Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile
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Found out from Lan Chile today that there was no guarantee that
they could deliver my bags to my residence in Santiago before I
departed for Bolivia. We agreed that the only solution was to fly
them to La Paz where I would pick them up on arrival Sunday lunchtime.
That agreed, I accompanied some of my course coordinators here in
Chile to the downtown markets for a quick tour to accustom myself
with local products.
the way, we stopped at Govinda’s snack bar for a delicious
lunch of empanadas – flaky vegetable turnovers
and a delicious but unidentified Mexican dessert of cakes floating
in orange syrup.
weather had been inclement since I arrived. The sky was grey and
it was 2 degrees Celcius. Evil black storm clouds were gathering.
Somebody in the car muttered "no-one visits Santiago de Chile
in July". Gulp! We quickly finished up our mini market tour
as gusts of biting wind threw rubbish into swirling mini-tornadoes
in the carpark. Back in my room, after an hour of travel-induced
exhaustion, I awoke to hear heavy rain and tumultuous winds, and
the ominous sounds of cascading water. I opened my eyes to see dirty
torrents running down the walls from a giant rupture across the
ceiling. A tormenta had struck and the room was flooding!
leapt to my feet and found the floor inches deep in swirling brown
water, my scant possessions floating towards the door. My friends
downstairs were quickly alerted, and we spent the rest of the afternoon
trying to stave the floodwaters, mopping and repairing, and generally
minimizing any more damage. I commenced drying my only set of clothes
for tomorrow’s onward flight to Bolivia. What a start to my
tour! I had only just survived my 'trial by water'. What else had
Mother Nature in store for me?
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