Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile
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say a well-executed task is 80% planning. Well that was the case
with this tour. After months of communications, fine-tuning and
hundreds of e-mails, the big day came. I boarded Virgin’s
midnight flight DJ 118 at Perth Domestic airport. This would connect
me with next morning’s international departure that would
leave Sydney for Santiago de Chile via Auckland. Although
my reveries had begun days before, the four hour ‘red-eye’
trans-Australia flight afforded me additional time to contemplate,
albeit sleepily, my upcoming adventure.
was to be an extensive two-month culinary trip to Bolivia, Brazil,
Argentina, Chile and Peru. After a one-day stopover in
Santiago, I would fly to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia,
via the Chilean coastal cities of Iquique and Arica. My Bolivian
leg would also take me over the Andes by road to Cochabamba.
Next I would fly across the vast continent and join the Atlantic
Ocean in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Then we would drive westward to the bustling University town of
Sao Jose do Rio Preto and beautiful Pindamonhangaba;
next to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
Freezing cold Santiago de Chile would be next, and finally
due North to the
warmer regions of Peru, taking in Cusco, the archeological
of the Americas, Incan stronghold Machu Picchu and finally
eight weeks would be packed with press conferences, radio and TV interviews,
talks with editors of various newspapers and magazines, catching
up with family, mountain hikes, meeting new friends, tasting new
and exotic foods, visiting temples, cathedrals, museums, bustling
markets, and of course, lots of cooking: classes in culinary institutes,
schools, private homes, hotels, and conference centres, and a fund
with apron and camera, (and a whole lot more – travelling
light was not my forte) I was determined that this trip would
be not only an opportunity to share my culinary skills with others,
but also a chance to embark on hitherto uncharted food adventures.