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jon and marion’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 07 Oct 2007

Location: santiago, Chile

Maphi all
well we have almost been here a week now. got spanish classes for the next week which take up most of the day. no more nanna naps! still adjusting to the time difference...we couldnt understand why we want to sleep till after lunch, thats cause its dark time at home! yippee we found a place where our money card works! havent succumbed to bali bellie or any other nasties yet, and i am sure its because of the all prevading cigarette smoke...not much can survive it. so many people smoke and there are few places where it is actually banned. oh well i will keep telling myself that it is keeping the nasties away.
we went off to the vega central market today and they have everything on offer, even a number of things that they probably shouldnt...like animal guts twisted into plaits. i made my 1st purchase negotiating with pointing and tummy rubbing and got the message across. i had to bolt from the food hall cause there were so many people trying to entice us to eat their food, i got a tad overwhelmed! and they still stare at me...groan. we picked up a following of stray dogs who happily walked along with us for about 15 blocks and then just vanished.
the hostel that we are staying in is a hive of information, and we are slowly filling in our itinerary with some really good stuff. we went off to the ballet last nite only to arrive and find it cancelled, so a lovely californian started chatting to us and we went off and had a beer with him and his wife and they shared their extensive travel stories with us and have even helped us make up our minds about venezeuala or equador. we may scrap the first and do the latter. they mentioned lots of off the beaten track places and we remembered most of them by the time we got home and they have been added to our wish list. they couldnt rate the galapogus islands high enough.
the hostel here itself is a work in progress, and out the back its amazing to see the older foundations and walls. its all clay held in place with wire and wood. its funny cause the newer stuff is made in the same way just with different materials. the inside of the place...besides the cigarette smoke...is very well done thou i think the only truly sturdy place is the old staircase...it is beautiful and doesnt look like it has had any work done on it. the ceiling upstairs is all mouldings chandeliers and gold leaf... the bar out the back is a hovel... the owner is working on renovating the other half of the building and the place is going to be huge when it is finished.
when we arrived in santiago the view from the airport was stunning with the snow capped andes in the background... since then the snow is melting at a rapid rate and the smog hides most of the mountains.
most people have been very friendly and helpful, and happy to mime along with us to make a sale. we have nearly been cleaned up by the traffic cause we keep looking the wrong way crossing the street! and a universal law seems to be that the amber light means go faster!!!
thats all for now and maybe our next entry will be in spanish...
love to you all and keep the news coming from home.
m and j