Hunderburton Adventures


A record of wanderings through Latin America

Three days in

November 25th, 2011 at 5:45

So I figured it was my turn to put something up on this here blog. First bit of important news it that we finally have our bags back. Nick made an executive decision to spare everyone the full saga (probably a good call), but for a while it was unclear whether we would get them at all, so it was a massive relief after 36 hours when they were delivered, cocooned in glad-wrap to our hostel.

Our schedule here is pretty laid back, which is nice while adjusting to the time zone. We tend to wake up very early, somewhere between 4 and 6, lie in bed cursing our jetlag for a few hours, then head off to the hostel breakfast at 8.30. The breakfast would be pretty average (toast, over-sweet cereal, mediocre coffee) but for one small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice – what indulgence! Really brightens my day. Then we head off to Spanish class for a few hours, which is exhausting but we’re definitely improving. So the afternoon and evening we have to ourselves, which means lots of spare time for much needed Spanish study, blogging, reading etc. This won’t be the case for most of the trip, and we could probably be making better use of the time, but hey.

Yesterday after class we went on one of the group excursions that back home we thought was a real selling point of our language school. We were under the impression that it would take an hour and a half, and would be a tour of the cemetery but after three hours of walking through smelly fish markets there was no cemetery in sight. Eventually we did get there and it was really quite spectacular – the sort of thing you don’t really get in Australia. The tour guide was speaking in Spanish at a level wayyy beyond what we could understand, but she was able to fill several hours with stories about ghosts, famous artistic, military or political men who were buried there and other such things, so I can confidently say that the place has an interesting history, though don’t ask what that history is!

Some of the graves had fallen into disrepair (a few quite dramatically so, a now head-less angel and a completely collapsed mausoleum come to mind), and much of the cemetery was overgrown, but I think that added to the effect. Still, it was very striking how many fresh flowers had been laid on the graves given that I don’t think anybody has been buried there for fifty years or so. There was an enormous variety of tombs – some military, many rather boring but showy family vaults, others obviously very Catholic and solemn, some of these very humble and others with large and beautiful statues of the Virgin or Christ. Others were quite artistic; sometimes the statues of the women were strikingly sexualized or seemed despairing, in contrast to the pious acceptance of the Catholic statues. Anyway, it is interesting the way people chose to mark their resting place, or that of their family, it is obvious that an awful lot of money and thought had gone into it. Very special, if you’re ever in Santiago I would recommend it!

Other highlights of the day include a few lovely cats, including a jet black one perched high overlooking the graves, very appropriate. What really took the cake was this totally bizarre grave of some woman who I gather died in the 40s, and yet carved into her tomb – above a strikingly unflattering sketch (presumably of her?) – was the address of a blogspot website, of all things. I think she’s somewhat of a cult figure in Latin America, people come to her grave and leave wishes written there, I think? Anyway we went to the website later and its really trippy, have a look: I wish I had understood more of her story! Oh, to understand Spanish!

Oh well, that’s it from me. I’ll put up a few more photos of the cemetery (probably more than anybody wants to see) in an album if I can – I had free reign with Nick’s camera, so humor me!

Chao chicos! XX

Cementerio General de Santiago

Number of photos:17
Total size:4.02 MB

2 Responses to “Three days in”

  1. Courtney Says:

    Beautiful photos! Very jealous of the blue sky. Sounds like you’re having an amazing time so far! xx

  2. Delaney Says:

    Hey Anna, really interesting read and great photos, particularly the shot of the cat.

    Can’t wait to hear more updates.


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