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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PREPARING FOR THE GREAT ADVENTURE

A wise man travels light on the road trip of life.Wisdom is his map, wonder, his fuel,and a good story, his favorite souvenir."

I went to an information workshop about Chile last week and learned some important facts, like North Americans entering the country have to pay $135 U.S. entry fee. Well, that cuts into my travel fund somewhat but it's just one of those facts. No visa necessary though.

I'm also still trying to find out about the ATMs. According to the tourism people you can only use debit cards with a "cirrus" logo and this presents a problem as my card doesn't have that. And I simply have to be able to access my account while I'm there. I checked the internet and also my bank. Both say the ATMs in Chile accept cards with both Visa and "Plus" logos. But just to be sure I'll visit the Chilean consul this week and double-check.

Ah...there's always some little hassles that travellers must be confronted with and at least these are fairly simple to deal with. No innoculations necessary. Anyway, I've had all mine since I went to Malaysia and I even have some of the stomach medicine left over just in case.

We were shown some beautiful films of Chile at the presentation. In particular I was impressed with the film about Patagonia. Too bad we're only going for two week and will just travel around the Santiago area and Coast...but we do plan to take a bus trip across the border of Argentina to Mendoza, the wine-growing area. And on the weekend I spoke to a man who has spent a lot of time there (he was a mountaineer) and he assured me that we would have a marvelous time as it is quite spectacular.

My good camera has been broken and I neglected to get it repaired til now, debating on buying a digital, but realized I couldn't afford one just yet. So it's going to cost me to have it fixed but I need to take lots of good photos while I'm there. And my travel partner is a very talented photographer too, so Patrick says he's thinking of buying a digital which would be super then we can exchange photos.

I'm on the count-down now...only two and half weeks. It still seems incredible that I'm actually going there. I'm already getting butterflies in my stomach at the thought of it.
Pre-preparations? I'm trying to review what little Spanish I know. Couldn't get into any of the classes so I have my tapes and text books. But I'm still getting muddled up with Greek.

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