Sing, choirs of badgers

Trip Start Aug 09, 2007
Trip End Jan 20, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, December 6, 2007

Now, I don't like to complain. I am, after all, easy going. But I've been hearing for a long time about how Christmas arrives earlier each year - decorations going up before the end of October, and so on. But this year, it's just got silly. We're not even in summer yet - just the tail end of a hot spring, and already I hear Christmas Carols all the bloody time. Why? I'm starting to get annoyed. Let's at least wait until there's some snow.
Meanwhile, I seem to be in San Pedro de Atacama. For some reason. These things are not easy to explain. Bus from Calama an hour late. Unpaved, dusty roads. Intense desert heat. Water that you can't drink. Crap accomadation. I'm back in Bolivia. But with Chilean prices. Indeed, I believe the Chileans nicked this area from Bolivia. Some time after they stole their ports. Everyone's had a bit of Bolivian land, though - Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil. Even Paraguay. So that the country is now about half the size it was when indepence was declared, and the first constitution written.
Still, the countryside is impressive. From the ruined settlement and fort a couple of miles outside the town, at Quitor, to the geysers and hot springs. And of course the cameloids. Everyone loves a good cameloid.
Plus, the food seems to be reasonably good. There is, for instance, a restaurant which serves empanadas that are as big as dogs. Not little dogs, either, but proper huge Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I imagine. Now this gave me an idea, and so, when I get back, I will invent the SuperPie. This will be similar to the normal pie, but as big as a house. And come in either Meat and Potato or Cheese and Onion format. The cheese and onion one will obviously be made with vegetable rennet cheese and vegetable fat pastry. But, secretly, I'll sprinkle an Oxo cube into it. And not just any Oxo cube, either, but one made from veal calves. That'll learn 'em.
Anyway, Santiago beckons. Rather seductively, indeed, seeing as it has proper roads, decent showers and water. Unlike the bastard Atacama desert. When did it last rain here, eh? Pah.
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