Sunday, April 6, 2014

South America Wrap Up

So I finally got around to writing this post.

My last days in Santiago were amazing! Little did I know, the Lollapalooza music festival was on in Santiago the day after I flew back from Easter Island. I had heard it was coming, but didn't know exactly when. I found out quickly when everyone from the hostel was going the next day. I was on the fence, I had spent a lot of money in Easter Island, and the ticket wasn't cheap, but it sounded like such an awesome way to end my trip. After a conversation with my mom, and her encouragement to go to the festival, I bought my ticket and joined up with a group of Brazilians I had met the night before.

The festival had a great lineup. Some of the bands I was able to see were the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Vampire Weekend, the Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, AFI, and Soundgarden. Well worth the $180. The atmosphere for Red Hot Chilli Peppers was intense. Myself and one of the Brazilian girls pushed in as close to the stage as we could, hemmed in on all sides by Chileans. The cool night breeze was a welcome respite from all the body heat being generated by the mass of people. Your legs burn as you constantly push every way to keep your balance, trying hard not to fall into the crowd of people, concentrating only on the music. When others jump, you jump. When they clap, you clap. All concepts of personal space are forgotten, you are just part of the music. Part of the mass of celebration. This is the power of a music festival.

Initially I was bummed out about having to miss half of Soundgarden on the last night in order to beat the crowds and ensure I would get back to the hostel and then the airport to catch my flight home, figuring for sure I'd miss them playing Black Hole Sun, my favourite Soundgarden song. It is a song that seems like a great closer. My fears were quickly elated, however. They opened with Spoonman. I was happy. Four songs in they played Black Hole Sun. I was very happy. Three songs later and I figured I would miss Outshined, but decided I'd stay for one more song. The opening chords of Outshined blasted through the speakers. My night was made. I listened, left ahead of the crowds, caught the subway back to my hostel, then the shuttle to the airport (which nearly made me too late for my flight), and started my journey home. Flights are flights, and these ones weren't worth writing about much. Sleep, layover with beer, late flight, home. The end of my South America Trip.

So how was it? It was great. This trip kicked my ass. Bad food poisoning, altitude sickness, and a pollution-induced cough that I presently still have. I didn't let it slow me down, however. I persevered, kept going, and did the things I wanted to do.

The Salar in Bolivia was nothing short of incredible, some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. I saw some amazing things in Chile, but I have to admit that as far as excitement, it has been one of the lesser countries on my list so far. Though I must add that I never saw the southern destinations like Patagonia and Chiloe, which I've heard are the best parts of Chile. Possibly one day I may make an effort to see those places I missed.

Even though Easter Island is part of Chile, I'll keep it separate for discussion sake, for I found it was a completely different experience from the rest of Chile. It's a completely different world from the mainland. The Polynesian feel really took me back to my time in New Guinea, and I'm still strongly feeling a resurgence of longing to be in that setting again, a simple, stress free village life on a remote, tropical island in Melanesia. I hadn't felt the energy of that place since, until I spent some time on Easter Island. I find serenity in those settings.

Already people are asking me where my next destination is. I have so many ideas in my head, and have talked to my sister about Indonesia early next year. There could possibly be a trip sooner, but right now I've decided to buy a house from my grandma in the summer, which will require a large commitment of time and money, things that dictate whether I can take a trip or not. I have commited to buying a motorcycle in the next couple months, and there will be trips made with that, so this blog will be far from idle.

Thanks for joining me on another trip!