I got off the plane from Antofagasta last Tuesday, only to turn around on Wednesday morning and rent a car to drive to Valparaiso, where I had a consulting job with the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso. Packed into the car with me were my “brothers” Fred and Gary, my daughter Chev, and enough cocktail hour libations to keep us going for a week. We only pack the essentials.
Unfortunately for me, I was also working on a bug (or it was working on me) which made me lose my appetite completely for five days, along with a bunch of weight, and did nothing for my anime. Not only that, we arrived at my wonderful friend Horacio’s house only to find out that he had decided to cut the internet service, and the only heat that was working were the two wood stoves. So all my glorious plans to leave this place on a high note, with exploratory trips up and down the coast, basically ended with me dragging myself to and from the U, and staring out at the ocean on the couch trying to stay hydrated. But the views, and the sunsets, didn’t let us down.
Today, I decided no one could return to Santiago without seeing Valparaiso. This is a city that makes San Francisco look like it’s wimpy little sister; just looking at the hills make you break into a sweat. Try driving up and down them with a stick shift to spice things up a bit. Me and my little Peugot did just fine, although I did have just two “misdirected turns” where I ended up plummeting down (one) and up (one) street the wrong way. There were a few screams from Gary and the backseat was unusually quiet, but other than that, a delightful time was had by all.
I even returned the car to Santiago early, without a scratch. Way to go. Now just one more presentation tomorrow, and I am home free – for a few days….