CHILE II

2/24/2022    

The second day of Santiago involved Henry walking the downtown area and stopping in at art and science museums. On some streets were people who brought their unfortunate children and set up at corners with a sign and a coffee can. Accompanying them were kin afflicted with mental retardation, Down syndrome, or cretinism. It was sad to see a society that left physical defects to fate. In 6 blocks, you could go totally broke if compassion drives you. After a full day of walking away from his downtown hotel, Mr. Roe flagged down a cab to return him to his room. Not speaking any Spanish, he flipped the cabbie the hotel’s business card with its address and pointed in the general direction. Using an old trick of spotting a high landmark near his hotel, such as a cathedral steeple, you constantly keep it in view. When heading back, the cabbie made multiple turns off the direct route so as to drive up the fare. Ugly American FYI: If you don’t know the language, you will get fleeced from time to time. This is your fine for ignorance, if it is reasonable, just pay it. Leaving the next day on a commuter jet to the bottom of the 2,600+ mile long country, Henry was heading for Punta Arenas Airport on the southern end of the mainland. His mistake was that he did not have enough time to explore the Lake Region of Chile. As he flew over the heavily forested area with waterfalls, thermal hot springs, rivers, an ocean on 1 side and the Andes mountains on the other, Henry was lax in his research. Although he was never anywhere near a trust fund baby’s fat wallet, he could have afforded 3 days exploring the area. That would be a regret that accompanies him up the smokestack of a crematorium. Mr. Roe’s southern objective was 2-fold. First was to travel north to Chile’s magnificent National Park: Torres del Paine. This glacier carved laccolith has 3 peaks of nearly straight up blue spires that would put the Tetons of Wyoming to shame. Second was to fly to Antarctica and walk about. 

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