Ponte Vecchio Poems

The process of appreciating a city doesn’t always follow a love-at-first-sight model. First impressions are not always the most lasting. Florence needs some time. It can be hard to love a city when you’re surrounded by group after group of tourists using their Yoga experience to bend over into odd positions to take the fifth…

Running Away from Valparaiso

  The bus comes to a stop, the winter sun shines heavily on the hills. The hills are burdened with the ant-farms of old, wooden houses. Walking away from the worn bus station we enter one of the main streets of Valparaiso. First impressions of Valparaiso: no, not yet. You don’t want to express your…

Variations on a Grey

  The only consistency in this deceptively static landscape is the cold. Wherever you walk and look frost adds a second layer of skin unto anything. But the weather in the Torres del Paine is as random as a slot-machine. Day to day you never know what you’re going to get. After our Patagonian Odyssey…

The Patagonia Diaries

    We left Puerto Natales and ahead of us was the immense road. It was as if we were traversing continents, but all we were doing was travelling from point A to point A.2. This Patagonia is like a solar system on the very fringes of our planet. Our driver, Luis, was a Santiago…

Things Aren’t What They Seem

  The 10th of July was my wife’s birthday. So we went out to eat in Santiago’s best restaurant. A universe apart from the other restaurants in Santiago. A black sheep and a blessing. Peumayen Ancestral Food is a forward-looking, minimalist restaurant doing magical things with very old ingredients used by indigenous peoples all over Chile….

Santiago’s Heart of Darkness

  As we walked out of the sunlight and into the Mercado Central of Santiago something went wrong. It wasn’t supposed to. I had read a lot of good things about the Mercado. Both on my guide book, on many blogs, hell, even Anthony Bourdain came to eat here! My hopes couldn’t have been higher….

First Impressions of Santiago

  Uber is a good thing in Santiago. Uber is a very good thing in Santiago – simply because Chilean people are the friendliest people you’re likely to encounter in a whole hemisphere. We used Uber a lot in Santiago, especially at night. We learnt a lot from its cheerful, humble drivers. One of them,…

The Distant Mountain Tops

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”   – Gustave Flaubert   I’ve been mulling over that quote for quite some time now as I prepare for my honeymoon adventure to the other end of the world. It’s a blindingly obvious thing to say, but: Chile is a…

My Favourite Passages From The Shadows of Paradise

    I   Writing. A piece of fucking writing, Johnny mumbled to himself with awe-struck delight as he walked back to his seat. For a brief, intense time after that Johnny started telling the world, with the typically local graceless bravado, that he was going to be a writer! He suddenly spent hours reading,…