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    Leaving Santiago (UK, incl. movie clip)

    On Wednesday (20AUG2008) I’ll be leaving Santiago, Chile and head for Mendoza, Argentina some 380 km to the east on the other side of the massive Andes range.

    I’ve stayed with my friend Paola (that I met in Indonesia last year) and her family in the Santiago suburb Peñalolen for the last 10 days. Many new faces, a lot of research about the upcoming leg of the journey (like Will the 3.800 m Libertadores Pass be open or not this time of year (mid-winter)?) from my cosy little room with all the internet access I could only dream about in Polynesia, sightseeing, taking the dog Niki for walks, practicing Spanish, chatting with the housemaid Roxanna, hanging out with my new friends (they are always “new” on this ever-moving crusade), and generally getting ready for leaving Santiago, which has been a delightful surprise to me.

    A buzzling, yet very manageable city with a super-efficient transport system (metro & bus), interesting markets, beautiful colonial buildings, ramshackle back streets, lovely Chileans (and a BIG THANK YOU to mama Emma, father Pedro, brother German, sister Paola for letting me stay with you, for being a part of your family, and THANK YOU also to housemaid Roxanna, friends Macarena, Ricardo, Patrick (x2), Daniela, Carolina (+++) for being patient with me and my still very rusty Spanish, for answering all my stupid questions (almost exclusively of the “Como se dice…en Español”-type) that sound like I’m a 7 year-old boy lost somewhere in grammar school.

    I’m very, very excited about the next leg of the travel. Can’t figure out if my shivering is only because of the cold weather here in Santiago. The last 2 months in Polynesia with hardly any cycling to speak of have left me hanging to get back in the saddle, out in the open spaces where now one knows me, where I see and know nothing but the strip of asphalt (or gravel) below and ahead of me. I just want to ride my bicycle.

    I’ve been in this situation before. I know that this (being excited, slightly shivering, super-focused, rather unsocial) is how I prepare for the adventures ahead of me, how I mentally and practically cope with the challenge, how I do my things, and that it’s all normal, all good. Leaving Copenhagen, Kashgar (China), Darwin (Australia), Auckland (NZ) was emotionally similar.

    The Andes are looming behind Santiago. Gigantic, steep as something you shouldn’t try to cross on a bike, and snow-capped. To give you an idea about what I’m dealing with here, I’ve just uploaded a little video clip from the other day.

    Movie Clip from Santiago (with Los Andes):

    Thank you all for the support, encouragement, advice, cheering, thumbs-ups and whatnot. Thanks for being there. It really helps me from feeling (that) lonely when the going gets tough and makes me more happy than you’d know.

    From a seemingly endless list of things-to-do here in Santiago (or so it seemed a week ago), I just need to pick up my torn pants (big holes on the bum) that a kind lady is fixing for me next door, say goodbye to my folks here in Santiago, and then get the Koga rolling again.

    Expect WT Update delays. Smile. And do notice that all comments are welcome. I still prefer the dialogue to the monologue.

    Love, Nicolai

    On this day..

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    One Response to “Leaving Santiago (UK, incl. movie clip)”

    1. Mlle Sara Says:

      Enjoy the ride!
      It’s a beautiful challenge ahead. I hope there will not be too much shivering.
      Feel free to imagine all of us cheering you along the road with big signs, horns, confetti, guitaras (Sylvain playing, of course!) whatever tickles your fancy! Because we certainly wish we could.

      My thoughts are with you, Sara

      I took the liberty to talk for others visiting WT site. However, I don’t know any of them. They might not be cheering by the roadside…They are probably too cool for that. Hot air balloon with an enormous banner, might do it though.

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