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Jack and Nick's post RTW travels.

Welcome to Jack and Nick's Travel Page. This is a diary our post RTW travels in Switzerland and Chile respectively. Please feel free to make any comments and we will reply as soon as possible.

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Location: Santiago, Chile

Buenas Noches, gringos.
Right then, It`s come to my attention that I havn`t left an entry up for a while, and either Jack hasn`t done anything too great or he`s waiting for me to put in an entry so that he can have another turn. I don`t know. But anyway, I almost completely forgot to wwrite about our camping trip north of Santiago on Easter weekend.
We went to a place called Cajon del Maipo, about two hours northeast of the city in the Andes. We took a dodgy city bus that cost about 80p that was jam-packed full of people who wouldn`t stop complaining about our bags and wiping their noses with their hands, getting snot all over them, etc. Lots of fun.
We eventually got to the campsite called Cascada de las Animas, which is right on the river Maipo, only to find that Emily had either left her purse on the bus or had had it stolen, which depleated our funds a bit, but we kept our spirits up nevertheless.
The campsite itself was much better than we had imagined. As you can see from the photos, the facilities were great. It was also very picturesque, so this improved the mood greatly. So we set up the tent that was to be our home for the next three nights.
Needless to say, those nights were some of the longest, most uncomfortable of my life. Nighttime in the Andes is a very cold experience, and after a certain amount of time it becomes an appealing idea to snuggle up in the tent for warmth. It did get hot in the tent due to the body heat of five people crammed together, and after a while it started to smell, as well. The other bad thing was the condensation - all the vapour from our breath (or whatever) managed to collect under the roof of the tent and started to drip down onto us - the combined salive of five people. It was disgusting. I remember one night we`d been drinking gin, and you could smell it on the tent walls the next morning. Nasty.
However, we got used to it, and alcohol helped us get to sleep, too. During the day time we usually went on walks around the Andes (or at least our region), ate, sunbathed, played games, or just lazed about. It was very relaxing, and there were no complaints. I`d do it again.
The weekend after next we`re going accross the border to Argentina in order for us to return and renew our visas. Remember, if you don`t leave the country you get deported. That makes sense in some strange way. This has ben quite a condensed account, but I hope that`s not a big deal.



Sunday, 16 April 2006

Location: Leysin, Switzerland

Today is the saddest day of the year; it was the last day of ski season, no more carving down fresh powder, no more six foot jumps, no more snow ball fights and worst of all no more apres ski beers, terrible. However it means its the start of summer, YEAH! Bring on the long lazy afternoons and the boozey BBQ's

Sorry its been so long since I last wrote but ive been trying to fit in as much snowboarding as possible, however tomorrow I have to hand in my boots and sell my board but I finished it of with a killer weekend at the Glacier 3000 last week with the best snow i have ever been on. Then the last week everyone came back to school after spring break, I have new jobs, The new international students arrived and I have a lesson with them everyday to get their english up to speed and adjust them to LAS school life, I have been adopted by the Maths Department and now spend afternoons helping students with trig functions and I also apparently teach badminton and floor hockey so alot busier than befor spring break. As if all that work wasnt enough I have been very busy socialising with end of season partys, open mic, international day, the occasional drinks with the students and this weekend in Montrex (pictures should be online). So Im pretty shatterd on week in. However I am enjoying myself so much, why anyone would want to do this is crazy.

I will try and write more regually but to fit you in to my busy schedule might be a challenge, I will have my people call your people and set somthing up.


Monday, 10 April 2006

Location: Santiago, Chile

So things is alright out here at the moment - work's fine, people are fine, everything's just fine. You realise now just how meaningless the word 'fine' actually is. It's another way of saying that not much is going on at the moment. The obvious highlight is the arrival of Nick - Alex's 'good friend' from South Africa who has taken a break from his GAP year in London to come over here for three weeks. It now means that there's another male in the house who can receive the blame for any random problems that arise to the same extent as I do.
Anyway, we havn't really been anywhere or done anything special because of all the hard work we've been doing over the past few weeks. We get an extended weekend this week so we're hoping to go camping a few hundred miles north of Santiago. There was a tent left over by the last gappies and we've tested it to see if it'll hold five people reasonably comfortably. The answer is obviously no, but we can't be bothered doing anything else about it at this stage and'll live with what we've got. More about that when we get back.
I reckon everyone's happy at the moment, and getting on fine. Damn - said it again. Alex and Phil are happy with the arrival of fllow Southafrican Nick, Nick's happy that he's here and away from the cold, harsh conditions of London, Emily seems to be happy (or at least smiling) everyday no matter what's going on, and just thinking about everyone else being happy makes me, in turn, happy as well.



PS: There's some photos of where I live up now >>_PR_html_ent

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Location: Leysin, Switzerland

Sorry for leaving it so long between diary entries, the last two weeks have been pretty busy with the end of term and I’ve been having so much fun I momentarily forgot my fans back home. However it is spring break now and with no pupils and no work you are all at the forefront of my thoughts now.
Up until spring break I had a usual week out here, snowboarding, drinking, poker and parties, however I was expected to work as well so I am prepared for a new responsibility I am taking on after the holidays. However when Friday came all the kids and staff jetted of to exotic locations leaving a select few admin staff and me by ourselves. I’ve stayed partly because I still haven’t seen everything Leysin has to offer and partly because I can afford to travel. I was intent on spending everyday snowboarding, until on Saturday it rained. I went up on Sunday and it was more like surfing than snowboarding, with all the rain it felt like I was back in England.
I was determined not to let the perishing snow ruin my spring break so today I left the mountain for the first time on a day trip to Laussane. I picked Laussane partly for an art gallery I had been told about and because I was in dire need of new trainers. To leave Leysin I took the Cog Railway, which meanders down through the most alpine scenery I have ever seen; snow (of sorts), then a spring forest, then rows of vineyards to a town called Aigle. In Aigle the train miraculously turns into a tram and drives through a very Swiss town.
After another train I reached Laussane, this is a city which couldn’t be more Swiss if it tried. Long winding cobbled streets lined with designer boutiques, watch shops and patisseries, filled with the best dressed people, all of whom were smoking, lead up a hill to a cathedral, call (what else but) Notre Dame. From here you look back out over the city and see rows of messy but quaint red tilled roofs with old wooden beams to Lake Geneva and the Alps in the background.
I eventually found the art gallery I had been looking for and, in stark contrast to the city, was filled with the most amazing modern art, which was beautiful in its own way but made me feel as if I should have been in New York. After that I started looking for trainers, which like everything else in Switzerland, are very expensive. I got so bored of looking for a decent affordable pair I settled on a pair that cost almost half my pay check, but in my defence my other pair had half a sole missing and I was fed up walking around in snow and coming home to defrost my toes in the oven. After a little more wondering round in the rain I headed home. When I got back I saw it had been snowing all day and it still hasn’t stopped so my spring break has been saved. I can’t wait to get out on fresh powder tomorrow, now I have been taught how to use it properly but some guys on my dorm. They also showed me how to do the big jumps in the snow park but this left me with a permanent scar so I’m not in a rush to try this again.

Until next time,

P.S: For those of you who were wondering about that sex party I mentioned, I didn’t go but I heard it was a boy.

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Location: Santiago, Chile

Ok, well the reason why I havn´t updated the site very recently is simply because not a lot has been happening. I´ve settled down quite nicely into the school routine and am getting to grips with the very young children continually taking their clothes off, kissing and hugging each other, etc. I assisted with a school trip to the zoo with 40+ seven year-old children yesterday with three other teachers. The zoo itself was terrible, with loads of mangy animals in very cramped, dirty conditions. But the children didn´t seem to notice and were fascinated by everything they saw - espcially the lions and elephants.
My Saturdays for the rest of the next few months will now all be taken over by sports fixtures, with football for the next month and then rugby for the rest of my time here. I now have quite an important role with the children as I have to take them for warm-ups, training sessions and give them tactical advice, which makes a change from what I did when I first started here. The boys all come to me if they have problems, as they´re afraid of the head of sports. They call me "amoroso" (loving/caring) and "amistoso" (friendly). Nice, eh? They´re good kids. Last weekend we went to Viña Del Mar, on the seaside two hours west of Santiago to another English school called the Mackay School. Five coaches of boys went and between 10:00 and 3:00pm, 25 separate games were played on five different pitches at the school - that was a very lng day. I still don´t see the point in having D and E teams for each year group. That´s right, five teams for each year group! It´s ridiculous!
This week I get paid for the first time, which´ll be great as money is running short at the moment, and we´re now liuving off the leftovers from lunch. To be fair, the food here is excellent and the cafeteria is fantastic, but it gets quite dull. So far this has been the greatest downside.
Hopefully the next entry will be more exciting.


Thursday, 16 March 2006

Location: leysin, Switzerland


Just a quick entry to fill you in on this weekends events. Weekend start on a Friday here for me, so Thursday night was spent in the pub at an open mic session. Friday night I had staff poker night, which I did all right at but still lost my money. I had good fun though. Saturday I went boarding, It was the last day of bad weather but I hadn't been in at least three days so I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms and Saturday night I invaded the student pub and got to know the sixth formers. Sunday was gorgeous weather and I was torn between snowboarding and a trip to the Geneva Car Show, I decided on the latter and it turned out to be a wise choice.
The Car Show was an amazing experience, with seven halls full of the most luxuries cars and beautiful women in the world, as well as some skodas. I fell in love with the new Rolls Royce, and Santa, if your reading this do you think it will fit in your sleigh.
I was back to "work" on Monday but nothing to strenuous and we have had a week of the most beautiful weather, and fantastic snow boarding. Its Thursday today so the weekend starts tonight, and with St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, a birthday and a sex party, (I'll explain next entry) all this weekend it should be a good one.


I have spring break coming up in two weeks so if any one wants to come out for a bit of cheap skiing, let me know.

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Location: Santiago, Chile

¡Buenas Tardes a todos!

Have been in Chile for nearly three weeks now, and the time has just flown by. The work is simple, the people are great, the kids treat you with respect, and there´s a very laid-back attitude to everything here - just the way I like it. It´s still pretty damn hot, but nothing compared to the sweltering heat of Dubai. My Spanish is also improving and I constantly find myself communicating with others using a sort of Spanglish dialect, mixing both languages.

Just had a decent weekend as well - there was a staff party on Friday to celebrate one of their birthdays - it was at the very posh Old Grangonians bar on the hillside, overlooking the entire city with a spectacular view. There was a free barbeque and cheap drinks, although it is fairly uncomfortable to watch all your colleagues dancing around drunk. However, my opinion of teachers has gone up since then. After that we sort of split from the teachers and went to one of the clubs in town until it closed at 05:00. The Chilean youth are loads of fun, very lively, and have a great sense of humour. They also treat you a lot better because you´re English, although I later discovered that Australians are cooler - because of surfing, apparently.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. On Sunday night we went to this concert by a band called...I think they´re called Oasis? I´m not sure. I mean, some say that they´re one of the greatest British bands ever, but to be honest I´d never actually heard of them, but recognised a couple of their songs, I think.

Anyway, enough sarcasm - the concert was awesome and cost about a fifth as much as it would have in the UK. You don´t get that in some snowy mountain village full of cheese and cow bells, do ya?



Wednesday, 08 March 2006

Location: Leysin, Switzerland

Hello there,

I haven’t been doing much snowboarding recently as we have had level 5 avalanche warnings, however I did get one perfect day in; great weather, fresh snow and I was one of the first up the mountain.
This avalanche warnings have given me chance to focus on my work, which, i suppose, is why I’m here. I have been working with admin, doing duty on house and playing football and slaughterball (every-man-for-himself dodge ball) with the guys at night as well as some maths tutoring. The work isn’t that hard and more often than not its even enjoyable.
One thing that has struck me about this school is the wealth of some of the students and parents. We had one parent in today who had a rat like dog in a huge Louis Vutton bag, some of the students will take taxis between classes, and the school trip this weekend is to see Jack Johnson live in Barcelona. I couldn’t really afford the Jack Johnson concert but I am going to see the Geneva Car Show on Sunday.
I should also let you know that I have finally been accepted to a college that I want to go to, so as from august I will be studying at Leeds Collage of Art and Design.
I have posted some new photos for the guys who are thinking of coming next year to see what the place is like.


Friday, 03 March 2006

Location: Santiago, Chile

Just needed to see for myself whether the site has actually come back from the dead. Jack and I are in totally different parts of the world right now and, unlike him, I´ve been working. It´s approaching the end of summer here in Chile and is still pretty damn hot every day and fairly cold at night. Winter officially starts around May, when the city smog arrives. Santiago has a very European feel to it, although it´s quite strange to see the second highest mountain range in the world (the Andes) towering over the city.
I´m working in an English school called The Grange (, although the younger children that I work with hardly appear to understand any English outside the classroom. I´m here with Emily Ironside from St Bees and two South African girls called Philippa and Alex as the other GAP students and we´re getting along quite nicely. My jobs include classroom assisting, coaching and refereeing various football teams in the school as well as admin work and holding little childrens´hands in an attempt to comfort them. I find it quite hard to cope with the very young kids as I don´t have a lot of patience and feel very uncomfortable when they get changed for swimming in the middle of the hall. Mt limited knowledge of Spanish doesn´t help either when they start crying and complaining to me in their native tongue. I may be here to learn the language but it doesn´t happen so easily. Despite this, t'ain't bad.
No photos yet. Sorry.



Wednesday, 01 March 2006

Location: Leysin, Switzerland


Ok, I have been here a week now and out of those seven days I have been snowboarding for 5. Am I really getting paid for this? Today we had fresh powder and almost deserted pistes, so school was cancelled so everyone could ski (again I couldn't see this happening at St. Bees, the best we got was officially hot). I have managed to fit one day of work in so I have found out what I actually have to do. I spend a couple of hours a week on duty on a boarding house, a couple of hours working on Photoshop and a few meetings, so nothing to strenuous. Anything I have to do that is remotely hard, like tutoring, I get paid extra for. The rest of my time is spent socialising, it’s not a bad life.

I hope your all having as good as time as me, whatever your doing.


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Recent Messages

From Jack's Dad
Sorry to read that the snow has run out, but I hope you make good use of the rockshoes and walking boots. The spriong flowers in the high alpine meadows have to be seen to be believed - if you get the chance I'd really recommend spending a few days camping at Evolene in the Arolla Valley and doing some walking up through the pine forest and maybe stay in one of the lower alpine huts (but please don't go on the glacier at all without a rope and some-one who knows about glaciers!). XXX Dad
Response: Thanks for the advice but I dont have any free time or I would.
From sindy
i miss u guys soo much...was bored the other day n was bout to ring u both then realised that uz r both away.... :-( please come ps al email u reid bout the comin over once my exam os over xx
Response: Miss you, too. With all our hearts.
From Jack's Dad
Hi Jack,

Big box of freebies on its way. Enjoyed your bit about the train journey.


Response: Thanks I will let you know when I get them.
From Papa H & L'il Bro
NW, thx for pikkies - nice location. Hope your room has had a makeover since the photo was We're fine and enjoyed Friday brunch at the Creek. We missed you. Swam with the reef sharks at Sandy Beach & I beat CJ at karting - again. Mum surprisingly did not get sunburnt this weekend. Fluff jumped off our balcony into the pool yesterday - mad cat disease perhaps? 'Wiggles'..... Lots of love from us all XXXX
Response: You´ve been busy, then. Good to hear you´re all having fun. Hope the cat´s still alive.
From sindy
yes i do nick!! but u love me for it tho!xx
Response: Arrgh! There you go again!
From Nonna
Hallo Hon, Glad to hear that you're enjoying The Chile Experience and honing your caring skills.... The sun is shining here in Cumbria and I'm looking forward to a summerful of holidays. Have a great time! Big hugs, XXX
Response: Love to you, too. I'll send you an email very soon.
From sindy
thanx for that comment nick but i couldve sat on ur shoulders then it would have been like standing on stilts! i think i am startin to shrink is that possible? we will see wen u get back!x
Response: You´ve always got to have the last word, havn´t you?
From Gail
yes fie and i are still together....the happy couple. although that title suits you two much more. nice photos jack. nick, slacking. tsk tsk. and slacking off readingour website i do fear. porquoi? que pasa? hope you are both well. amore y paz gx (like my linguistic efforts?)
Response: The photos are up now, though. Will check your website soon as well. Have fun!
From sindy
hiya!! hows it all goin? nick; u teachin sports??? u havin all that responsibilty? god help them over there!! only kidding!! bet ur a great help!! quite seriously jealous about u seein oasis!! speak 2 u soon xxx
Response: You wouldn't have liked Oasis. You're too short so you wouldn't have been able to see over the mass of people cramped in front of the stage. It was good, though.
From Uncle Bert
Ay-up Amaroso.
Know what you mean about trip to a zoo. Went to Whitehaven Golf Club with 7+ forty year olds at the weak end. Don't think they were taking their clothes off, though, although won't swear to it (not allowed to on your web-site-thingy, apparently ... ). Probably just as well. Don't think anybody would've been fascinated by what they saw and would've put me off the buffet. I can only assume that there was no kissing/hugging as the vice squad didn't appear. The mangy/cramped thing? Yup, sounds v. familiar.
As far as the training's concerned I believe the England job's up for grabs and you sound like you'll have more than enough experience by the time you return. Just keep us in mind for Twickers tickets.
Take care
ps: Did somebody mention pictures ... ?
Response: They're coming! I just have to wait for the perfect natural light to appear before I'm completely satisfied with the shot. Patience is a virtue, remember.
From Fie
Hola & Bonjour!! You speak french in Switzerland right?? or is it german...or even Italian?? So confused (for a change!) Glad to see you guys are still going strong & having fun...even if you aren't with each other. Me & Gail are...& we are having muchos fun eating curry with our fingers & drinking lots of spicey tea...mmmmmmm!! keep smiling dudes, hope to hear from you soon, Fie xxx
Response: Its french where I am, glad to here your having a good time.
From Dad Reid
Glad to hear you are settling down to some serious work at last!
Response: Its only kind of serious, dont worry.
From Matrons!
Come on lads, 11 days without an update!
Response: Yeesh, give us a break! I´ve put one up there to the left. Do you see it? It´s to the left. Yeah, the left. Good.
From papa H
Hola Nick
Pleased to hear your Spanish is improving - are you working on your typing speed next......e-mails? Mum here now and CJ tomorrow - cats very happy. Thai brunch today was fantastic - will take you in July. Pls post some pikkies. Take care. Adios M&D XXX
Response: Glad to hear the cats are happy. I can´t sleep at night sometimes , as I worry so much about their state of mind! "Pikkies" coming soon.
From Mum Rei

just to say hi, the reports from switerland seem full of pleasure, can we have afew more pictures

Response: sure, il post some from st patricks day soon
From Gail
(hem hem) sorry for my slack-not-good-enough-attitude. fie told me this got going again i am finally checking it out! Sounds awesome guys. Do you miss eachother?! asia has been cool. thailand also very cool. now india. hoping it's going to be also very cool. be good, otherwise be safe. peace gx
Response: I think we miss each other dearly. It's like having a part of you somewhere else on the planet that you can't reach out and touch. But I've built a metaphorical bridge and am now over it. Glad to hear you're having fun. Nick
From lil bro Howard
long time no speak!!
sounds lyk ur havin lots of fun while i am trapped in a boarding house in york. At least you have ur freedom.

chris xx
p.s. Send me an e-mail
p.p.s. i would like to express my disgust at whomever is posting messages without giving their name. In my eyes this makes them worthless and invalid. Stop being pathetic and complain properly, giving your name!!!!!
Response: Agreed. Do you hear that, 'Withheld'?
From The Howards of Darle
Hi Nick,
Nice to hear from you and to know what you are up to. Wish we had some of your hot weather. It has snowed a lot here but not the nice stuff they get in Switzerland. This has been cold wet stuff.

Our sympathies are with you over coping with young ones but at least at the end of the day, you can send them home.

Keep filling in your diary and post some photos soon.

XX Grandpa & Grandma Howard.
Response: OK, will do. I´ll borrow one of the girls´digital cameras or something. Photos soon, everyone.
The Chile contingent is being very quiet! Are you OK?
Response: I´m fine. Thanks for the concern.
From Matrons
Do they have openings for old matrons in these schools you're in? They look a bit posh!
Wish we were there!
Response: I'll ask, they dont have a matron here so im sure theres room.
yes i am very offended with the swearing!!! should swear to express!!!
Response: who are you
From sindy
there is a as much snow in glasgow as there is in switzerland not!!! hehehe!! ur now not the only one with snow!! xx
Response: But my snow will be here till easter, yours will melt tomorrow and then it will start raining again.
please no swearin!!
Response: Sorry if you are offended, we do not swear in our diary entries, but, within moderation, I'm not going to censor peoples messages. I encourage any form of expression!
From Helen
Oh my god i'm soooo jealous!! Have only been skiing once this season and I miss it soooo much!!! You bastard! Can't be bad getting paid for it as well. Have fun and stay safe!! Love always xxxxxxx
Response: Its not all play, I do have to one or two hours work a week.
Hola reid!!
how are u doin ? well sounds like ur havin an amazin time but still wish i was there!! seriously betta then doin uni wrk! hope to see u soon and keep puttin piccys up there well nice!! lots a love ebxxx
Response: cheers