...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The next two months of my life...

...which, as hard as it is to believe, is all I have left in Chile.

Actually, it feels like shorter, because the semester is pretty much wrapping up. I´m definitely feeling the end-of-semester crush, as everything suddenly is due, two books to be read before a lit test on the 21st, my paper on Chilean cinema, I still haven`t done the control de lectura response that was due two weeks ago, etc. We´ve got two weeks of classes left, then two weeks or so of reading days and finals until CIEE officially ends on, I think, December 10. I don´t fly back until the 11th of January, but until today I wasn´t really able to visualize what I was going to do with that time. So today, during a pretty boring/abstract Moral de lo Social lecture, I wrote out my plans for every day after the end of classes. Every day. And then, seeing all the stuff I had planned, I got really, really excited. And not even Pullman Bus´s dark, forebody website or Buquebus´s frustrating, conflicting information about ferries between Buenos Aires and the coastal cities of Uruguay could put a damper on my excitement.

So, here are my best-case scenario plans, very subject to change:

25: Last day of class. Party at Mariah´s friend´s house in the evening?
26: En route to the southern Chilean island of Chiloé, hopefully with friends. Word on the street is that you have to take a bus to Puerto Montt and then ferry it over to Chiloé. People who have been there (Riana): what is there to do? What should we definitely not miss?
27: Chiloé
28: Chiloé
29: Chiloé
30: Chiloé

1: Return to Viña.
2: Presentation in Modernidad y Problemas Sociales
3: Study/write/day trip. I have a twenty-page paper for my Chilean literature class that I barely have time to even think about before late November/early December. Plus, there are a lot of little fishing villages around here that I´d like to check out, and Ronald´s mentioned taking a day trip to some town an hour and a half away
4: Study/write/day trip
5: Oral exam for Modernidad y Problemas Sociales
6: Study/write/day trip
7: Study/write/day trip
8: Study/write/day trip
9: PERU! Jon and I leave Viña in the morning. Viña to Santiago to Lima, then afternoon and evening in Lima.
10: Lima to Cuzco
11: Machu Piccu!
12: Cuzco. Lake Titicaca? We might hop over to Bolivia for the afternoon, if it´s at all possible
13: Morning in Cuzco, then Lima, then Santiago. We´re going to have to spend the night in Santiago, because the next day we´re leaving for...
14: EASTER ISLAND! Yes, I´m going to make it to Easter Island, the loneliest place on Earth, the belly-button of the world.. I´m so excited.
15: Easter Island
16: Easter Island
17: Easter Island
18: Easter Island
19: Easter Island
20: Easter Island to Santiago to Viña
21: Unpacking and repacking.
22: Santiago to Punta Arenas, the southernmost Chile in city to spend Christmas with my friend Juan Carlos and his family. Carla and her family will be in the area, too, and it would be fun to meet them. Plus, I´d like to spend at least a little time at Torres del Paine National Park, although I´m definitely not up for the full six-day sleeping-in-the-wilderness hiking experience. I think there´s a penguin reserve in the area, too. I love penguins.
23: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
24: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
25: CHRISTMAS! Away from home. Sob.
26: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
27: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
28: Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine
29: Punta Arenas to Santiago to Viña.
30: Chilling in Viña, spending time with the fam, unpacking and repacking, hopefully getting together with Daniela.
31: Chilling in Viña, watching the famous New Year´s fireworks display in Valparaíso.

1: Chilling in Viña
2: Leave Viña for Mendoza, Argentina by bus. Arrive in the afternoon.
3: Mendoza, touring a winery?
4: Leave Mendoza for Buenos Aires by bus. According to David, who´s done it, it´s about fourteen hours over the Argentine pampas and the scenary´s pretty.
5: Buenos Aires
6: Ferry across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, Uruguay, then a bus to Punto del Este, where I´ll spend the afternoon. I want to see the sculpture that was featured on The Amazing Race a few seasons ago: giant fingers sticking up out of the sand, representing the last thing you see of a person before they drown.
7: Montevideo
8: Ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, where I´ll catch a bus back to Viña.
9: Arrive in Viña, probably in the evening.
10: Unpack and repack for the last time. I will almost certainly (okay, certainly) need to buy a new suitcase. I was all proud of myself back in July for getting everything here in one full-to-bursting suitcase with carryons, but now I realize I should have packed two suitcases half-way. Live and learn.
11: Leave Viña early in the morning for Santiago, where I´ll board a plane that, for the last time, will speed me away from this wonderful, crazy, frustrating, paradoxical, poetic country.