So I am finally sitting down to write about my trip. I'm sorry this blog has taken so long but the business of coming home after a three week trip is large and ugly, so that had to be started before I could really sit down at ease and write. Our trip was amazing. Mom and Nigel met me in Buenos Aires as planned. We met at teh national airport where we would have just an hour or two to catch our next flight to Ushuaia. The argentinians wanted to give us a taste of their culture and did so by delaying the flight, changing the boarding gate, and then not telling us really what was going on. You have to love those argentinians!
We arrived in Ushuaia late and saved our sight seeing for the next day. That next morning after checking in with the boat, we walked around town and enjoyed some yummy comida agentina. Then we boarded. I ahve to say, I never imagined that I would love living on a boat. I actualyl found the sea quite calming. Even the hard parts were relazing to me; others were not so happy with this part of the trip.
Each day on board we had two expeditions. The expeditions ranged from visiting Cape Horn, to glacier seeing, to the penguin colony. I have to admit that I am now absolutly in love with penguins. I think they might be one of the most entertaining animals out there. Each day, we also had the chance to go to a lecture about the history of the area or the nature that we would be seeing later in an expedition. I chose to go to lectures in spanish. THe hwole trip was awesome.
One of the nest parts was the people we met on board. The crew was so nicec and really impressed with my spanish. After the trip some of them gave em their emails and told me that anytime I came down to the south, I should stay with them. The other passengers were also amazing. There was a group of about 12 youth on board and we all sat around, talking, laughing, singing kareoke, playing chess (I beat all of the other youth!), and of course- taking advantage of the open bar. My favorite drink was this champagne with raspberry flavoring, very nice. Teh sun didn't set until midnight and it rose as early as 3 or 4 in the morning, it had almost a Las Vegas effect where I couldn't tell you if it was late in the evening or not.
When we got off board, we drove out to a city called Puerta Natales, where my mom and Nigel left me for a few days as they drove up to Torres del Paine. I took advantage of my free day and spent the day hiking in some caves nearby, and reading my bible. It was nice and relaxing.
We then headed up to Santiago on a plane and drove right out to a town called Zapallar. it is a small beach town where the richest of Santiago own their summer houses. The walk along the beach the next morning was beautiful, the walkway along the shore was lined with little sculptures.
We then headed up to La Serena where we found out that we had double booked hotels there. We choose the one nearest the lighthouse and found a reastaurant to celebrate the New Year. Teh year was brought in with a 20 minute firework show, and then, being party animals, we went to bed. The next day, after a quick visit to my old spanish professor's house (Mr. Fagan from Cal Poly) we headed out to Valle de Elqui, one of my favorite places in the world. Mom and Nigel really liked it too. it seems to have an energy to it, but at the same time, it is so calming.
The next day we chilled in La Serena, downtown where I used to live. We saw the James Bond Movie, and went out to dinner at a pizzeria. Mom and Nigel went back to the hotel to sleep, and I headed to the old kareoke bar with my host mom adn sister. I got home at a nice 4am.
We were leaving for the central coast the next morning, but had to reevaluate our plans since mom got really sick. Then, Nigel got sick. We made it down to Horcon, but found the rental apartment a bit lacking. So after a day, we packed up adn headed to Viña del Mar. We stayed there for a few days and then after a visit to Pablo Nerudas house Isla Negra, my mom and Nigel headed to Santa Cruz (the wine country down here) and I headed to Santiago.
I met back up with them a few days later in Santiago and showed them my city. They really liked Santiago. My mom especially liked Bellas Artes (where I work) and Bellavista (where I will be spending a lot of time). Both she and Nigel agreed that Providencia where I love, is a very nice area. And my mom even went as far as to say that she thinks I should stay in Santiago and that it is one of the best cities she has visited. Thanks mom.
After some nice meals, good shopping, and good coffee talks, my mom and I hugged goodbye and she and Nigel got in a taxi and left me. It was an amazing trip and I am glad to say that my mom now knows and understands my love for this country.