_Maybe this is why I don’t make plans, I ended up coming home sooner then planned. Things happen that are out of our control in life sometimes, but all turned out good.
Wow! What a awesome trip and got to meet lots of people. I will start off with day one, Carlos (who lives and works here in Calgary) and his friend Bernardo (who I met in Toronto a couple of years ago) took me to Carlos sister's family’s home where I left my luggage. I took an overnight bag to Bernardo’s place and what a place, yes a better place then mine, we both have a city and mountain view. I have a river view but he has me beat he has an ocean view on top of a mountain in Valparaiso, Chile. A big place where tourists and cruise ships go.
On Day two we went to Bernardo’s sister’s family’s farm for lunch and we went horseback riding in the mountains. Wow what...
_ its easy riding a horse on a flat path but on a mountain I found it harder coming down hill but loved it. No, I was not hurting the next day, must mean I’m in good shape, please do not laugh. That night Carlos and I went to his family’s place to stay the night, I think they waited for us to show up for tea. The tea there, (also in Australia and most of European places) is what we call dinner here. We have tea (dinner) here between 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. they have their tea between 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. The next day Carlos and I took a long drive south to a city called Valdivia, his first time at a hostel we shared a 4 bunk bed room with an American couple. What a beautiful drive, mountains and so many fruit and veggie farms.
Carlos left the next day to go further south, so I was on my own for a couple of days. I called another friend and co-worker from Calgary, Leo, he lived about an 8 hour bus ride in a city called Concepcion. I had to go through Los Angeles, Chile, not California. Again I ran into great hospitality, can’t believe they let a stranger (me) into their home and it was not even Leo’s place it was his sister’s. His nieces were also visiting because they were home for Christmas from Santiago (full house). I even had my own room, which I spent a couple of days. They took me around their city and his niece Paulina took me to the beach. What a beautiful place and people. Thank you so much, Leo, Sister Yvonne, nieces Paulina and Cristina (a young judge) for trusting and allowing me to be apart of your family. I thank Paulina for the invite to her home in Santiago for New Years. I did have a ticket from B.A. Argentina to Santiago, sorry I had to cancel. I love the people from Chile and the scenery was amazing. I got to see lots and see how they live down under us, mucho gracias, I will always remember the great people on this planet.
Off to Buenos Aires, Argentina, again thanks to Paulina for finding me a good deal. I thought that was my job finding good deals. Pauline showed me that if I put in a round trip on Lan Airlines it was cheaper than a one way trip on any airlines. When I got to Santiago that morning, I went to the Lan Airlines sales desk and told them that I will not be returning to Concepcion. He was going to reimburse me $10.00 Cdn, I laughed and said that’s o.k I got a great deal and left it at that. Now from Santiago, Chile to B.A Argentina, I checked my email at the airport, my friend Ev from Calgary was there taking a Spanish course for the past two weeks. I did not tell her I was on my way there, she gave me some tips about B.A. Like watch the cabs they may rip me off, she told me the price she got a cab for was $140.00 that was pretty good, so when I got there, they have those people (hustlers) trying to help you get a cab anyways the book price is $168.00. I had everyone beat I got it for $120.00 because I started to walk away towards the buses and the guy came back to me a said no problem amigo you can have it for $120.00.
Our dollar is ¼ of theirs so for every $100.00 of theirs is actually $25.00 of ours. Talk about a small world, I did not tell Ev I was on my way there. That night when I arrived at my hostel, about an hour later guess who was in the hostel lobby, it was Ev. What a surprise. I joined her and her new friends (class mates from around the world) who were all there to take Spanish lessons. She was meeting her class mates, so I joined them and we went out for dinner.
Want to watch a different dance http://www.parakultural.com.ar/ a dance, You change your partner all night, if someone looks you in the eye you both get up and have that dance together, then next dance it’s time to change partners. It’s like this, after the first song you take a short break, maybe thirty seconds, you chat with your new partner then two more dances, then if you make it to your seat without a look, say in about one minute, it all starts all over again with a new partner.
Ev had her own place she got a great deal and a nice place from a friend of hers from Calgary. We met for coffee the next morning as Ev had a flight to catch to Lgauzu Falls in Argentina. I couldn't join her, as I heard from someone on my travels not to go there if I did not have my yellow fever shot. Anyways we had a coffee and then she had to take off. On Christmas eve, I was hanging out with a couple of guys from the hostel, I wanted to see how they celebrated Christmas Eve down there. Big time family get together, some get dressed up and go to the restaurant for Christmas for tea (dinner). The restaurants don’t open until 10:00 p.m. Then I found out they open their presents from Santa at midnight, then the whole city celebrates by shooting off fireworks and firecrackers, it’s a big party in the city. Sounds like a gun shooting, maybe some were gun shots? Pretty wild. I found it very safe and friendly in both Countries, most people will disagree with me, but its who I am. I never worry that something is going to happen, always laugh and smile. Even if you get ripped off from a cab or something. Its my energy that can take places that some people are afraid to go to. Thanks to all the people I had a chance to meet and for the great hospitality that I received while I was there.
Sorry to my two friends from Argentina, I did not get a chance to see, Sergio who works seasonal in Calgary and lives in Mendoza with his family in our winter. Lucky guy. Also sorry to my friend who I met in Mexico a couple of years ago Manual, (a pro golfer that was back in Mexico for Christmas), where I normally am, Playa del Carmen. Anyways guys, its out of my control that I had to come home sooner than I wanted to.
Now for the deals I found on this trip, of course thanks to Ev for the taxi tip, you should always read up on the counties your traveling to. Most places the restaurants already have the tip included, they call it a service charge watch for it, because you could be paying 40% for the tip not 15% to 20%. I found www.tripbase.com , this website compares other sites, I got it on the expedia site on an Air Canada flight for under $300.00. At that time, on the Air Canada website the price was over $1000.00 return trip from Santiago Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Again thanks to Pauline from Chile for the tip, it’s sometime cheaper to put in a return trip on Lan Airlines.
For my future plans (holidays) this winter. That can change, I have it booked to go to Honolulu and Maui January 8th for two weeks. Yes I hate to make plans as I change them all the time, love it. First I was thinking of, seeing a friend in Vancouver on the 7th then catch a flight to Honolulu on the 8th . See some people I work with in Honolulu, then head over to see a young lady friend in Maui. Who is from Calgary and lives in Maui in the winter. Lucky girl. Maybe one day I will do the same thing. Other places I am thinking of going to but have not put a date on it yet.....is to go back to Cuba as I have a group of people that would like to go. I will give them a tour they will not forget, hang out with the locals and do the resort thing too. Another place I am looking into going this winter, is a place I have always wanted to go to....Costa Rica, again. If anyone wants to join me, anywhere that I am heading to, just email me and say you want to hang out for a week not two because, and leave it at that because. Lol..
It’s hard to find time to write while traveling unless I run into a rainy day. I know that will never happen because while I am traveling and I don’t like the weather, I could change the weather by hopping on to a plane and go somewhere sunny.
I just hate when work gets in the way of life, if you have to stay and put up with this Canada weather (maybe), take this job and shove it.
Till next time, Cheers Peter Montgomery from Calgary, Canada