Thursday, November 3, 2011


I am writing this entry while listening to pre 80s Supertramp. Crisis What Crisis, Even in The Quiestest Moments, Crime of the Century and Breakfast in America. Crime has stood the test of time as not only an amazing album but as one the greatest album covers ever designed. Yes I said "Album and Album Covers" for all you  musical neophytes born in the 80s and 90s.

The changes can be amazing when you cross an imaginary line into another country. Peru is a brilliant country naturally and spritually however the poverty is apparent. Its not intrusive, scary or abject but its there. Chile is a prosperous country with a healthy economy. There is poverty here its true and when I move along I will see it but Arica is a busy port town and the prosperity shows. Clean streets, a vibrant walking mall, hotels, restaurants, shopping mall and all the other goodies that come with a successful capitalist city.

There is great history here as well. Being the major port for Bolivia and much of mid South America has brought more than its share off battles to Arica. The great Pacific war in the late 1880s in which Peru and Boliva declared war on Chile is the main one. Although out manned Chile was better prepared and said screw you, kicking both thier asses. After they sacked Lima the as victors took a huge swath of territory from both countries closing off Boliva from the ocean. There is a nice monument and battlefield memorial commemorating these events.

**What does it say about us as a race that there there are so many battlefield memorials all over the world for "Our Glorious Dead"? **

It was sunny and warm as it always is here so off I went for a wander and I found the Pacific. Well not like a great explorer who travelled across a vast and empty wilderness fighting disease, starvation and tribes of indiginous warriors. I walked to the end of my street and there it was and like a moth to a light I went searching for the nearest beach. It was nice and clean and virtually empty. There was a shark net about 300 metres out and for those who have had the "I have a dream I get eaten by a great white" discussion with me will understand why I chose not to go for a swim. Stupid dreams!!! I also forget how freaking hot sand can get when baking in an ozone depleted area.

I have discovered and had my fill of Bilz. It is a combination of Dr. Pepper, Tahiti Treat, Red Bull and Sweet Love. Holy mother of god is it good! After one afternoon I am in the Bilz recovery program. Something this good and unhealthy must not be available to the weak. It starts with the Bilz mini (photo) and suddenly you are walking zombie like for a tienda in seach of the magical litre bottles you thought only existed in your dreams.

In a soda  fight-club Bilz would kick Pepsi to the curb and keep stomping with no mercy. Many of you are already horrified at my ongoing Pepsi habit so you know my dilemma.

My ticket is booked for San Pedro de Atacama tomorrow leaving at 9 pm and is a 12 hour journey into the driest desert in the world so water is an obvious must have. This is my first overnighter as I like travelling in the day. Staring out a bus or train window for hours is one of lifes simple pleasures when travelling.

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