Monday, February 11, 2008

Santiago Amigos!!

We had the softest of all possible landings in Santiago. After an 8 hour overnight flight we were picked up by our friend Brett. For the next five days we were treated to five star hospitality at Brett and Nicky's apartment. We rode the funicular and telepherique up to the top of the Parque Metropolitano. We swam in the swanky pool at the top of the hill overlooking the city and the Andes. Brett chauffered us to an incredible beach. We watched penquins, played in the sand, and basked in the super strong rays of the Southern sun. There was an incredible path along the beach that we hiked to another beach where Shannon and I actually swam. A bird sanctuary just offshore was home to penguins and pelicans. We could see them very clearly hopping around. Brett certainly knows how to pick a fantastic beach. The ozone hole is serious here. The sun also means that fruits and vegetables here are fantastic. We got more fruit than we could eat at a little roadside stand>grapes, apples, peaches, nectarines. Santiago is an amazingly clean and modern city. A marked contrast to San Jose and Panama City. The kids coped beautifully with their first real encounter with a big city. It helped that Brett and Nicky were such patient hosts and were fantastic with the kids. The new schedule worked okay/ dinner at 830 or 9, asleep by 10 for the kids. The sun goes down late here and families are still hanging out on their towels at the beach at 730. It was nice to hear Brett and Shannon make a little music together in the evenings. It made us realize how much the Hellroaring String Band is missed in our lives. Maybe the band can meet up in Chile for a world tour/penguin watching safari/ outdoor adventure sometime. The initial part of the tour was busy but relaxed/ it is hard to imagine a better way to spend the first five days inside a new country. Our sincere thanks to some of the world's best hosts. I hope that someday we can repay the favor.

1 comment:

caroline said...

hey guys! lookin good! i think i have stood exactly where toby is standing in the picture.
where are you at the beach? it looks nice and we head into another wintry mix snow storm here in VT, i have to say i wouldn't mind joining you all in warm chile for a bit.
hugs to all (brett and nikki too!!),