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Trails & Techno_Text_December 31

Trails & Techno_Text_December 31

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Published by Patrick Archer
Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.

Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.


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Published by: Patrick Archer on Jan 18, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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martes31 de diciembreBuenos Aires, Argentina
 When the
lumbered up the ramp behind Buenos Aires’
Estación Terminal de Omnibus 
at 8:00, I was wide awake. Three daysspent cooped up in unventilated motor coaches was not my idea of agood time. Buried beneath my sorry excuse for a beard was an impressivelayer of road film. Thinking back, I could not remember ever feelingthis grungy out on the trails of the Patagonia. At least then we had thosecoconut camp suds at our disposal. Unfortunately for me, they had runout somewhere back in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Above all, the two thingsthat I was most looking forward to were a long shower and an evenlonger run through the beautiful
Parque Rosedal.
Stepping out of the bus station onto
 Avenida Ramos Mejía
, I hadthe calming sensation that I was back home. After four weeks exploringthe Southern Cone and the Peruvian highlands, it was reassuring to walk the quarter mile in front of the
train station and see the same facesengaged in the same activities that I had seen for months: street vendorsmanning card tables offering everyday necessities like phone cards andbutane lighters, groups of Armani-draped
talking and walkingto lunch carrying cell phones in both hands,
standing behindstacks of that day’s
La Nación
Pagina 12 
laughing and sneaking Marlboros and Lucky Strikes between classes.I boarded the #152
, dropped sixty 
in the automatedticket dispenser and found a window seat next to the back door. As thebus wound through the downtown city streets, I was reminded of thesharp contrast in lifestyle between the carefree residents of the Patagoniaand the appointment-saddled residents of a South American urban junglelike Buenos Aires. The
 weaved through the streets of Recoletaand Palermo stopping at every third or fourth block. The street names were now so familiar:
 Juncal, Suipacha, Charcas, Gallo, Güemes 
. At
, I grabbed my pack and stepped out on the city street. After ashort walk down
 Avenida Colonel Díaz 
, I was standing once again on the
Objetivo:Correr y BailarModo:Omnibus, Taxi y PiesDistancia:620 kilómetros
1 2 3 4 5 6
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
stairs of 
La Casa Rocca
. There, Señor Nelson was holding court on thesidewalk with three of the
that cleaned the various apartments.
Hola,Nelson. I just trekked around Argentina, Chile and Perú for a month.
Iknew what was coming, so I just kept on walking.
 After four days sans quality conversations, I was halfway hoping fora small welcoming committee inside Dolores’ apartment,but the only items waiting to greet me were a note and apot of hot coffee. Apparently, Dolores had risen early, madethe
and gone back to bed. Being New Year’s Eve, sheprobably wanted to be well-rested for whatever festivitiesthe night would bring. Before unpacking and showering, Ienjoyed a light breakfast and got caught up by watching themorning news on
Canal 13
. Back in my adopted room,things were exactly as I had left them in the closet and on my desk. Thephotographs of friends and family in the States were ready to be packedup along with the items purchased in Argentina...items that would soonleave their home country and assume souvenir status.How best to spend my last twenty-four hours in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America and the Southern Hemisphere did notrequire much deliberation. I pulled my 
out of the closet and gotready for a morning run. The seven-block stretch up
 Avenida Libertador 
to the
Plaza Alemania
is home to foreign embassies, five star steakhousesand luxury car dealerships. Besides being one of the priciest strips of realestate in the entire country,
is also the gateway to a thousandacre paradise of trees, lakes and fields known as
Parque 3 de Febrero
. Ona holiday such as this, every inch of the park is teeming with families,rollerbalders, tourists, film crews,
players, and young couples.Running through the heart of the park is a mile-long stretch of railroadthat connects downtown with the surrounding neighborhoods. The actualtracks lie on top of a twenty-foot brick trestle that divides the park intotwo halves. Some of the brick archways beneath the tracks, known as
Los Arcos 
, serve as pedestrianthoroughfares. The rest have beenconverted into popular restaurantsand nightclubs
Besides giving my limbs the long-awaited opportunity to stretch,the run was a good chance for me to clear my head and think about whatneeded to be accomplished in the hours remaining before
flight154 to Miami. Three laps around the lake in the
Parque Rosedal 
left mefeeling invigorated and ready to enjoy this New Year’s Eve to the fullest. When I returned home at 11:00, I was sorry to see that Dolores hadstill not ventured out of her bedroom. Sleeping in was not an activity that Dodo was particularly fond of. However, considering the inevitableemotional impact of the holidays, I imagined that the
probably  wanted to be alone. Alone with memories of her husband of forty-sevenyears who was taken from her only sixteen short months ago. After hislosing bout with cancer, Dolores could have easily chosen to spend therest of her days holed up inside her apartment surrounded by photos of her loving Eduardo, an attorney, writer and former associate of Perón.But to her credit, she never even considered locking the door, pulling the
or feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she viewed Eduardos passingas the chance to start an exciting new chapter in her life. A chapter that would require as much human contact and immersion in new experiencesas possible. Phoning the director of 
Estudio Buenos Aires 
, a reputablelanguage school that hosted foreign students, had been one of thoseimportant first steps. She explained to the program director:
I have anextra guest room and would like to host students every semester going forward.Now that my daughter has moved away, I miss being around young people 
.The next step was enrolling in beginning English classes three times a week.
I want to take a trip to the United States for my next birthday, but I need to learn the language first! 
 An annual membership at a local healthclub was next.
 My neck has been hurting, and I want to feel my best 
. Onoccasion, the five-foot widow even kicked around the idea of plasticsurgery.
Why should I have lines around my eyes when I am still so young! 
I had to agree. She confronted life head on with all of the energy of an
participant, yet without any of the brooding or piercings. Today,however, was not one of those days, and I had to be understanding.The phone rang shortly after noon, and I was pleased to hear thevoice of my good friend, Francisco who invited me to come spend theday with his friends at a
on the outskirts of town. It was a gorgeousfinal day of the year and spending it outdoors was the only sensible thingto do. Francisco was going to pick me up in an hour, which would give

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