One of the best Valentine’s Days Magellan and I celebrated was the year we invited two other couples over for a romantic dinner.
The walls of our long, narrow, country
tunnel north to south
whitened by Pacific waves
and the Snowy Andes—
the wall we share with you,
Your chest curves,
colours bursting from your graffitied walls,
toes, hot from dancing,
tango in seas Magellan sailed,
your smile endless.
Will paint run between
you and I?
Despite limits settled by a treaty in 1881, there is a long-standing border dispute between Chile and Argentina in the Southern Patagonia Ice Fields between Mt. Fitz Roy and Mt. Torre that has yet to be mapped.
“Why did you like the Fitz Roy hike so much?” I asked Magellan before writing this post.
“The young mountains spectacularly framed by the blue sky,” he began. “And the hike has views all the way, you’re never stuck in the trees. Lots of vertical, though. And we had incredible weather.”
Incredible weather? Those of you who have been to Patagonia with its gale-force winds roaring through the Andes (like Karol who was blown over), shrouding the mountains with clouds and pummeling the air with icy snow may wonder what Magellan’s been smoking.
“How long have you been here?” Magellan asked a couple at the adjacent table at dinner during our second night at a small hotel in Spain.
“We arrived mid-afternoon,” said Marc.
“How did you get in?” Magellan asked.
“We’ve been coming here for years and we’re in the system. Cristina programs our arrival and I just touch my finger to the scanner.”
With the New Year, our thoughts turn toward the future—and to people who have a finger on how jubilados (us anyway) like to travel. Like Cristina and Waldo in the hilltop village of Gratallops (population: 250) in the Priorate region of Spain.
For our round-the-world adventure tour, we wanted to “BE PREPARED,” a motto I learned as a Boy Scout years ago.
It’s a good idea for all international travellers to have a basic medical kit. First-aid supplies and medications may not always be readily available in other countries, or they may be quite different from those available in Canada. A good travel health kit contains enough supplies to prevent illness, handle minor injuries and illnesses, and manage pre-existing medical conditions for longer than the duration of your trip. An excellent reference is the Centre for Disease Control site which lists, by country, what to pack in your kit.