this fucking hilly-as-hell dirt road, they better be flying, talking, handicraft making penguins. But I really want to see them. My ass hurts. How does he do this shit for fun? Well, I guess he is an engineer and resembles that dog from Itchy and Scratchy. Those houses are beautiful. Fuck - there's a huge cow - came out of nowhere. That last hill was a killer. It can't get any worse than that. Wait a second. Fuck off. Is that a steep incline sign? Killing me. These penguins better be fucking worth it."

The following conversation took place at approximately 2.30 pm on 12 October 2006:
"Me: Hola. Habla ingles?
Lady: Si.
Me: Brilliant. I'd like to go on the penguin tour.
Lady: I'm sorry. The sea is too rough at the moment so we can't take the boat out.
Me: Killing me. Didn't want to see the penguins anyway.

Destroyed by the elements, the merciless and enormous hills of the dirt roads of Chiloe and the disappointment of the lost penguin sighting opportunity, I looked to find consolation in something. The absolutely stunning beach that I was sitting on was a decent start. Isolated, dramatic beach with the waves of the Pacific crashing upon it? Brilliant. The coast of Chiloe, a charming island in the south of Chile, and in fact a lot of Chiloe itself, resembles the south west of Western Australia, both in its lush, green rolling lands and the dramatic, wild coastline. But apart from the unpredictable rough seas, and the equally unpredictable weather, Chiloe is incredibly tranquil - the sound of birds and the whistling of the wind the general soundtrack to the small fishing villages of Ancud and Chonchi, perhaps an occasional Chilean cow speaking Chilean cow. Indeed, the loudest objects on the island seem to be the buildings - the traditional brightly painted wooden houses a feature of this picturesque island - magnificent purples, vibrant blues, rich greens, delicate pinks - all combine to create a streetscape reminiscent of the streets in Edward Scissorhands, only better.

Chiloe is beautiful - but there's not a lot here. The authentic fishing villages are relaxing and pretty - but there's not a lot here. The people are lovely and welcoming; almost Australian in their general friendliness - but there's really not much here. The weather often resembles a group of Australians on a road trip in Germany - never quite able to decide what it wants to do - not great for outdoor activities. In fact, at times I have passed the time dominating a local legend at Pro Evo (Australia 6 - Read Madrid 0); and playing cards with a few randoms, including one dude who insisted on keeping score for a game of asshole. As I've said - there's not too much here. Indeed, its tranquility, its beauty and the fact that there's not much here are the qualities that bring Chiloe its charm - but as valuable as my time here has been, both as a time out from the general energy-draining routine of travelling, as well as seeing this beautiful part of the world, it has certainly reinforced the fact that I'm a city person first and foremost. And a place like this isn't nearly as lovely without someone to share it with.

So, to the Top 5. Ok - so I really don't know much about Chile. And I'm here for 10 days. So what do I know about Chile? The history? Nada. Culture and traditional? Pocito. Language? Average. I have been learning however. Here are the top 5 random things that I've learnt whilst in Chile.

5. Everyone in Chile seems to have a relative in Australia.
4. Everything I order in a restaurant, even though I order a different thing every time, ends up being a hot dog, a burger or chicken.
3. Chilean overnight buses like to play Robbie Williams video clips all night long.
2. Jehovah's Witnesses are brilliant people to practise your Spanish with.
1. The Chilean national hero? O'Higgins. Very Chilean.

To the Lake District...
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