April 10, 2009 GMT

16.3.09. Temuco, Chile.


It all starts to seem like a spectacular dream at the moment that C (21 and saucy - remember?) whips out her "Family Guy" downloads, including the one where Peter gets a prostate exam ("He took my innocence..."). I've managed to keep a slippery grip on reality up until then; hey, it's just sexy stuff in a pub with free drinks and BBQ action, right? And secure parking for La Fluffita? What's the big deal? But "Family Guy" in bed, with Trenchtown Lamberts to smooth out the rough edges?

One couldn't hurt.

My mind snaps like a hen's fibula. My eyeballs swivel backwards - I can see my own brain-surface, and it looks like a map of Wyoming. All the bendy bits have straightened out. My hands unfurl from their customary claw-like stance and begin to resemble pink rubber gloves full of warm water. I crap out my skeleton and become a hot pool of flesh and hair. I decide to leave before I trickle down a storm drain. The fact that C is currently applying for a job as a cocktail waitress, and has to learn how to make 50 drinks, and lives in an excellent pub, doesn't make the leaving easier.


PUC vol bikes.JPG

Forty easy miles thunder under my last-legs tyres and I'm in Pucon. Probably a month too late for raucous nightlife, but there's some classy motorbikin' to be done in the hinterlands. Waterfalls! Volcanos! Yes, I know - YAWN! - volcanos again. But this one has its own warning system and an evacuation plan. Yipe!

PUC warning.JPG

PUC waterfall.JPG

On the road from Pucon to Temuco I spot an unlikely looking sign:


So I nip in for a peek. Erwin's shop is a grotto of rusty pleasures. Enfields old and new, Nortons, Ariels. He's a Brit bike buff, an enthusiast/nerd, and clearly thrilled that someone's stopped just to take photos and stare at his projects.





He says I am "not a proper British man" for choosing a Honda. I can't bring myself to point out that, had I chosen an Enfield, I wouldn't have made it to his shop. Not by March anyway.


20.3.09. Rancagua, Chile.

A bikesea.jpg

BLAAAAAAM! Up the Panamericana like a crate of scaffold joints strapped to a goddamn jet engine. However much crap I rope onto this bike, it'll still sit at 80mph all day (traffic conditions permitting). These days I look at the map and think - Oh! Is it only 65 miles to the next place? I want more. Take off all the luggage and it's embarrassingly keen - more, faster, now, overtake everything. Out of my way you pox-caked hag, you tree-wit, you milk-swigging bucket of dog scurf. GET THE SHIT OUT OF MY WAY, YOU PIG-LEGGED PUDDING-MUNCHER!

Here's the "skinny" re sunglasses as of late March 2009. Mirrored Aviators are cool - except when paired with a moustache and/or a sleeveless t-shirt. Yes, muchacho, I'm talking about you.

PANG graff.JPG

How often do you get sauced up on booze drinks by accident? Sunday lunchtime, cobalt skies, pavement cafe; I order chicken and chips and nothing to drink. The waiter returns, quick-smart and beaming, with a 2 litre jug of Escudo and no food. What to do? This was supposed to be day 2 of a 2-day water-bender.
But it is a very nice pavement... Oh God, and now look! I've finished that one and ordered another. WILL. I. NEVER. LEARN. ("No" - God).

Exactly how infallible is the Pope? I'm unsure, so let's take a gander at some clues;
1. He was in the Hitler Youth. Well chosen, you Cardinals!
2. A nine-year old girl was recently raped by her uncle. Pope says - no abortion. Abortion happens. Mum - a strict Catholic - is excommunicated, meaning (in fantasy world) that she will spend eternity in Hell.
3. Pope visits Africa. It's a firm "Nope" to condoms as AIDS prevention measure. I'm sure Jesus is applauding that one. And how thrillingly unusual to be told how to have sex, and with whom, and under what circumstances one may have it, by someone who isn't allowed any.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at April 10, 2009 07:15 PM GMT

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