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Finish this sentence: All work and no play…

…make Jack Nicholson chase after his family with an axe through a topiary garden. Right?

Santiago isn’t exactly in the running for the setting of “The Shining II”, but I was definitely beginning to feel twitchy and cooped up. No wonder, with this as my most frequent work space:

Working through my pile of […]

What’s a Couple More Dams, Anyway?

Today, without meaning to, I walked straight into the heart of the Chilean Patagonia. I found it at a bar, El Clinic, near the Belles Artes metro stop. It doesn’t live there, obviously, but that’s where we happened to meet. I’ve spent the past week in Santiago poring through various media, trying to assimilate the […]

Images from America’s Past

Gray skies gradually succumbed to the spirit of honor, gaiety, and remembrance at the 2011 American Indian Association of Florida, Inc. Powwow. By early afternoon the sun had emerged to cast its gentle, fall warmth on the gathering. I can’t duplicate the melody of bells jangling, feathers swooping, streamers flying, drums reverberating, and singers chanting […]

Crowd-Support

5:30 pm. I stood on the platform of the Santiago metro. No, not stood, sagged. Eyelids blinked in slow motion. Shoulders protested the weight of my bag. I was exhausted. The day’s interviews (two: one with a representative from Ecosistemas, and the second with a spokesman for Costa Carrera) and the wealth of information they’d […]

How to Get into Santiago from the Airport…without a taxi!

I landed in Santiago on Friday morning, jet-lagged, sticky, bleary-eyed, and with a stomach dancing about in what Syreena assures me is excitement, not fear. I broke down the things I needed to do into tiny steps. First, immigration and customs. I did NOT have to pay the silly $100 reciprocity fee (only because I […]

teething: march 12 – 20

They’re called the Teeth of Navarino. Better they should be called the Fangs. Vicious, merciless, and sharp, these rocks bite. El Circuito de Los Dientes de Navarino is the southernmost trek in the world, a five-days-plus mission into the exposed interior of the island that sits south of Ushuaia, between the water of the Beagle […]

secrets i’ve been keeping

Have you ever read the Stephen King novel, Cujo? I haven’t, but I know it’s about a dog. And as it’s a novel by Stephen King, I imagine that the dog turns into a monster, or is a monster in disguise, or is some sort of portal by which monsters are able to enter our […]

Puerto Williams

This is it – this is as far south as civilization gets until that big, white, cold continent. Puerto Williams is situated on the northern shore of Isla Navarino, across the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia, Argentina. Home to 2,200 inhabitants, it’s bigger than McMurdo Station in Antarctica, with more stray dogs and less to do. […]

on the rocks

The streets were slippery in the rain. My battered red sneakers slapped against the gray concrete in a steady rhythm, and I twisted my wet hair back behind my ears for the tenth time. Dawn was red this morning. The trees of the park outside the hostel’s front door blocked most of the sky, but […]

rollin’…rollin’…rollin’ on a river

I went a little bit photo-crazy on the Navimag cruise. I couldn’t help myself – everywhere, everywhere, islands like floating mountains, cliffs sparkling with countless ribbons of water, blinding white and blue glaciers hanging from black peaks, rainbows, dolphins, sunsets…my friends laughed at me because I would bolt my lunch and dinner and then race […]