Monday, June 19, 2006
This weekend was mostly disappointing because I didn't get to do much on a scheduled working weekend that freed up at the last minute. I got some vital information way too late on Sunday to actually ski or go hiking. I ran into this (India) Indian looking (and sounding) guy who overheard me speaking English in the local bus. He told me that I was just an hour away from some great hiking at a place called Banos Morales. It is very close to the El Morado glacier and is known to afford stunning views of the Andes.
I won't let another free day slip by. My Chile trips are starting to edge the banal as I'm aching to get out of the city but keep hitting a some wall. However, I did manage to visit this charming little market (San Dominicos) right at the foothills of the snow-capped Andes in the Northwestern end of Santiago. The setting was just picture perfect - a menagerie of handicraft shops housed in little huts on an unpaved earthern strip carved by a little stream that added finishing touches for an idyllic setting.
I'm managing to learn more and more spanish but I've got a ways to go before I can keep one end of a conversation up. Nonetheless, I'm hopeful of doing so. Turns out the language is a little bit more predictable than English. For example, all vowels consistently have the same sound and are not liable to change from word to word - unlike in english.
Blah blah blah ..
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I came to Alaska fully expecting to fall in love with the place, quite unlike my mindset when I first went to meet Aparna. Back then, I was quite annoyed with my precipitous fall for this girl with whom I was merely talking to on the phone. I went to St. Louis praying that I wouldn't fall in love with her. The rest is history, I married her less than three months after that - so that was that. It was only apt that I feel the same way about Alaska where I took Aparna for our honeymoon.
I booked our trip to Alaska much against Aparna's intended plan to while away time lazing on some sunny beach in the caribbean. I was able to guilt her into believing Alaska was going to be a much more enjoyable trip compared to the caribbean. "We can always go there and lay on our asses when we are fifty." I told her. Alaska wasn't exactly relaxing - atleast not in the elementary definition of the term. We went on four strenuous 3-4 hour hikes, tandem bicycling over many miles, day long boat rides in the cold wide ocean and bumpy bus rides thru some of the most pristine wildlife reserves I ever saw.
Yes, that's because there is still so much more to do in Alaska. We came away fully satisified and hungry for more. Alaska is BIG and there are too many things you can do there. With our time and budget and a concerted effort from my side to not cramp too many things into our schedule, we passed 101 in flying colors.
Still, there is too much to fit into a single blog and my ass is being ground to death here in Chile. Thirteen hour work days after 10 hour flights kind of define 'a rude awakening' after a super vacation. Plus, I took about 1500 pictures that I need to whittle down to a maneagable number so help me Lord. I should have some more stuff written down and a few pictures ready in the next couple of weeks.