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Trails & Techno_Text_December 16

Trails & Techno_Text_December 16

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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 Dec 23, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Multiple Ironman and Casio watch alarms sounded at 8:00, and Irose first, anticipating a hot shower. Surprisingly, our Swiss flat mateshad already risen and were sharing breakfast with Manuel’s parents in thedining room just outside of our bedroom door. While I was glad to seeeveryone up and enjoying their breakfast, a strange thoughtoccurred to me: Of all of the places that we had stayed, this would be my first real exposure to international modeling. All of the elements were there: the runway (a narrow corridorfrom the bedroom through the dining room to the bathroom),the paparazzi (every guest was toting at least one 35mm camera), theoutfits (I chose a smart 100% cotton white towel for my debut) and theaudience (a captive group of hungry and stylish Europeans).I donned my Tevas and a white
, took a couple of deep breaths, strolled out onto the cold Chilean catwalk and was greeted by a chorus of chuckles and “
Buenos dias 
.”I waved and lowered my head anxious to get past the diningonlookers and into the shower. I made my way down thehallway and walked directly into the kitchen where Manuel’s wife washandling pancake duty. Sensing that I was lost, she motioned toward asmall door adjacent to the kitchen which turned out to be the bathroom.There would be no need for wake-up mocha javas this morning. I couldonly assume that the subzero shower water was being pumped in directly from the Strait of Magellan.Actually, I was a bit surprised when water came out ofthe showerhead instead osalt-encrusted icicles.Anyway, the hard sprachilled me to the core,and I was in and out in twominutes flat. The walkback to the bedroom wasslightly less amusing as my 
had disappeared and most of theother guests had returned to their individual rooms. After our showers, we ate breakfast as planned at 9:00. The meal
lunes16 de diciembrePunta Arenas a Valdívia, Chile
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
Destino: ValdíviaModo: Avión, ómnibus y TaxiDistancia:1,796 kilómetros
n:bed headpanqueques:pancakesdulce de leche:deliciouscaramelized ice cream.pan arabe:Arabian bread$37,100 Chilean:US$ 84viejos:slang for parents.Literally, one
s elders.recuerdos:souvenirs ormemories. The best airport
are usually localt-shirts, or r
emeras locales 
 was wonderful:
 panqueques con dulce de leche, jamón, queso, pan arabe, y jugo
. (Just what acouple of growing gringos needed beforebraving the thirty-degree morning chill of Punta Arenas.) We walked down to the
officeand made a tentative reservation for a flightnorth to Valdívia on Tuesday. Better luck anda lower fare greeted us at the
officedown the street, where we booked seats onthe 12:50 flight out of Punta Arenas direct toPuerto Montt for 37,000 Chilean. Next, we went to the national phone company office(Entel), so I could make a long overdue call tomy folks back in the States. Simultaneously, Andy called his friend from the University of South Carolina and our point man up inSantiago, one John Hodges.I was impressed by the quality of the Chilean long distance phoneservice. I had read more than one article raving about the nationaltelecommunications infrastructure (100% digital); yet, this was my firstbrush with a
telefonica chilena
. I made a call to my parents over 7,000miles away and the satellite connection was crystal clear. Moreover, thethirteen minute call only cost 4,000 Chilean pesos , which came out to alittle over US$1 a minute. It was good to catch up with my 
, and Andy got the green light from John for our weekend revelry in Santiago.It was now time to start the second leg of our Patagonia odyssey. Weleft the Entel office at 10:30 and had to book it back to Manuel’s homein order to catch the downtown shuttle out to the airport at 11:00.We paid 1,000 Chilean for the twenty-five kilometer trip north to the airport.Upon arrival, we checked our bags for theflight to Puerto Montt and cruised theconcourse kiosks for some local
.Upstairs in the airport bar, we enjoyed anice-cold pint of 
and some last minutepeople watching.
Rough ride to the Airport
Is there a later flight? 
The flight departed at13:00, and we kicked itold school back in aislesixteen looking down onthe beautiful peaks of the Patagonia that we had gotten to know so wellover the previous two weeks.
flight #70 touched down at Puerto Montt’s
 Aeropuerto El Tepual 
around 15:30
 where the temperature was at least ten degrees warmer thanin Punta Arenas. According to our pocket guide,the night train from Puerto Montt to Santiago inthe high season would be pulling out at 16:30,so we really had to step on it. We yanked our
off of the baggagecart and were the last two passengers allowed onboard the
airport shuttle to downtown Puerto Montt. After forking over 650 pesos each to the driver, we walked to the back of the crowded bus, stood at the rear next to the bathroom, and tried toenjoy the ride into town. Our preoccupation with getting to the station ontime was compounded by the pungentgermicidal odor wafting from the
Twenty minutes into the trip, we raninto some heavy bumper-to-bumpertraffic caused by a major accident. A vanheading from downtown to the airport with fifteen passengers on board had runoff of the road and ended up wedgeddown the steep bank on the opposite side of the road. Paramedics werealready on the scene, and no one appeared to be seriously hurt. We rolled our eyes when the
express lumbered into the PuertoMontt bus terminal. The scene outside the window was a total zoo:hundreds of passengers,street vendors,
drivers, hot dog vendorsand dozens of shoeshine boys. Fortunately,standing at the back othe bus did have onepreviously unforeseenadvantage. Instead ofwaiting for the bus tocome to a complete stop, we pulled rank, bolted down the center aisleand were the first two passengers out the front door. Much to the driver’s

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