A Bit Of Argy-Bargy

Another Friday night in Bellavista, more fun was had, with a few more anecdotes to add to the rather long list.  As per usual, it started off with some food (hamburguesas a lo pobre) and beer.  JD and I got talking to some people at the next table who suggested a club to go to.  Unfortunately, we forgot the name, and so were unable to find it. We stopped and asked a few people, but to no avail.  A couple of blokes we asked politely offered us something that’s best described as “slightly suspect” to smoke.  Clearly we declined this offer.  After learning we were from Britain, one of them, who was Argentinian, decided to start talking about the Falkland Islands, at which point I made an executive decision to disappear off, dragging JD with me, as in spite of thinking along these lines, some things are best left unsaid. Being attacked by a 40 year old stoned Argentinian guy didn’t feature especially high on my agenda.

We returned to our old haunt, En Secreto, but unfortunately, it was full, which we’d never come across before.  Apparently there was a half hour wait to get in, which wasn’t ideal.  Some of our friends were already inside, and they came out to try to persuade the bloke to let us in, but without much success.  One guy waiting outside got a bit impatient with the delay, and so decided to indulge himself in a brawl with the chat guarding the door.  Unfortunate for him, but ideal for us, and, because his attention was somewhat diverted, we seized this opportunity, and sneaked inside while his back was turned.  It worked perfectly, and we stayed for a few hours (with of course yours truly doing some singing, as per usual).  Anyway, we had a good night, and, owing to the fact that I had to meet my boss this morning, I left JD to it (at about half 3 or so), and walked the two miles back to the hotel.

Anyway, I’m now in the hostel where I’ll be staying until Monday (when I fly to Easter Island), and it’s very near to Baquedano station, so assuming that tonight will be spent in Bellavista as well, the walk back will be nice and short.

A Grand Day Out

Yesterday was spent back in the field, which is good, as that’s the best part of being a geologist.  Yes, you could spend your whole working life stuck in a stuffy office, or alternatively, you could go out and explore the mountains, kind of like a real life treasure hunt.  We were somewhat delayed entering the field, as part of the track had been washed away by rain, and so, arming ourselves with spades and pickaxes, we had to do some casual road building.  Once we’d done this, and got to the top, it was time for lunch.  Nothing quite says exploration like eating a salami and cheese sarnie, gazing out over the coastal mountains to the west, with the Pacific Ocean in the distance, while nearby, Andean Condors fly majestically below you, while on the radio, Time Warp is playing.  Ok, so the last bit doesn’t really add much to the scene, but hey.  (On a brief aside, mainly for the benefit of any members of Team Dalradian who are reading this, the Chilean field assistants are huge fans of Oran Na Cloiche after I played it to them)!

The shop where we buy our field lunch

The shop where we buy our field lunch

 Anyway, we spent the afternoon ambling through the mountains, looking for copper as we went.  At the end of the day, it was time to go home.  There is nothing more satisfying than climbing back into the truck to go home after a busy day in the field, with beautiful mountains and valleys to look at out of the window as you go.  At this point, there’s a philosophical question to be asked.  If a Toyota Hilux is blaring The Beach Boys out in the middle of nowhere, and nobody else is around to hear it, did it really happen?


After reaching the valley floor, we came across a surprise, and had to rescue a family who’d become marooned (a rescue executed in a naturally extravagant display of gallantry and self sacrifice of course, so much so that it’ll be a tale that resonates throughout the ages).  That might have been a slight exaggeration, but the internet is full of hyperbole anyway, so a small addition to that on my part won’t really make any difference.  Essentially, they’d driven their truck onto a rock and were stuck, so after a bit of digging, we managed to tow them out with a steel cable.  That having been sorted, it was time to head home.


Today, I was going to go to the mine to see what’s what, but unfortunately, that’s now not happening.  If it’s raining, field work is cancelled, and the mine stops working too (makes a nice change from last summer! – again, a comment directly aimed at Team Dalradian).

Sunny Afternoon

It’s a Sunday afternoon, which, while at the mine, means for me that it’s a work day!  Huzzah.  So I’m sitting in the office, listening to some great tunes (Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine anyone?), reading some papers.  I’ve just popped out with the field assistant to get some snacks for later (sandwich and some biscuits), as well as picking a lemon from the tree outside the office (which is pretty nifty).  It’s pretty good, but I’m definitely looking forward to next weekend a lot too.  Already I’ve been having a think about what I’ll probably get up to.  That’s the trouble with working on a Sunday, the mind has a rather overwhelming tendency to wander.

First of all, I think I’ll buy one of those traditional Chilean ponchos, because, well, why not?  I’ve been in two minds about it, but then I remember the last time I opted not to buy something that I thought would be cool on my travels, (a reindeer skin from a street market in Helsinki in case you were wondering), and remembered that I’ve always regretted not buying it.  Therefore, this time, I won’t fall into that trap!

There’s a part of downtown Santiago that I’ve not explored yet that apparently has some nice traditional shops etc., so I’ll have a dig around and see what I can find, although I’ll have to top up my tarjeta bip! first.  Also, I’ve been chatting to a couple of the Chileans that I met last week, and I’ve tentatively arranged to meet up with one of them, to go to a restaurant with traditional Chilean food, so that ought to be fun!

The 30 Day Song Challenge

Looking through my documents folder on my laptop for an essay I’d foolishly saved in the wrong place, I came across something I wrote in 2011 entitled “The 30 Day Song Challenge”.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this internet derived concept, you can read about it here.  Anyway, I thought I’d make an updated version of this list of music and share it with you here.  So, the 30 songs (with YouTube links) are as follows (I’m not going to spend 30 days doing it, as that’s way too long for some random thing on the internet):

1. Òran Na Cloiche

2. Mad World

3. Fairytale of New York

4. Chasing Cars

5. Kiss the Rain

6. Love Shack

7. Time of Your Life

8. Money for Nothing

9. Living on a Prayer

10. Miserere

11. Sultans of Swing

12. Cambridge 1969 – This is without doubt, the worst song in the history of music.  If you know one that’s worse, please comment below!

13. Superwomble (not on YouTube)

14. Sk8er Boi

15. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

16. Forever Young

17. Call Me Maybe

18. Son of Man

19. Walk of Life

20. Perfect Day

21. Bat Out of Hell

22. This is the Life

23. Toccata

24. The Lark Ascending

25. Prejudice

26. Sleigh Ride

27. Baker Street

28. Summercat

29. Heaven is a Halfpipe

30. Istanbul (not Constantinople)