Sunday, December 13, 2009

Changes are afoot...

The ex-prison turned community/cultural centre

¨Truth and Justice¨

My wonderful fellow travellers...

Very very exciting news. I have changed my plans pretty massively. I´m so excited right now I can´t even write in a remotely lyrical way.
This morning we bought our bus tickets to Bolivia. Half an hour later we decided to go to Peru first instead. I have also decided not to go to Brazil just yet. Perhaps if I have enough money I will do so on the way back but who knows.

So, my new itinerary is such; Two weeks in Peru with the girls, two weeks travelling in Bolivia with girls before meeting my sister for another two weeks in Bolivia. THEN (this is the new and extremely exciting part) go solo to Ecuador, Colombia then across to Panama and up through Central America and the rest is yet to be seen. Who knows, these plans may change again but this what I foresee at this point and I´m practically jumping out of my skin.
Talking to some other travellers last night I got a tonne of advice too, its great when you can feed off one another´s energy and share stories and knowledge. Fuck I love travelling.

Okay now I´ll take a breath.

Right now we are in San Pedro de Atacama, dusty desert town through which we´re able to access the most amazing sights of the Atacama desert. As Charlotte has already said, the landscape here is otherworldly. In its brutal bleakness and dry, rolling mountains there is a certain harsh beauty. You can see clearly the folds in the under layers of the earth, the way the astronomical force of the underground has shaped the land. This is mother nature at her most raw, like a body stripped bare of its skin and only dried out, undulating textured layers of muscle exposed to the air. Its a landscape that makes you feel as if you might be swallowed whole.

Valparaiso was incredible. There was a certain energy simmering under the surface of this town, most driven by the youth, or that was the impression we got...

On Cerro Concepción there was an ex-jail, closed down in 1990, that is now used as a cultural centre where they put music, theatre and visual art gigs. It was used to house many political prisoners in the Pinochet era and the man who showed us around was himself an ex-prisoner, who was incarcerated for being a communist. He showed us through the area and told us what each part used to be and the goings on within the prison. I´m not sure what to say about how it felt to be walking through such a place, just looking, where so much horror and brutality has taken place. Its virtually impossible to put into words, but I´m glad I did it.

I´m going to make this a short one because I have more photos than words for this part of the trip..
Until next time, all my love to everyone.

1 comment:

  1. hi caitlin
    hi from helen and gary. we spent the night with Rand T because i bought something on ebay and had to come and get it from cessnock. it was a sunburst junghans clock from the 60s. its gary's xmas present. after keeping it a surprise for so long and then the first thing R says to gary is did you get the clock.GRRRRRR. R and T made us a delicious BBQ snapper with mango and pecan salad. your trip looks fabulous. we did 3 and half months in Europe and did a tour of the bog side in derry ireland with i.r.a volunteer who rioted on bloody sunday and was in prison with bobby sands. sounds similar to your prison visit in chile. take care and try to avoid gang land drug areas within central america. however i believe there's an interesting tour to be had of a prison in colombia in bogata. Try to get a copy of Marching Powder before you go. love from helen et al