SUNDAY, Dec 3/06
Our last day, and I'm soaking up the moments, keeping them for memory. I feel sad we are leaving. We have been made to feel so very much part of the family here. We have stayed pretty much at home today, resting up for the long trip home. This morning we stopped in to have a look at the Catholic Cemetary which is on the road near the General Cementario. It's like a big fortress with a high stone wall around it. Inside are incredible tombs, some dating back to the 1800's, and a lot of fancy statuary. There is big chapel inside and a Mass was being performed. The church was full of people and on the streets and inside there were crowds buying flowers (for here and the General Cementary). We bought grandma and Cecilia huge bouquet of orange and yellow lilies and white and blue roses, then went home to spend a quiet day visiting. Cecilia had prepared a delicious steak and vegetable plate for our last special lunch.
At the moment in Santiago there is much rejoicing at the emminent death of the old Pinochet who was taken to the hospital in serious condition this morning, and supposedly is to have a heart surgery any time now (which likely he won't survive). Too bad we'll miss all the joyful street demonstartaions when he finally kicks to the bucket.
"Are you excited to leave?" Cecilia asked
"No. I was excited when I was coming here. I am sad to leave," I replied.
But our time is up. And even the beauitufl Lose Andes came out to say goodbye. It's the clearest we've seen Aconagua since we got here! What a lovely send-off!
Cecilia's brother Enrique came with his car to drive us to the airport along with his lovely wife Marisol. She brought us each a present and we were very touched. Then we all (except Grandma who stayed home to look after gato) got in the car and we headed off for the airport. I have to admit there were tears when we left. We will never forget this wonderful holiday, the generosity and kindess that was shown us and we are forever grateful. "Come back soon and next time stay a longer time," Cecilia said. We certainly will!
We are in Toronto now, Monday Dec 4, after a very good flight from Santiago. No bumps or scary bits this time, and actually it was quite restful. Doing a bit of sightseeing around Toronto and homeward bound tomorrow. I'll post another blog when I return with recaps of thoughts and things I might have forgotten.
You can be sure, as soon as I can, I'll head back down to Chile!