2011/05/17-20: Wrapping it up in Santiago
The highlight of our final days in Santiago was a night on the town with Raúl and Cristian, the philosophers we met on the Cruce Andino back in February. Why is it that we never quite let go quite this much at home? Is it something profound about the range of new experiences that travel brings us and which allows us to expand in new directions? Or is it as simple as good company, good food, and good wine?
The packing for plane travel took it’s share of our time and energy, starting with doing the rounds of several bike shops before someone managed to loosen Chris’s pedals. It took another trip on foot to the one of the shops to collect bike boxes, and our return carrying these got us a few odd looks. It was a bit of a slog, so we stopped half-way “home” at a coffee shop, parking the boxes outside. Of course we’re used to keeping a sharp eye on our bikes when we stop, but it was different to be keeping an eye on two empty cardboard boxes. By then, they had become precious goods; they were essential to our logistics, difficult to find, and hard to carry. Furthermore, it was the evening before garbage day, and everyone was putting rubbish –including cardboard containers– out onto the sidewalk. We worried that our hard won boxes would get grabbed for recycling!
Once packing was under control, we strolled around the city. We walked up Cerro Santa Lucía and took the funicular up Cerro San Cristóbal. Cristian had helped us arrange a mini-van transfer to the airport, and all went smoothly to the airport and the ensuing eleven hour overnight flight to Toronto. We’d found we had a layover of nearly twelve hours in Toronto, so we’d arranged to visit some cousins where we had a sociable and delicious lunch. Arriving in Vancouver in the evening, we assembled our bikes at the airport, and reconfigured into self-propelled mode for an evening ride home –a satisfying end to the journey.
We’ve assembled a Flickr collection of the trip. Who knows if we’ll get around to a slide show this time?
It’s always good to be home in our own comfy bed without having to pack each morning. There are graduations to attend, and weddings to plan. These are adventures in themselves, but the focus of this blog is more about our outdoor exploits as a couple.
We’re planning to join our pedalling nephew for another bike trip in August in Newfoundland. Having returned from a damp coastal (southern hemisphere) autumn to a damp coastal (northern hemisphere) spring, we’ve missed a winter. We’d like to get some skiing in this year, probably the back-country variety. We’ve also decided that to get further away from traffic in our car-centric culture, we need to move onto smaller back roads and trails, and this may involve a new gear splurge on mountain bikes and trailers. We’d try some local adventures first, and if we find we’re not too geriatric for this form of travel, we may even take on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, either in sections or all at once. We’d also like to go back to South America, and ride north from Santiago, Chile to Bogotá, Colombia. Maybe Raúl and Cristian will meet us for that, or we can meet them in New Zealand. Who knows? We may just do “something completely different.”
But first, Chris needs to get his arm back to full strength. The injury was a humbling reminder that that we’re not invincible, that we’re getting older, and we’d better have a few more adventures while we can still move our old bones to explore the world.
I’ve already thanked Chris for the adventures we’ve shared. My gratitude continues!