Today, I read over this hastily-typed blog posting and I realize how strange it sounds without any context to go by. It would sound strange even with an explanation, because it´s literally a transcription of my hasty notes on the silly idea of Racing to the Bottom of Chile over the next few weeks. This is between me and two hostel dorm mates…bike riders going to the same town in Patagonia that I´m heading for, but with significantly different routes. Stuff gets lost in translation when silly material, which may mean something to the participants, gets written down.
Well, bear with me. There´s another page to go. At least, it´s background on an interesting and funny new part of my traveling in Chile, which will naturally supply bulletins as we go. Hank and Bryan left Santiago on Wednesday, January 18, on their planned route over the Andes to Argentina. They will then head south to Bariloche, Argentina, where they again will cross the Andes to re-enter Chile, to wind up in Puerto Montt.
That´s my future destination, too, traveling by a special backpacker´s bus which meanders among the interesting towns and hiker destinations south of Santiago. I also hope to take a ship further down for a three day cruise among the islands. So, the ridiculous idea of a race between us developed over the two days before they left and we have given it form by setting out all these wild and wilder terms and conditions.
They´re not kids, but they´re not as old as I am….so this is a very adult plan, however improbable. None of us are the ¨drinkers¨ that a perusal of this copy suggests, but what else is there to bet, other than money and that would taint the Olympic purity of this project. Gold medals would work, I guess, but are soooo much more expensive.
After they left, I was invited to attend a ten-day theater festival here and I decided to stay, since I have to dawdle seriously to make this any sort of a contest. I could get to Puerto Montt in a day of hard traveling. Well, the venue for the festival is an outdoor amphitheater and the show starts at 9 p.m. Temperatures have dropped here and it was windy last night. Thinking it was indoors, I didn´t dress warmly enough. Today I have a cold, which was already beginning with sniffles before. In front of the theater itself was an outdoor market and I bought a nice warm hoodie jacket in Rasta colors with Bob Marley´s face, front and back. I had a more ladylike jacket in the hostel but needed some serious chill protection right away. So the old jacket will be given away, as I always circulate my clothing as I go.
So, please put up with this silly backstory for awhile. It IS a part of my ongoing adventures….and no, Jennifer, I am not losing it! If you weren´t in on it from the beginning, it´s hard to imagine. I took pictures of their takeoff and will try to learn to post them soon and that will give more context. There will be one more page of this nutty original material and in-between, I hope to insert some old reports, as well as a touching story about ¨seeing the back of Randy´s head¨and finally finding grief welling up. That´ll keep you coming back for more! Just realize that the computers in this funky hostel )which I like well= are very compromised and getting worse over time. No internet cafes around either, so computer time is a struggle with so many of us needing the one not-bad one. Plus, a head cold.
Rule 1 – What happens in South America, stays in South America. Rules do not apply when returning home.
Rule 2 – Playing fast and loose with sporting, betting and movie industry terms is encouraged….especially in The Andes.
Rule 3 – Choice of Racing Conveyances.
TEAM MAPLE – Bicycle
TEAM SYCAMORE – Pachamama Buses www.pachamamabybus.com & Navimag ship www.navimag.com
Once underway¿underweigh method of conveyance is non-transferable. Team Maple suggests a caveat – Repercussions will apply only if we get caught. Fair enough!
Rule 4 – Team may communicate re… mileage covered, new rules and handicaps, timeframe, finish line location, taunts or cheers, leaf raking schedule. There will be absolutely no muck-raking, however.
Rule 5 – Methods of Communication allowed. email, skype, cloud technology, carrier pigeon, U.S. or Canadian mail, telepathy, blinker lights, morse code, drum, two tins and a piece of wire, smoke signals, torturous photos. That last one was Hunky´s suggestion after too much red wine. The Committee is sending this idea to the FBI. Hunkey swears he meant pictures of himself on the uphill runs but The Committee shot back with a reasonable question- ¨Who in their right mind ever RUNS uphill? Especially in the Andes? And anyway, he´s BIKING!!! Point taken. Typist´s caveat – I´d had a tad of wine when I jotted this cryptic two word note. Didn´t knw where else to put it. I´m begging leniency from The Committee. The reason that cell phones are not permitted, under any circumstances, is because Leaping doesn´t have one and it wouldn´t be fair.
Rule 6 – Betting is encouraged through the same bookies who cover any Olympics. All three contestants are holding out for one-third of all proceeds.
Rule 7 – Point Spread is encouraged.…except in The Andes. ????? ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¨I found it!¨ typist hollars. ¨Ya shoulda´known!¨ the three contestants hollar back. This is concerning the upside-down question mark. No doubt the upside-down exclamation point is hidden here somewhere, as well.
Rule 8 – Get a good night´s sleep. Unless your hemherroids are acting up… in which case, use toothpaste.
Rule 9 – Uphill runs may be accomplished with the assistance of chicas pulling or pushing gelado )ice cream…carts. This may include medium-quick chicas and slow chicas, as well.
Leaping has filed a strong protests because her run has no hills, nor does she feature herself grabbing onto anyone´s cart simply to be pulled up a mountain. The guys counter-protest because she rides buses…with engines!
Rule 10 – Älways quit when you´re ahead!¨…unless you are Team Sycamore.
Team Maple has registered a very strongly-worded protest.
Rule 11 – The use of handbrakes is permitted only in the presence of pubs.
Team Sycamore has registered a strongly-worded protest to the effect that she has no control over the decisions of bus or ship drivers. The Committee agrees profoundly.
Rule 12 – Stay hydrated. Especially when swimming. Both teams are scratching their heads over this one. The Committe insists that it contains profundity which will be realized at the proper time. Hunkey asks – ¨How about in the shower¿
And Flyin¨wonders if beer counts¿ The Committe will get back to Team Maple with the ruling.