February 20, 2009 GMT
I've Got Crabs!

19/2/09. Puerto Montt, Chile.


Claws and so on. Do you see? And *slaver* they're dizzyingly good. I imagine I could eat just crab, three times a day, for - let's see - two months. The "starter" shown is three quid, comes with a great potato salad and turns the main course into a dreadfully base and uncivilized exercise in ramming excess food into an unwilling pouch. Luckily, I never eat pudding, believing it to be a wholly amoral course created for milksops and cowards; the weak-willed billions that choke the planet like duckweed on the village pond. People like you, Naz. Only jokin' mate!


I am, quite literally, walking on sunshine, as Katrina And Her Waves put it so conclusively in the otherwise-forgettable 1980's. There are enough superb things about Chile to keep a typical human amused, astounded and agog for hours on end. I seem to recall that we've touched on the seafood. The landscapes are OK as well, if you like mountains and water and that. The people are polite, like English people,* and friendly like Japanese people, but even more, well, smiley. I bought a crappy ham roll in a tatty little supermarket in Ancud this morning, and the wattage of the checkout lady's grin nearly took my bloody eyelids off.


The ferry ride from (near) Ancud to (near) Puerto Montt restored some of my faith in that most glamourless of boats as a viable means of getting about. The sun shone for the first time in three days (not enough to dry my helmet out though; a wet uvula is lovely, a damp helmet rarely so); seals - actual bloody seals! - gambolled in the bin-bag-dark sea below us, and the whole thing was over in 30 beautiful minutes, from queue-jump to super-quick offload.


So here we are in the OK Corral in PM, and so far so good. It's a triple-height lager barn serving up 1GBP pints of Cristal and 80īs greats on the video jukebox. Unless it's between 7 and 9pm, in which case the Crissies are... 50p!
A fellow could wander astray under such provocation. Thank heavens for the gift of willpower. I do hope it's not open all day, every day. Eh? What's that? It is? Well, we'll just have to see what happens, won't we?


The sunshine-ness of my present walking, as noted briefly above, has quite a lot to do with La Fluffita's current mechanical faultlessness. I see on my globe that Puerto Varas, and the Honda shop, are a pathetic 12 miles away. At this rate I'm going to arrive there with a bike that's in perfect working order, which will mean having to explain, in Spanish, what the problem was. Like, dilemma city!
(Since the velcro was torn off me sheepskin by the wind on Ruta 40, the name "Fluffita" has become inaccurate as well as gruesomely twee. Still, press on regardless.)


Talking of gruesome tweeness, Kylie and Jason's "Especially For You" is a great song, isn't it? And isn't Kylie gawjuss? Then and now?

*fuck off are we!

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at February 20, 2009 06:42 PM GMT

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