2nd Mail to all the friends, relatives, sponsors and journalists, Santiago 10/24/2001

Since I left San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) with my seond “Come join me”-Partner Peter Wolf (German, 20) about a month has pased. Togehther we went trough the Salar de Atacama in direcion of Antofagasta, but unfortunately the landsape was quite a bore – we had some nice pancake and photo sessions together, started finally hitchhiking to escape and after 5 days speaking German the scout turned north again to see Bolivia. In Baquedano, where we divided I actually met the two Daniels with which I was travelling in Bolivia again and we figered out that Chile definitely is more hospital: in the village’s school were allowed to use internet, the shower and were finally invited to sleep in one of their rooms. In the night one of the alround teachers came especially for to demonstarde us their observatorium – so we saw the moon a bit closer! Thanx for that! Well, indeed you will have much more communication and interacion with the people of Chile in comparaistion to the bolivian. In the 260 000 inhabitants city of Antofagasta we three definitly have been the only “Gringos” so that I couldn’t find nobody that’ll join me… I went hitchhiking to the pass of “Socompa”, to find on the other side of the Cordillere of the ands people in Salta ( Argentinia). Some 50 km before I got to the border the magnificant landscape began: very colourful mountains, that’s because theer are many minerals – and mines, too: the people which carried me were allways miners. For the 9 Chilenian and argentinian Policemen I was the first person since JULY – that means that they don’t really work over there! Didn’t know how to put their stamps & signs… When i went on, their 3 dogs followed and I couldn’t send them away by thrownig stones and crying at them. After 80 ultra hard km or 2 days of running without food I felt sorry for them, didn’t want to let them die in the following saltlake, so waited 2 days in a totally abandoned village next to the railway for the train that comes once a week to carry tourists from Salta to the border and viceversa which sinply is a great ride! I thought so, too, when I was fooly sitting in it, carrying at least one of the dogs back to the policemen and then to Salta, the next civilisation….Well I wasn’t in danger, had food for 4 days, but nevertheless it’s not nice to wait in the middle of nowhere, with 3 dying dogs for a train that isn’t surely coming… In Salta happened the same pity: could’t convince nobody of coming with me, so I left deprimed to Cafayate a place with relatively more tourists and finally founf a French femal policeman, Nancy, 28, lives in Paris and will escourt, as she said, the EURO in November, when she’s back, with her pumpgun… With her io saw the first time jungle-like landscape in Argentina, could take fresh Advokados (?) and bitter Oranges from the trees, had to dry my sleeping bag by a fire because of the enourmos humidity in these forests. Wow. I liked it, although sweated a lot. The people in Argentina seem to be similar to the Chilenian very openminded and interested. It’s a very expencive state that has huge economical problems, an unemploymentrate of 30 % (!!!)… Another interesting issue are the nazis which fled in the 50s to arg.: we were invited in the house of the 70 year old daughter of one nazi which helped producing the Cyclon B – Gas to kill 6 mio. of Jews…what a nightmare. Earlier than I thought, Nancy followed travelling by bus, to see WHOLE Argentinia in 4 weeks…. I hitchhiked about the half of the way to Santiago de Chile due to the fact that my motivation was almost totally destroyed and I knew that there is people waiting for me in Chile’s capital. There I got food and dormitory by relatives of my girl-friend, rested a little bit ( except for much trouble with this homepage) and found the ideal partner: with the family of Pablo Mendez I will go in car some 840 km southwards to Valdivia, from there with his mother pedalling, and when she leaves with Pablo’s bike, the ” Ladin-Brothers” are on the road – have a look at the fotos!

Bye, hasta luego, Sebastian