Cookin' n chillin' in Concon

Trip Start Apr 18, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Chile  , Valparaíso,
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We departed Santiago mid afternoon, with our Scottish companions ready to experience their first South American bus, it did not disappoint. Mainly this was thanks to Casey who really did a fantastic job of making the bus ride more interesting. He had not been feeling particularly well in the 24 hours leading up to the journey and although it was only a wee 2 hour bus ride it will forever live on in memory. About 20-30 minutes out of Santiago he asked for a bag from Mum and Dad as he was feeling a wee bit sick, 2 minutes later he made a magnificent, glorious and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at using the sick bag. Twice he threw up into the middle of the bus, only managing to hit the side of the bag but definitely managing to hit nearly everything else close by. This was followed by the bus pulling over, the two bus guys getting the mop out and Casey leaving the bus to get changed and get some water poured over him while everyone else in the vicinity tried to extract the spew shrapnel from themselves. After a tremendously embarrassing period of apologising we set off again, this time in a slightly more aromatic bus cabin. Good effort Case.

We arrived in Concon and then left it again as the bus drivers "forgot" to tell us to get off. Once they realised we were meant to get off there they pulled over to the side of the road and all but threw us off, you'd think they were pleased to see the back of us or something. This meant we had at least a 1km walk back into town followed by another 1 km walk up to our apartment, not what any of us wanted. We finally found our apartment and were pleased to see that it had a fantastic view of the beach and Concon bay. We got settled in and all went through the shower (we let Casey go first, our kindness knows no bounds). We then decided that it was easiest just to order some pizzas for dinner, so Eilidh and I got on skype and managed to order 3 pizzas as well as getting them delivered (almost took as long for us to get our order across as it did for the pizzas to arrive). Thankfully the pizzas were decent and we all went to bed looking forward to having a day in the sun the next day.

Unfortunately that is not quite the way it turned out. We started out by making more enquires about Mum's bag which had still not arrived (now day 5) and needless to say the calls were beginning to become slightly less polite. We were being passed from pillar to post between Iberia and British Airways and it got to the stage where they were just hanging up on us any time we called. This was not the start we had envisioned for the holiday, however we made the most of it and when the sun eventually appeared (late afternoon) we headed out to spend some more of Iberia's money (Mum got an allowance of around 40 a day). We went to the supermarket, got some stuff for a bbq and Mum did a bit more shopping before we headed back and enjoyed the sunset while cooking burgers on our deck overlooking the ocean.

The next day marked day 6 of the bag fiasco, we were now curtailing our activities in the hope that it would show up. The last thing that we wanted was to miss the delivery man dropping the bag off. We also finally got some good news, BA had located the bag and it was of course still in the UK. It had been misplaced at Heathrow and they assured us it would be winging its way out to us in the very near future. Once we were given that news we headed down to the beach for a swim, only to be told by the lifeguard on duty that the water was too dangerous for swimming. There were plenty of surfers and body-boarders in the water and admittedly the surf was pretty big. We didn't argue too much and just enjoyed the beach before heading back up for another bbq.

Day 7 of the bag fiasco was largely spent on the phone to Iberia/BA with tempers becoming more and more frayed. After the progress we had made the day before they were then telling us that they again had no idea where the bag was. We felt pretty confident that it must be making its way to us now, but with no information forthcoming everyone was getting annoyed. Eilidh, Casey and I headed down to the shore where we found the fishermen who had came in with the days catch. We bought two large white fish ($4) as well as at least 2 kilos of langoustines ($4). We cooked the fish on the barbecue and made the langoustines into a delicious pasta (not on the same night).

Day 8 we finally received the bag, much to the relief of everyone. We got the cava that Mum had packed straight into the fridge for a celebratory drink later in the day and cracked open some of the goodies that had finally made it to us (pistachios). This freed us all up to finally start properly enjoying our time in Concon. Our next few days were spent on the beach, doing some horse-riding and body-boarding.

Our body-boarding session this time coincided with the 1 day of the month that had the largest waves. They must have been between 6-8ft high and they were brutal. Eilidh and I had managed to negotiate a favourable price for the 5 body-boards and flippers. However, due to the temperature of the sea the flippers were swiftly traded in for wet-suits. We spent a good 7 hours being battered by the waves, I personally must have drunk at least half of the pacific oceans water supply, disgusting. It was a very fun day and as always we all caught some great waves. I'm looking forward to perfecting my technique in my time in New Zealand.

Our horse-ride was along the beach and was enjoyable for all, except me who was once again given the fattest slowest horse in town. He plodded his way down the beach at no faster than a very slow walk while everyone else managed to get their horse up to at least a trot, it was definitely nothing to do with the rider, the problem was solely with the horse.

We went out for a meal at a seafood restaurant on our penultimate night, Dad and I had ceviche (not as good as the Peruvian version), Eilidh and Casey had fish and chips and Mum had hake, a white fish none of us had seen before. It was all excellent and was our first dinner out of the entire trip. On our final night we again ordered pizza and got our stuff ready for our trip the next day, onwards to Mendoza in Argentina for everyones first Christmas abroad!

P.S Happy New Year everybody!
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Mum and Dad on

Con Con, the missing bag and the bus trip will live on in our memories for many years to come! Good job on the commentary (altho Casey might feel differently!?). It was great for us all to be there. A definite highlight of the trip. xx

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