Leaving Santiago – Act I

The following story takes place over the course of 48hrs in Santiago and the Central Valley, Chile.

Main characters are:

  • Tall english man,
  • Mediterranean woman who everyone assumes will be fluent in Spanish,
  • a short dark haired junkie called Sebastian aka ‘Perro Danger’ or ‘The Guard Dog’,
  • two police officers
  • a short stubby tobacco farmer
  • San Francisco’s class of 2017

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Settling in

First proper night in South America. I say ‘proper night’ because on our first night we got into our Lima hotel in a jet-lagged induced daze and then last night we only got into our tiny AirBnB apartment at midnight (still in aforementioned daze) and spent the first 30′ trying to figure out how to silence the alarm.

This morning, after a good night’s sleep we took a leisurely walk down Av Santa Isabella to go find the young Aussie couple whom we bought the car from. Yes we bought a car. More details on how to buy a car and pictures of the car coming soon.

Suffice to say that it took us all day to find a mechanic, have the car checked, negotiate with the mechanic in broken spanish on which of the long list of repairs (totalling £2,000) we would actually go ahead with, patiently wait in a nearby cafe for the agreed-to fixes to take place, and then find a place to safely park our new prized possession. But alas it’s all done, we are the proud owners of a green 4×4 which is surprisingly clean and well maintained given that in the last 4 months it has been driven through Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, down Argentina and then over to Chile again. Name for the car is still TBC – I am sure separate post with full details of its christening ceremony will follow.

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Last 24 hours in London

We are currently in a hotel in Gatwick as our flight tomorrow morning leaves quite early and neither of us fancied waking up at the crack of dawn, packing duvet, pillows etc.

It’s been raining all day; a typical grey and rainy London day. The hotel looks like something that came out of the shinning. Any minute now Jack and the little kid on the bike will show up. This is a sharp contrast to yesterday.

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Preparation

The one thing no one really talks when it comes to taking a sabbatical is all the prep that has to happen before you set foot on the plane.

You will find a lot of sites talking about approaching your employer and asking for time off. We found this Forbes article and this very useful. But after that? Are you moving out of your house? Are you renting your house out? If so are you renting via AirBnB or through an agency? In the last couple of months we’ve had to deal with a lot of that. Here’s what we learned

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