Antofagasta 23.07.02 31.48 km
It's just after midnight and it's been another night to remember. Mauricio had brought his girlfriend and we had a great time. If I don't leavee until thursday she cook 'ceviche' for us. It's a fish dish with lemon that I'd like to taste.
Furthermore Mauricio is going to show me the city on bike tomorrow, so including the thing I didn't have time for today it's going to be fine.
Besides I'll havee to go by train all the way from Calama to Uyuni, so I won't get accustomed to the heights little by little. I cannot get on the train in Ollagüe. But I won't have to bike up the 4500 m to the pass.
3.15 a.m. Sitting in the Plaza with my bike at my side. The carillion in the middle of the square plays a - g - f - c. I don't have an absolute ear for music, so I 'm not sure if it's correct, but I guess it was f major. I've had a new lodge. Carolina, Mauricio's girlfriend, insisted that I slept on her couch, but there's only one key which Mauricio keeps because he will be home first, and I'm do errands like: doing the laundry, sending postcards cashing money. The supplies vanished at the restaurant where we had drinks both before (Pisco Sour) and after the meal.
Antofagasta 24.07.02 57.54 km
Things were a bit complicated, because Carola was doing first part of her final project. (She's going to be an architect too). I was all alone in the apartment until sometime this morning, as they were working at the project and slept in his apartment. When I lay down for a moment to watch
TV, I went out like a candle, woke up later to switch off, but continued a sleep sounder than for a long time.
Today I was going to taste this typical chilean dish and we had agreed it must be for lunch, so they could get on with the project. Before the lunch I did once more an effort to find a better mattress in town. I succeeded finding one which was a bit thicker and had some kind of wafer or tray for eggs pattern.
I found it where it was least likely to, they had almost only tools, and just one stand of fishing equipment. And then this mattress hanging high up on the wall under the ceiling. The young man had to go looking for a ladder and when he eventually was up there had to call someone to bring him the cutting nippers, it was fastened securely. When he had it loosened from the wall and grabbed it a cloud of dust came drizzling down, as if I had had it with me recently and had slept OUTSIDE the tent. It was needless for him to announce that they only had this single one, I suggested it had been there for quite sometime which made him sweep it and brush it like a maniac. To the other customers amusement I rolled it out on the floor and lay down to try it out. Felt all right, but half a minute on a concrete floor is different from a whole night on rocky ground where the stones grow during the night. But on TWO mattresses I might have a comfortable sleep?
The 'ceviche' was divine, just what you need on a hot summers day, and it was, compared to danish situations. The recipie is a secret for the moment but I'll try to cook something like it when I return home. I still can't express myself in spanish, but I'm improving I find. I can pronounce some of my english words in spanish too and this way help Carola to understand a little more, her english isn't too good - and she's even been abroad (Brasil). Mauricio is partly mapuche. His grand father came from somewhere down south. He looks a bit like Marcelo Rios, she's more the classic spanish look. We encounter two things that connect them to Denmark.
She brings a container, she likes very much, and what did it contain? 'Keldsen småger'. (danish product). There's a picture of Carl Larsson on top (swedish artist), and Mauricio fetches, when I by accident have told about Naturbornholm (a science and exibition center on Bornholm), a prospect for an architectural competition for something alike. At first we beleive we're talking about the ssame issue, but when I see it, I realize it's on Møn (another tiny danish island), they want to do a corresponding project. It's strange sitting reading danish by some random chileans. But there is an english translattion. He's also got a prospect on the royal danish theater or opera, I havn't followed that case closely.
They're 26 and 28 years old, I calculate, when we talk about the coup in 1970, where none of them were born, but due to the "family wounds" they've been close to it anyway. The problem now, they think, is that a lot of people who participated on side of the military dictatorship, haven't been taken to trial.
Unfortunately we have to part, but maybe we'll meet again?
I bike to the north to have a look at 'La Portada', a kind of
chilean 'Pont d'Arc' (which span across the river Ardeche in France),
standing out in the sea. I intend to sleep somewhere near, but there
are NO suitable spots. It's almost 6 p.m. when I decide to go back to
Antofagasta (which I had to anyway) and see if my room at 'El Cobre'
is still available. I have to go in the growing darkness, but I have
this blinking rear light that just has to be turned on. It's 7.20 p.m.
before I reach back but my room IS still there. After writing a bit I
leave to find something to eat.
I know the town well at this moment. After having looked at different pizza and chicken restaurants, I end up at a pace where you can have 2 dishes for 1000. This time I want something different from last time.
Tomorrow I head on in the direction of Calama.