Saturday, September 22, 2012

220912 BLOK


220912 BLOK 
It's cloudy by the time I got up, as Arica is located right on the Pacific Ocean.  This is the first time in ten weeks I've seen such clouds!  I didn't want to get out of bed at 0800, as up for an hour at 0300 (couldn't breathe because a stuffy nose) -- maybe the room.  I partake of their 'free' desayuno (breakfast).  It's the usual, corn flakes with a meat sandwich (all of them pretty much the same).  But, the coffee is good with real cream.
I meet Sandra and Carlos (the owner).  He's full of information about riding my bicycle in the area (much to see and do).  He introduces me to his pet turtle, he's had since it was a 'baby.'  What does one call a newborn turtle?  Female, he's named it 'Francesca.'   Carlos informs me he's installing security cameras (alerting me to construction mess and noise)… Ah, the first 'crack int he cosmic Hostal'.  We don't need more security cameras, Jose!   I mean it's getting more difficult all the time sneaking smoking cano!
I pay for the day, some $32U.S.  Certainly, my private room with a bath is worth it. 
I give them laundry, work on online, and then finally depart for lunch.
I find a good restaurant on the shopping street, 
I try to speak Spanish ordering food and I realize I sound pretty stupid. But, the only way to learn a language, at my age, is just to get out there and get corrected. 
While I'm having lunch I'm serenaded with a classic flute (Shubert's 'Ava Maria').  Never passing a street musician without donating, I gave him $10U.S.  It was so charming, sitting there, eating my pescado (fish) in the warm sun, and hearing such… It's these moments that make up for all the pain and suffering of traveling alone on a heavy bicycle.  Thank you, Rucha!
Afterwards, I explored Centro Arica, including their commercial port. I did a little shopping for incidentals.  I finally found shoe laces!  I bought a lighter, some cloth patches, some slippers, a few of the plastic Chinese shopping bags.
A rock 'n' roll band was sound checking on a stage in a park (concert in the evening).  I stopped to listen, remembering all the times, I've been involved professionally with the same.  The drummer was excellent, the band knowing how to play rock 'n' roll!  In China, you have to hold your ears!
I returned to Jardin Del Sol (Garden of the Sun) Hostel, generally impressed with Arica, Chile!  I'll be here at least one week, maybe longer, one never knows…

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