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Monday, November 27, 2006

ADVENTURES IN CHILE: A DAY AT THE BEACH

SUNDAY, Nov 26
CARTAGENA, CON´D

A misty, cool morning. It´s a lot cooler here (cold at night= than in the interior, but so nice to breathe the fresh sea air and hear the roar of the distant waves on the shore. We´re going to the playa later and then returning to Santiago. We´ve already said our goodbyes to Anibal, lit the white candle and wished him adios, until we meet again, my beloved friend.

In the early afternoon we headed for Playa Chica although we didn´t stop as it´s not the best beach so we went on to Playa Grande and decided it was too chilly for a swim but good for wading, so I rolled up my pants and went down to the water´s edge. Brrrr. The water was icy cold, like the ocean in early June in Canada. There were lots of people swimming and jumping the big breakers that come crashing in. The kids and dogs were having a fine time running along in the surf. I was too, and got caught unawares by a big whitecap that smashed in and wet me up to my knees. We enjoyed an hour or so of just walking up and down the beach watching the locals have fun, kids getting themselves buried up to their necks in the sand, dogs leaping and frolicking in the waves, some people with body'boards surfing in on the breakers.

While we were enjoying the ocean, Cecilia and grandma waited on a bench and talked to the waiter of a nearby cafe. We decided to go there for lunch and were treated to such an amazing, delicious meal of avocado-tuna salad, clam/mussel soup, and fried fish (merlusa - pike) with patatas mayo. I had a taste of the Santa Rita wine too. (about $6 each)

Then it was off to the city again. We got back home about seven and later Patrick and I went searching for a web cafe. Ended up downtown at Palace de Armes where there is a Sunday flea market and loads of entertainment on the pedestrian mall. The big Christmas tree in front of the Cathedral is now all decorated. Someone had done an impressive chalk drawing of Christ on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral. There were no end of entertainers and the families all come to stroll up and down the mall enjoying the sights. What you see when you don´t have your camera along: a troop of young men break dancing and doing phenomenal gymnastic tricks; a bride mime who was so petite, like a doll all in white, and moved like a music box figurine. ( later the silver cowboy guy was there too). They had set up disco lights and kids were dancing. There was other stuff too: clowns, balloon men, hawkers. Even a guy with a pet llama all dressed up to have its photo taken. Why can´t Granville mall be like that? Great free family entertainment on a Sunday evening.

We eventually took the metro to another part of town, got to a web cafe just before closing and with little time left before the metro closed down too, so there was no time to post blogs til today, at Mendoza. That´s the Chile adventure news up to now. The next few days will be devoted to Argentina, and remembering my dear friend Roberto who would be so pleased to know I have finally arrived!

NEXT: LOS ANDES and MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

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