Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foods I look forward to eating/drinking upon returning to the US

- All natural extra chunky peanut butter
- Cooler Ranch Doritos
- Mountain Dew
- Taco Bell Gorditas
- General Tso's chicken
- Davanni's supreme pizza
- Qdoba/Chipotle burrito
- Arby's
- Chicken tikka masala

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I've realized that by now, there is too much to write about in the past.  I have done too many things at this point, and it has become daunting to have to put it all down in the blog so I've avoided it.  Thus, I am starting anew here with present day activities.  If you would like to ask me about Lollapalooza, Pablo Neruda's house, the rest of Torres del Paine, Ushuaia, Dad's visit, or other things I've done in the past couple months, please do and I will respond completely.  Otherwise, these things are just going to trickle into the blog as I keep up with the more or less daily grind.  It's for the best, I promise.

Anyway, today we went to a rodeo!  It was on the outskirts of the city, just south of the really nice part of town.  I met my German friends Andreas and Luisa there at about noon.  The place itself was pretty wild, as we had to walk through a holding pen for public busses, and then into a little wooded area before we got to the gate for the rodeo.

Once inside, it was impossible to tell we were still in Santiago...

 Not exactly what I've come to expect within our little hole in the mountains.

The rodeo had been underway since about 8 AM, when the sun was significantly weaker.  Here, we 3 WASPs felt her in her full glory as we watched teams of Chilean cowboys mull around the rodeo ring.

It wasn't what I expected the rodeo to be.  No ropes were used at all during the entire competition, the only way the cowboys would control the cow was with the bodies of their horses.  Every so often they would have to turn the cow around 180 degrees, and they would then be given points according to some measurable degree of proficiency.

 Here we see 2 of the cowboys going at it with the cow.  It looked quite hard - I expect it takes a lot of training to get one's horse to perform this task proficiently.

From the left: Me, Luisa, Andres, 2 chumps.

For the intermission, we went over to the outdoor restaurant and had a couple cokes.  Pisco was considered, but ultimately declined.

Horses penned up outside.  It was like a scene from the wild west.

The lineup of cows waiting to play.  They had 30+ cows in line, which seemed like overkill to me.  Chileans do not know moderation when it comes to planning, it's either way too much, or not at all.

We moved over to the other side for the second half of the competition.  Before being let loose in the big ring, the cows would run through this little mini-ring, presumably to burn off some of their pent-up energy.

Me, elated.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MN Visit

Anybody who is in MN - come see me between April 12-17!  I'll be back for a few days doing an orientation at the Carlson School of Management, and then spending a little time with the fam before returning to the far south.


People, I'm sorry for the intermittance of posting recently.  Truth is, life has picked up its pace a little bit more of late, and the normal down time I had reserved for blogging has disappeared into the bowels of the metro and innards of classrooms and offices all over Santiago.  So, I plan to continue with my daily trip postings from Patagonia, while also mixing in some daily anecdotes and other short-form posts which will help to cover more ground.  Something's better than nothing, right?

This past weekend was a long one for us, thanks to Good Friday (here, it's called "semana santa", or holy week).  Friday morning, we took off in the car with Felipe, Arturo, and Kelsey to Algarrobo, a city on the coast just south of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.  The drive out is one I know well at this point, but I still can't help but take pictures every time we go.  The surrounding countryside is still otherworldly to me.

The last picture is in Valle de casablanca, apparently one of the best places in the world to grow Chardonnay.  Can't say I know the wine from there, but likely soon.

After driving a while, we arrived in Algarrobo.

The neighborhood was surrounded by these large trees, which is something of an abnormality for Chile.  I assume they were artificially planted there.
Me, in my hipster glasses, ready to party.
Kelsey making a common salsa for barbecues here - a mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salt, lemon juice, and some veggie oil.  It's delicious on chorizo and bread.

For the night, we went to Arturo's friend's house, where we took some of his cornucopia of wood to fuel the fires for the weekend.

Fresh meat, right off the grill.  It got cold outside quickly by the coast, so we ended up eating inside.

Relaxing the next morning with Micheladas - a mix of light beer, lemon juice, and salt.  They are actually quite refreshing.

A light lunch - ceviche and mariscos (whitefish with onions and citrus juice, and a mix of shellfish)

The beers started flowing much more quickly after lunch.
Headed to the beach.
The beach was a bit of a hike, but it was well worth the effort.

Felipe, aka the mountain goat, making his way down to the playa.

After the day, we walked back along the coast until we were forced to hike up the hill.  This was kind of a cool view we had as the sun was setting around the other side of the hill.
It's difficult to see in this picture, but there is some fungus that completely ate away all the pine needles in this one section of tree, and covered it with a strange fuzzy substance.  I've noticed some very nasty, aggressive fungi in the trees in my time down here.
Night 2 - the barbecue continues
From the left: Wasi, me, Felipe, Arturo
All of us, with 2 of Arturo's friends for the barbecue.
Pil pil - pork pieces cooked over the stove with spices, then spread over toasted bread.  It was amazing.
Our last meal, before taking off for home.
We found out that there was a huge traffic jam thanks to an accident very close to Santiago, so we took this back road that led us through the mountains over dirt roads and switchbacks galore.  It took us 2 hours, but the traffic jam was taking people more than 4 hours to get back, so we ended up saving time while also seeing a cool, backcountry side of the outskirts of Santiago.  This picture was taken from the top of one of the cordilleras we drove over, as we took a break to stretch our legs.

Happy belated Easter!