Cuasimodo Festival, Chile

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Author: Pete

Location: Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile

On the Sunday after Easter, Chilean Catholic priests used to ride on horseback to bring the church to the infirm who couldn’t come to church on Easter Sunday.  Carrying valuable silver and gold objects, the priests were easy targets for bandits who would often relieve them of the weight, proving there have always been heartless bastards on the earth.  Huasos, Chilean cowboys, volunteered to ride along with the priests as muscle to ward off the bandits along the way.  The Cuasimodo Festival commemorates this history.

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On the Sunday morning after Easter, hundreds of chilenos gather on their silk-covered horses in their brush guard chaps, spurs, ponchos, and head scarves and take to the street of Lo Barnechea to protect the priests from the banditos.

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They gallop fast through the streets shouting, “Viva!  El Rey Jesu’ Cristo!  Viva!”  God himself won’t save you should you wander into their paths!  Watch yourself gringo!

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Young and old alike ride.  You don’t have to be very old to frighten off banditos, apparently.

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The older ones partake in the tradition of drinking ‘chicha’ along the way to cut the dust.  Now it comes in the form of Cristal, the local beer of choice.

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Great excuse to get together with the gringoes and soak up some chileno culture before we’re outta here!

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Our Proposed Route

Author:  Pete

Here’s our proposed route for our ideal circumnavigation, a lofty goal, to be sure.  Our itinerary has us leaving in November 2014 out of Florida and returning to the Caribbean around June 2016.  Best laid plans…  We created a course by taking the path of least resistance through the westward trade wind route, staying mostly in the tropics.  The itinerary shadows the retreat of the tropical storm season in each region of the world, marked on the map.

Click on the map to enlarge.  More details below.

Proposed Route

Nov 2014 – Jan 2015:  Miami to Panama

Feb 2015:  Panama to Galapagos

Mar 2015: Pacific Passage, Galapagos to Marquesas Islands

April – August 2015:  French Polynesia and South Pacific

Sept – Dec 2015:  South East Asia

Jan – Feb 2016:  Indian Ocean

March – April 2016:  Red Sea/ Mediterranean*

May 2016:  Atlantic Passage

June 2016:  Florida / Sell our faithful vessel!

August 2016:  Start teaching again in beautiful International School of Philenzublank!

 

*If the situation off the coast of Somalia doesn’t improve by January 2016, then we will need to make some alternations to our route.  Like we said earlier, this is just our initial plan and will probably change several times in the next two years.

 

As you will have also noted, most of our time is dedicated to the South Pacific and South East Asia.  This is an aggressive timeline, however, we are not planning to ‘see’ the world in this two year window.  We are international educators and plan to be living abroad ‘seeing’ the world much of our lives.  This adventure is about being on the high seas and the self-discovery that comes with it.

 

Come join us!   This trip was dreamed up to leave room for our family and friends around the world to visit us along the way!  Come do a passage, island hop, or meet us in a port city!  Our itinerary is dependent on the winds, so your travel plans may need to be flexible, but we’ll make it worth your while with a cold beverage in the sun and shining seas!  Email us if you have any interest in being a part of this adventure!  We’ll even put your face on the blog!

 

Here’s our backup plan for the whole trip:

Plan B:  Tour the Caribbean.  If we’re short on time, funding, or Dramamine, we may end up cruising the Carib for a year before hitting the books again.

Plan C:  Charter a boat in the Caribbean or South Pacific where we can’t get into too much trouble.

Plan D:  Keep taking classes and help move boats in our off time and do this trip or similar later in life with kids or during retirement.

Plan E:  Take an extended bath and slosh a lot of water around.

 

Quintero Pacific Sailing Lessons: Day 2

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Author:  Pete

Location:  Quintero, Chile.     [ 32°46′58″S  71°31′50″W ]

Stayed the night at a little B&B in the countryside outside of Quintero called Haras Casacampo.  The place was built from an old pure-bred horse farm where horses and chickens roamed free and all the rooms were retrofitted stalls.  Pretty cute.  Gloria and Antonio were charismatic and welcoming.

The next day out on the water we motored from out mooring again, hoisted the main, unfurled the genoa, and made about dodging freighters and their pilot craft as we exited the bay under sail.  The sheer mass and size of those ships is chilling.

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The wind picked up as we left the lee of the Quinter Bay headlands.  Out away from the ships we put a reef in the main and maneuvered around to get the feel for it.  The boat sailed flatter and more comfortably than before.  Then I put in another reef in the main, just for the practice, and we sailed along in the rolling swells with even more control.

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We dropped the headsail and simulated a change out. Mario messed with things and watched us put them back together.  We rolled around the seas for another hour or so then cruised in.  In the bay we simulated a regatta, running a triangular pattern around buoys to get the feel for all points of sail.  We did some more man-overboard drills under sail as well.

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It was so fortunate to meet up with Mario.  He did a fantastic job of mentoring and instructing us out on the sea and we are extremely grateful for his tutelage and friendship.

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Afterwards we had lunch in the gritty little town.  The place was a little rough around the edges, but the cazuela and fish (and beer!) were fantastic!  We were so excited to get on the ocean!  FINALLY!

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