Monday, April 25, 2011

How my phone decided to travel without me to Puerto Montt

I have already mentioned that I have lost my phone in a traffic.
As I am almost always carring it in my back pocket of my trousers,this time I did the same as well.
I was comming from African dinner at Nousses place back to my official home in Santiago with the night bus from Providencia to Center(where I live now) and was listening to the music as well.
In that moment,as usual someone started to talk to me in the bus.
Chilians like to talk to foreigners on the bus and I always hand away my number in case that someone would like
some english,portuguese or frech or german classes. I started to talk to someone as I wasnt sure where to get out off the bus and somehow and I believe that how it happened,my phone stayed on the seat and I jumped out.
As the person stepped out with me talking talking talking,heading more or less partly my direction I kept being bussy finding out,what I dont really remeber what was it.
When I got home,I wanted to upload some video I made the other day and maybe put on some photos finally - as its very long time that I published something,as I was warn and some people got really worried. Where am I and what I am doing :) What a sweet thing of them :)
Anyway,I got home and someone who I used to be in contact trough net when before in argentina had in my mind that I would like to look for a job in Chile started to write. As I found out that I dont have my phone,I asked him to try to call the number... The phone was ringing,ringing,ringing ...
And finally someone picked it up,all sleepy,saying that its in San Pablo (end of the red line) and works somewhere else. And that he would like to give back the phone. And in that moment my battery over there on the other end of the line died (as I use my phone as well as mp3 player - in that momet I was bumping my head against the wall for doing that). Silence,my phone is dead,in San Pablo and my friend told me that the person is bit slow in thiking,yeah... well when u wake up someone at 2 am that could happen.
Waiting. Insecurity. Do I have to buy new number. In that day I have put some advertisements and some people already called me that they would like classes! And I have lost them :( What to do? Will he call tomorrow? Will he charge the phone? Is he really willing to give it back or just making fun of me?
This happened on tuesday night. The day after I had planned one Slovak travel charity dinner in my new place and many people were invited. Damn! Waited,but preparing what I meant to prepare.
Nothing,but as I was busy preparing,hosting and orgaizing the event,I just somehow didnt suffer with the lack of my phone. The next day still left a lot of ingredients and one friend suggested me to make continue - second day. So I kept my mind busy. On the second Slovak dinner party called Bramborak came the friend who I knew just from internet,who talked to the guy with my phone and told me the news!
My phone was charged! Thats the GOOD NEWS!
And my phone is in Puerto Montt! Opa,thinking why he didnt took me with silently in my head (alreayd planning,yeah yeah I wanna go to fetch it! Get out on the road,my brain screaming on one side,and on the other,shit shit shit,cold cold cold,Patagonia again nooooooooo way).
The event ended  at 7 am (but thats another story) and I kept my brain busy with the question. Should I stay or should I go ... Should I stay or should I go? There is a long weekend,othing planned to do and I wouldnt be able to get a new number till monday. Puerto Montt from Santiago is about1100km.
Pure highway down. But as its feriado,no trucks,just smooth cars,going fast to meet their beloved once.
I could leave after classes on saturday and will be around Puerto Varas around midnight,sleep somewhere over there and get the phone next day,do some documentation fo Puerto varas and get back on Monday!
And distract my head a bit from this rushy metropole...
Temptation temptation ... Uuuuu... I got to Idea,that I will try to call myself.
Trying the phone at house,which I got to know that is blocked for calls on mobiles! Smart  pull,Alex :)
In that moment the silent shouts of Alex,Suzann take this one,just made me believe once again that I have chosen quite an interesting place to stay. (Will write about it later).
I pushed rapidly the number and kept it ringing ... Ringing... ringing. Nothing,voice mail.
Again,ringing,riging and the slow tired voice with wierd accent replayed. Happyness,which was changed later to the anger and disappointment. The guys was really slow in answering and specifying where he exactly is and how all the thing happened and if I would be able to come to take the phone.
In the middle of conversation I ran out of credit and had to charge it again in the nearest gass station. Called again,got to know that my phone is probably in Fresia and that there is almost no buses going around (what the person didnt get that I am wouldnt be comming with bus). When I tried to ask for contact,other than my phone he just told me that he doesnt have one as they stole his phone. In that point I got into panic.
I always like to believe that the people are good,but somehow ... in some point,there is this small me saying be carefull,very very carefull. As he didnt wanted much that if I would come to pick it up that he would give it back.  At the end of the conversation before the Alex's phone credits died again I just got an agreement that when someone would call for classes,he would just call to my home phone (question how he would do that if he doesnt have any other phone,is still eating my brain till now) and that he will come back to santiago till the end of the month,means some day next week as he is a buyer and seller of some things.
I am still in panic and nervosity.
Will I ever get my phone back? - all the contacts which I dont have syncronized,only working camera at this moment and not telling that I somehow have emotional attachment to my things :(
Waiting continues ... And story as well! Wish me luck guys!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Santiago my dear Santiago - or how I spent first few days running around

As I came to Santiago,I had to take some decisions.
And one of the dicisions which I was pushed to,was to try to settle down for a while.
Not that I would be that tired of traveling,but somehow my budget got dry and I didnt got much choices than use
somehow the rest of what have left and try to somehow multiply it.
I started to look for a room and look for a job.
I have made my profile on what is the page where u can find a people who are offering the rooms and u can write something abot yourself as well.
Between getting to know the people I was getting to know the surrounding.
I couchsurfed at the begining and I wanted to write about these interesting people before.
My first cser in Santiago was Nouss. I dont know why,but Nouss from the first look I knew that we will indersteand. The young lady from Cote d' Ivore who at that moment as I was staying at her place,had a bit more serious problem and she almost never show it. At that moments I was at her place, the french army started to bombard the presidential palace in the biggest city of Cote d'Ivore Abijan where is Nouss originaly come from and her dad is still there. Messages like rebbels are running all around the city and they got forbidden to leave the house after midday,seeing forums where people were on twitter or facebook sending the messages where is it dangerous to walk and where not,were kind of normal. In between of all of that,Nouss was trying to help me to look for a job. As here in Chile u have to really walk with your CV prented out in your hand and try to hold it out to every boss of the Bar or whereever u would like to work. I didnt do it till now. As I am really worried about misusig so much paper. And I was told million times in the district of Bellavista,that they are not accepting more foreigners (too many illegals i could be very dangerous bussiness,as chile works in many ways quite alike europe). And furthermore I got to know yesteday that every bussiness should have some 85 percent of employees chilians. Damn!
And yeah,when I got printed out most of the things I have lost my phone in the traffic. But thats another story.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hitchhiking from Valdivia to Santiago de Chile

I woke up pretty late that day as in the house wasnt any heating and down in the part of Chile is quite cold already during the night. The house I was staying was very pictoresque and as well the inhabitants of it,which actually is called Hostel Latino in Valdivia. The girl did CS and somehow even though she looked like a nice person to meet up,we didnt match very well.And kind of absence of CS spirit was touchable in the air and I felt over there like an intruder. Though and though I got up at 10 and managed to leave about 12. I tried to buy
some enthel card - the recommended phone operator by all chilians like the best (in coverage and services) and cheapest on in Chile,but wasnt successful.
As I found out yesterday,really everything is very comercial here in Chile and the prizes of different things and products from the same company could highly diverse even inside of the company and I bought the same type of card for 3500 pesos,when in Valdivia they offered me it for 5000 and in Punta Arenas for 7000. Sometimes my brain really stops how this could be possible.
Then I tried to change money,and as my strategy which I learnt in Puerto Natales is never go to Casa del Cambio or they will try to pull down the skin from u claiming whatsoever and even getting angry that u dont want to accpet their rate. I went to bank,where I have waited more than hour to get a little bit more (as I got tricked by not much educated guardian,who doesnt really understeand the charts written on a wall,but well,what happened happened). And I walked out of the city,well tried to do my best walking out and hitchhiking at the same time.

When I got to some crossroads where one part of the cars were going north and other continued south I have just sit down tired (there was no place for cars to stop) and tried to lift my thumb. And u know what? In about 3 minutes one small van stopped and two guys jumped out with a huge smile if they can take me somewhere. So we went. Here in Chile I especially get a question,why I am traveling alone and how comes that the girl is travelling alone. Why I am not going with some other girl? Though I dont know any other girl who would be willing to do the same as me and even havent heared about any. Anyway,if u would know about some,let me know! :)
Anyway - I started about 3 pm from Valdivia and had more than 800 km ahead of me to the north... But as the road had to be just on highway,I just put the ticket on my fortune,that I will make it   somehow...

Got out of the car full of funny guys at Loncoche with invitation to go to visit a family of one of them ,though then they had to go to Temuco and be there at maximaly 5 o clock.
I was quite aware of a time so,I just bet that I would be lucky and somehow I was and wasnt. Even on a exit to the Lancoche I lifted up my thumb walking toward main highway and the truck going on a main road stoped - first car. This easy it havent even been in England :)

Later on when the  truck driver just had to go somewhere close to Chillan even loosing too much time,moving myself very slow being already 8 o clock and dark I stil had a hope and was runnign around one gasstation where they tried to charge me for going to check my sore eye in a mirror of bathroom. Leaving the place with words u had to tell it before me entering inside,slammed the door.
Anyway,people in these areas are very nice,and whoever I asked except of some guys who looked that they are too important to talk to me,everyone even in passing cars was really really nice. I got offers from different trucks,but none was going to santiago. In 10 minutes I took one of the offers and jumped in.
I really had a good time calking to this driver as he was originaly kind of emergency/ambulance driver,but he changed the job one month ago for driveing a truck. Money is money...
Well,but I have learnet how to labor a child in emergency ;)) As he was giving as well the courses of first aid in different situations. Good soul and family person with a lot of hope and the heart from gold :)
It got too dark and too late and I still had it 300 km when we stopped,almost midnight and I knew I would come about 3 am,not good for Nouss (my CS lady from Ivory Coast who speaks as well brazilain Portuguese :) who was waiting for me in Santiago. I managed to send a message and accpeted to spent the night in a truck on a lower bunk. Yeah,u would say,this is very dangerous situation,never stay down,but this person was really good guy and only reason why I couldnt sleep was,that he was snoring a  lot.
I felt asleep one hour before we sterted to move on again and then when we stopped at 10 I had it like 80 km on to santiago,still with idea that I would have to wait till 7 till Nouss will get home from work.
Got offer to go to descarga and then can continue to Santiago,but u never know how long it takes to descargar something from a truck and I just jumped out with a wish of good day and good journey and crowled around gasstation where I found written on a door - Wifi :)
Ok,get in,ordered something to eat from the menu and opened my laptop. Did some stuff for a while almost sleeping,packed the things again and ran around the gasstation. It was absolutely empty and the cars were even comming different direction to the petrol stands. There had to be some way out on oposite direction. So I standed again on highway - hitchhiking on highways in Chile is absolutely normal and its not forbidden - obviously (I have seen many people hitchhiking especially on highway from all age cathegories in Chile).
Was nice sunny and warm day and everything around started to look like south of france of mid teritory of Spain. I have managed to stop a  truck in half an hour. And the driver with question,do u know Santiago?
And me,so I look like I am Chilian? got really disappointed as he picked me up thinking of getting in some expert for Metropole of Santiago. As well fresher in truck driving especially to the huge city.
He spent quite a long time explaining me why Chilian man prefer or like chubby girls but well...
Everybody to his own taste,isnt that truth!
And we arrived. At about midday I found the metro station on some subburbs and got to the centre to try to do some things I had to do for a long time.

Notice that the highway looks like in Spain,is beacuse the spanish built this
chilian highway :) Even the marking is the same like in Spain! :) 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How I came from Bariloche (Argentina) to Valdivia (Chile)

Leaving Bariloche
Truly and sincerly it was quite easy. Ahead I had something like 340 km and as I already know from the south and from Argentina,chilians like to give a ride without any problems. But still.
I started from Bariloche,quite late,in about 2 pm,then I head to head for Villa Angostura. As its already happening in surroundings of Bariloche,noone ever gives u ride for longer than a   few kilometers,2-18km and u will ve very lucky to get longer one,but if u are already in some adequate distance from Bariloche and it touristy areas (where especially over here u wouldnt have problem to find a ride from anywhere to anywhere),its getting faster. 
The only trouble is that the most of Argentinians are staying on Argentinian side and noone is really interested to go to Chile. As the rivality between Chile and Argentina is very strong and hostility in the air as well (yeah the war on Malvinas/Falklands,Sarmiento and other historical things makes the situation between Chile and Argentina quite serious. But well,here we go. I got a long ride to Villa Angostura and then I got picked up with some girls on holidays,where on was a trainer of hockey played on grass (I have no idea which one is it),and anotherone was dreaming secretly when she will finish tourism to do the same  thing as I am doing. Then I just got like 30 km from the border and no car was passing by to the border. 
Already loosing hope stopped the car and the peson was going to Puerto Montt. The guy was polish decendency and was reporter for some sport channel making programs about fishing with a flyies or something like that. I am not the fisherman :D But was going from Puerto Montt directly with flight to Koyaike (the place which seems that magical and attractive,that it has just stuck in my head from the moment I met close to Rivadavia at sunrise few days ago,heading for Bariloche,2 german girls who let them self kick out on spot to hitch to Sarmiento .... From Sarmiento is possible to take a turn to Koyaike,national park,just 2 cities,rutas de ripio - the countryroads not paved on that small part of Chile which is all like a national park. Koyaike... Magic!Bum!

Ok.ok,hush,we got to argentinian border and me always trying to be funny started to talk to the guys over there(normally till the moment they stop having the face like from a stone and make a small smile :) what I have managed this time as well :) 
That reminds me controls in Fry Bentos from Uruguay to Argenina and its international bridge crossing over river which then changes to river Plata. When my passport was taken by one officer and kept hostage for  about half an hour or so,just because I was trying to be funny :P
We passed the Argentinian border without problems, and me with my crazy guesses where your face comes from guess good one bolivian killer on the wall of their office :) I havent seem much bolivians,but this looked pretty bolivianish :D
So we proceeded to Chilian border,which is about 20 km from Argentinian,huh?
But well,we came,all the billion small papers and forms,where u have to write when u are leaving Chile and others stuff (which I was explained once I hitched someone from Carabinieros - police in Torres del Paine with familiars on a vacation,that if I put there 10 days for example and they wouldnt find out that I left the country in 10 days they will start to look for me.Looks creepy,isnt it?  As at that moment I was told that in Chile the people just simply dont get lost. They got lost all around the world,but just in Chile not! Great to hear that :)
And there is another very disturbing thing about crossing chilian border. Means whole luggade check up! Looking for anything eatable originated from any plant and animal or even bijuterie or artesanats from any kind of part,that cant be imported,because they could contaminate this beautiful country named Chile.
Salto de Novios,our pee stop :)
I got in a small fight with an officer,as he wanted to unpack my backpack. If u know my backpack,u as well know,that it takes a while to puut things back and as well to give them an order,though I just told him,if he takes it out, I want him to as well to tide it up back. On that Mr told me that he is going to give me fine.
Me: "And for what?" 
Officer:"For not wanting to obbey the terms of entrance of the state."
Me:"I am not dinaying anything,I just want u to tide up the mess u will make."
and round and round,till he got pissed on and try to threaten me,that he will let me to get arrested. I am sometimes cabeza dura,but the argentinian who was there with me just got a bit unconfortable with me looking for a prove of ridiculusness of whatever the guy told me that at the end I unpacked and packed it again,with question where are toilets. On that I got answer that there and u would have to pay that and that. What? Its for services and keeping clean the enviroment etc. etc. etc. 
Yeah,u know what? We went to forest then :D here u go with your absolute capitalism.

I got to crossroads when my way with Mr reporter were going each one to different direction,mine to Valdivia and his to Puerto Montt. 
These interesting birds were
running close to entrance
of the highway -
look at the long beak
Reminded me darwins
They are big like a chicken
I lifted my finger and second car stopped. God of the thumbing people,bless Chile! :)
Me looking inside seeing 4 guys - means full house frowning on them as looking if there would be any trouble. But I came closer. At the end guy jumped out and put my bag to the trunk and told me to hop in between the guys as they are just going from classes from university in Osorno. Uff,thanks god. And we went,they have been going to Valdivia. The guys got kicked out after 30km and I continued with driver about 30 absolute addict to bussiness. Changing bussniesses as socks,earning and loosing,not sleeping,rotating money as he could. Till the moment he started to telling me the thing like : Wouldnt u get bored looking at the same woman at the same clothes every day,u would for sure,so for me that was my bussness. When he named the girl he spent 7 years with name of mother of my daughter (sounds like incubator,and this was not the first time I heared something such ugly telling about women some chillian,as if the women was just some domestic utencil... Anyway,reminds me Ireland and Irish guys who has these expresions about Irish women as well),obviously any feelings for the lady. And I absolutely resigned on that type of person and trying to have some reasonable conversation with him,in the moment when he was trying to persuade me that the men has right to cheat on women and the cheating men is better than none and I should be happy to find some where I wouldnt find that he is cheating... Oh well,I prefer to be on my own,really than with someone who is abviously using and misusing me.

Thogh and though,here we go! We came to Valdivia and I got to the place where I had to be staying! :)
But there starts another story :)

P.S.: Waiting time in this area less than 20 minutes (on saturday - worst hh day)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hitchhiking around San Carlos de Bariloche - Cerro Campenario

Cerro Campenario
Yesterday I have decided that after comming to this touristy ski and mountany center it would be a pity just to stay watching the mountains from the window and even though that my leg didnt wantet to obey me at all,I just set on questionary and later on on hitch to Cerro Campenario which is about 27km from Bariloche on the west.

After getting to the Informaition center in the downtown,which is located in Centro Civico with a city hall next to the port in Bariloche,near to Lago Nahuel Huapi,I just got to know,that at that place they cant tell me anything about triles and hiking to the mountain,as they are not certified to. Huh,again,the argentinian burocracy,when one is holding just part of the iinformation or is not allowed to tell the rest and u have to go and look for another point of indicias to get to final winning information which pushes u closer forward to your destiny! Opening the gate and find a treasure XDD no,just kidding.
Looking for a place I just found out that some nice crime had to happen on one street that they absolutely closed it and any kind of information was refused to be given to public,great.
But I managed to find by accident the factory of my belowed Bambi! or at least certified seller.

Well,I would like to tell u something about Bariloche. Its the city laying on foot of the Andies in the district of lakes. So u can find lakes evrywhere and do whichever sport u like. Its a skiresort in the winter as climbing,hiking,water sport resort in the summer.
Bariloche is capital of chocolates and u will find chocolate shops everywhere around.
The most known are Mamushka (amazing chocolate,indeed. Here in argentina they call matriosha mamusha - russian dolls where is one inside of another one hidden. But in Bariloche Mamusha is a chocolate brand L),where u can try some for free even and then u wouldnt resist to buy more,or as well very know Turista and my favourite Patagonic Bambi :)) And and and many many others.I dont know where they are buying chocolate from,as in general in south america the chocolate is extremely expensive and not very good in generaly the states I passed trough - as I dont recommend it to buy it in Brazil,where its about more animal fat inside than cocoa and chocolate and its just extremely expensive and not very good. Sorry,my friends Brazilians :/

The Bariloche is one of the bigger cities in region with 130 000 people out of the season,like now,when asking for a job is just nonsense,as there arent any jobs available.
At least at what I wouuld accept to work in...
Bariloche is part of Patagonia,so its very windy. On the north on km 26 there is a national park called LLao LLao,witch its beauties which I havent explored yet,but about that next time.

Well,when I found out everything I needed I just started to hitch next to the port,first 2 people took me about 2 km each,and there I got to know about 2 universities operating in the Bariloche on the third ride I met the profesor working on research on nuclear reactor in the school :)  Good talks about nuclear physics again ... How I missed that kind of stuff. Sometimes u can have really great talk about everything possible with someone who u have to spend 8 hours in a car,if u of course dont want to get out sooner,about phylosophy,history,theoretical and practical naturals ciences etc. (well this happened to me on the way
from Sarmiento to Bariloche).Anyway,I had no idea that here in a such a small place like Bariloche is Atomic Center. But if I take it like this,how should look like CERN which is located in the middle of the Alps,isnt?

As I got to Cerro Campenario,I decided to climb up,I already noticed that there is no marking of the way and u just choose one by the good sense,so I got up without troubles. The view is really nice from the hill,anyway - short video to prove it.Anyway,here I have to praise chilians for excelent marking of the trails and protection of the nature and as well having special tracks for horses and people.

The trouble started when I had to come back. No markings of the way and bad orientation in the forest of tall trees and muddy surface made that I took one wrong turna nd appeared on some private property. On te gate behind I have seen - Cuidado con el Perro! Opa,guay! (Attention,dog!Great). Not that the path wasnt marked now I had to be fighting with some dogs. I just wished that I wouldnt meet any. Walking slowly on the path further on with a heart squeezes to small size of my chest. Step by step. The black siluet appeared down approaching,running and barking. Yeah,the people here love the big dogs! Me with my lethal weapon - the plastic bottle trying to put in front of me for defence,got frozen. Trying to talk to a dog. Well,he was doing his job,defending the teritory. He tried to even get to me from the back,teeth out,just ready to bite.
If u look on it from another side - what if he did bitten u - some rabbies vaccine are not anything nice,but well,one can survive and for sure he wouldnt kill u,not this time,broen bones,torn tissues and he would go for nice sleepy injection. I would be pity of the animal,as it was really nice black huge dog.
After 15 minutes of rotation,staying calm and not moving much,trying to talk to a dog,he just gave up and went back to the forest.
Continuing on the parth,barking again,more profound,shit,not again!Luckyly there was some fence and some people ove there. The dogs didnt left their property,but the people didnt even helped me out,as I was trying to ask for a way,they just replayed not this one,great! Obviously lost foreigner in the path full of crazy dogs defending their houses is the best thing ever,why to be friendly and show u the way?
Walking trough there came another 2 huge agry dogs and another one on the chain to pass. After about half an hours trying to defend my self with a plastic bottle against barking snaping dogs came a small kid from nearby house and saved me with words,they wont do anything ... (but they didnt look like,even though triing to attack me and why dont u have a fences here???rang in my head). But I just frowned and went away. Finally I got from the crazy area of wild dogs of the size of Bernardin - yeah they have been too,but luckyly in a house with some fences and started to hitch. Normally u dont wait a long,max 10 minutes(what is even less than a bus would come) and got a ride with a guy who was trying to push me in my head that I should stop eating anything with flour that I am extremely obese,though I explained him,why I am like this and he just got shut up :) Yeah,but I know,flour,artificial sugars,eating later than 6 hours before sleep,not sleeping properly or not sleeping at all makes my body to keep all the energy in and it doesnt look or feel that well anymore.
And then I met one Catalan! Meeting european who is not a tourist here its just simply not that easy and still somehow :) It made my day!

Well,though and though,thats the small story from yesterday.