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November 02, 2004

Catching Up, and Election Day(s)

It's U.S. Election Day, and I'm in La Serena, Chile! Pretty surreal being away from home today. I haven't really met that many Americans on my trip, but tonight there are three other Americans staying at my hostel, and of course we've talked about the election. I heard one girl saying that it's like Christmas Eve, but with more negative nervous energy. I can relate. I woke up feeling like it was doomsday, and I've had kind of a bad feeling all day--I'm just so worried things won't go well. Chile is 5 hours ahead of California, so I don't think it's worth staying up to get any information tonight.

Sunday was Election Day in Chile, mostly for mayors and other local offices. In Chile, everyone has to travel to their hometown to cast their vote, which is an interesting idea, and makes it kind of a nice homecoming for people, but it's also a little chaotic, and I don't think you can vote via mail. Men and women vote in different polling places, and practically EVERYTHING shuts down. There was only one tour agency open in La Serena, and one internet place, which made getting organized harder than it should be. I still managed to get a tour lined up for yesterday, and then decided to spend some time today relaxing before heading south to Valparasio, a coastal town 1 1/2 hours from Santiago and birthplace of both Pinochet and Allende--according to my guidebook, just one example of the contrasts one can see there.

I'm going to post-date a few updates as I write them so they'll be in the right order, so scroll down to 10/21 to catch up on Isla del Sol, 10/24 for a quickie on La Paz, and 10/25 for a rundown on the Salar de Uyuni. And more to follow soon.

Posted by Amy on November 2, 2004 05:22 PM
Category: Chile

Our worst fears are realized :(
Now getting out of the country seems like a better idea than ever!

Posted by: Catherine on November 3, 2004 01:40 PM
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