Saturday, 6 February 2010

Complete Change, a Post Without the 'B' Word!

If you choose to travel independently, make no concrete plans and have nothing more in your back pocket than a return flight and a few quid, then at some stage you are going to hit a snag! That has been the case today, and with the idea of wakening without the aid of the alarm I took a £4 taxi ride to the Terminal de Buses at 07-00. Destination San Rafael (in the high Andes) via Mendoza, not one of the 3 carriers had a vacant seat. Lesson, always have a plan 'B'. Quickly returning to the same hotel, before they stripped the bed, I had a breakfast outstanding so got the coffee, plus eggs and toast, then decided to re-visit the city. Last time I doubt I gave it due cover, but with the whole day to spare I could now do it justice. The only target would be to buy a 'postage stamp' to Europe, otherwise just relax and enjoy the sights. Poi Nono, the Street and area in which I am staying, could be described as the Soho of Santiago but only in the looses sense. At night, the pavement cafes are overflowing, there is a Disco each and the drums and other music continues (LOUDLY) until daylight. During the day it's quite another story as owners clear up the debris, wash endless numbers of glasses and hose down the beer-bar medals spewed onto the sidewalks.

It was through this street scene I made my way to the river, which is more a funnel for the endless Andean 'melt waters' which at the moment are only at about a quarter spate but nevertheless constitutes a 'torrent'. Here too, are a succession of bridges, something I have always had a silent passion for, but not to be confused with the Ponts de Paris. In the main, pre-cast concrete and twisted wrought iron and the occasional iron girder, none of which will be memorable, but have to admit to a short session of playing Pooh Sticks! Along the way were a few average monuments and statues but again underwhelming, with the same being true of the buildings. Believing that nothing is all bad, the avenues of trees, mostly a species of Maple, were outstanding as was the arboreal diversity in the few small parks en-route.

Eventually, after a few inquiries, I got the stamp then sat in one of the parks drinking fresh pineapple juice and singing Nothing Else Matters - Metallica (those at my 60th party will know I need the practice), Tweeter and the Monkeyman, God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You and excerpts from Dark Matter the fabulous album by Southampton band IQ. Because of the vast numbers of stray dogs across the whole of this Sub-Continent, I took to counting them on the way back. The walk took about 90 minutes, and in all I counted 53 and that was without entering the Parque de Central where there are dozens more. I also noted that on the up side to this city they have Metallica playing here on 20th of this month (OK so long as they don't play anything from the Saint Anger album), Tom Jones on 27th and The Cranberries the following night. And to close today's epistle. again on the subject of music, the other evening I was waxing lyrical about my latest discovery, guitarist Joe Bonamassa, to a young lady from the US and her father. Unfortunately for them, the lap-top was at hand so logged on to his web-site and gave them a snatch of 'The Ballard of John Henry', sensational stuff! In so doing, I discovered that he is embarking on a World Tour in the very near future and one of the gigs is at the Bournemouth International Center (BIC) in May.


It is suggested that if you are already 'totally bored' or are suffering from Hypertension, best not venture beyond this point.

A bridge and a river, plus if you look really closely you can see me!

A monument to 'Liberty' complete with fire-arms.

Some of the newer buildings in Santiago.

Monument to someone who must be famous, somewhere.

The City Square

Another view of the City Square

Ille Kallaste (2010)

Ille's latest creation which I just have the need to show. I think there is something of the Odilon Redon (a great favourite eh Tess?) about this piece?

Odilon Redon (1840 - 1916)

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