Off the coast of Peru now.. the ship is participating in SIFOREX 04, UNITAS 04 and SURGEX.. all at once. I could tell you more but, it'd bore you. Needless to say, it's important, and interesting for the most part. Lot of dignitaries from Peru last few days and others. Vin Del Mar, Chile; beautiful and fun. It's a lot cleaner than Rio was.. the people were not as friendly, but once you broke the ice they were very warm. Spent some time at a bar called "The Happy Viking". Small hole in the wall style place, but enjoyable company all around. (I've got pictures but they're to big to post here and I don't have the resources.). Everyone rides MTB in Chile, the full suspension knock off style. They say it's a "poorer" nation, but as far as I've seen, people appear to be more frugal and less materialistic rather than poor. Very likeable, really. I also saw a lot of cargo bikes, all of them single speed with an odd foot pedal brake system. They used a pivot point turn system, pretty intense. I took one for a ride, and it was like riding a tank...
We spent about 3 hours outside in spontaneous conversation with some local women.. Despite my broken Spanish and their broken English, we covered everything from world leaders, to the current price of Chilean wine and.. With the reputation sailors often have, it was surprising and downright kick ass that they were willing to sit, grab a drink and yak it up for several hours, with out the obligations the conversations usually entail.
The weather has been getting warmer as we are now headed in a Northern style direction. We beat the storm near the southern tip, some decent size swells (in the 20 - 25 foot range), but nothing hard. This carrier is the first to have a bulbous bow, which makes a big difference in bad seas, as well as other things. Next stop will be Calllao, Peru. Not sure what to look for in Peru.. but I look forward to eating decent food (I've gone vegan on the ship, but full on meat eater when I'm off the ship). Am getting much tired of riding the life cycle. It's very boring when there's no cars trying to run you off the road... Supposedly TDF will be on TV here, so I might be able to catch that.
Home in approx 5 weeks, mas o menos. Hope everyone is doing well, and this post finds you all in good spirits. Thanks for those that have shot me sideline emails here and there... It's always good to hear from back home.