It's been a while and this needs updates. It's been like a century since I've written here and people are wondering why the heck I am online all the time. Basically I'm back to 9 to 5 working schedule, or some sort of modern day voluntary slavery, hahaha, just kidding... or not?
Working at NIGSA World.
So after trying to find something to do with life for the time here at Punta Arenas, I ended up in an interview with the guys that organize Patagonian Expedition Race (www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com) and other outdoor races in the Patagonian region. They also help with logistics for expeditions that are held at Tierra del Fuego and basically wherever you want to go in the Patagonian area. The CEO of this company claims that they are the only ones who know the area as they do, maybe it's true.
These guys are quite hardcore. They work from 9 to 7 during weekdays and when races season start, they get lost in the mountains, lakes, woods and fjords to move and set the logistics for the events. In one of these expeditions, one of the guys had to jump over a crack in the ice. He jumped but did not fell right at the other side of the crack and broke one of his legs. They where so far away from everything that this guy had to walk two more days with his 30 kilos backpack to a point where help was able to reach, and who knows how that leg made it. He's a cyborg now. They put a titanium implant to fix his leg. Yeah, they really seem to be hardcore. So what's my work at this place?, IT. Lol.
I'm not so hardcore... yet. I only work from 9 to 5 and with flexible schedule. I left a system, and getting back into another one is quite fucked already. Getting to work from 9 to 7 was a thing I wouldn't even negotiate so I stated from the beginning I wanted a flexible schedule. This means I can go out and do other things like diving during weekdays, ride bike, or go out jogging with the guys in the hope of becoming hardcore. So far, I've been just diving. As long as I reach the goals, everybody is happy and they agreed to my way of doing things. I told them I would be here till around September/October when Antarctica season starts moving, but all is flexible, we shall see.
So I'm cleaning the complete mess on the IT side at this company. Nobody has been managing IT in some years so I'm tiding up and fixing everything there is around to fix; formating machines, fixing hardware, solving network issues, finding bugs on the webpages, sysadmin, among other IT stuff.
Some asked me if I was doing some good money by doing this. Of course... Not. I earn almost nothing by doing this, literally, but I get free room and food plus I'll be able to join in expeditions around the Patagonian area. For this weekend I got assigned the task of going to Torres del Paine national park with a GPS and walk non stop a stretch of the park in order to log a track for a future event. As I'm the tech savvy at this place, it seems they trust me in the handling of the GPS. So hopefully I get the chance to go wild during winter times at the mountains this weekend. But that's the future, let's go back to what has been going on.
So, I'm living at a house provided by NIGSA, I share the house with four foreign girls; two Germans, one Brazilian and one Philippine. It's funny the faces I get from people when I say I live with four girls. :) It's quite acceptable to live in community again after have experienced living at a hostal with people coming and going, but sometimes I still get the hermit feelings and I need to go wild and get some isolation from the rest of the people and the city. Good thing is I have all of this quite near and diving helps a lot too.
|People crossing a lake at Patagonian Expedition Race. This was the race at 2013.|
|Crazy people crossing a glacier. This was the race at 2013.|
What's all this diving thing?
As I wrote in the last post I think, I push pedals would go under the water to I breathe from a tank. I took a course to get the PADI scuba diver license. But as I plan to use this as a tool to travel in the future, the plan is to take 3 courses during this winter and get the Rescue Diver license. I've been told there are places in asia where you can become divemaster for free (the next level) and it's fairly easy to get a gig at some dive center afterwards. So I'm about to finish the first of the courses and ready to take next level if everything goes good. Hopefully this also helps if I want to work as deckhand in some ships which would allow me to travel overseas while working on board, hopefully.
So far I've taken a couple of dives in the Magellan strait and I must say it's damn amazing. Most of the people that hear this ask if the water is cold, well yeah it fucking is!, but the neoprene suites make an awesome job insulating from the coldness, the only part of my body that suffers due to coldness are my hands which were completely red the last time I got into the ocean. It's noticeable in the beginning but once you get under the water the sight around you makes you forget all pains.
Being under water is a complete different world and atmosphere. The only thing I can hear there is the sound of my breathing through the regulator and the bubbles making its ascent to the surface. Besides that, all the sounds are alien sounds that yet, I am not able to identify. This plus the buoyancy under the water makes my brain believe I am flying and I love it. Everything has a different pace under water too. The body moves like in slow motion all the time because it's quite hard to do fast movements and most of the time you are at the mercy of the currents. Mind control is also quite important as the mind can trick you and you can fall into a pretty bad situation. Diving in cold waters is some serious shit if you are not using a dry suite.
During the weekend I shall dive once again at the strait (water temperature around 4ºC), right before going to the mountains, torres del paine national park. So hopefully, I will go from the deep sea towards the mountains in a single weekend. I'm excited for what's going to happened in the next couple of days.
And what else?
Well, everything conspired so I could spend the winter at Punta Arenas after all. The bad thing is that I don't have much time to go outdoors during the week, but on weekends I'm still doing things such as going to the local hills, taking night rides through the city and outside the city, diving and meeting people around.
I have to also add that this winter sucks. It's not what I expected so far. I was expecting lots of snow, really shitty weather and fucking cold days. I have got cold days, but Norway has certainly colder temperatures and way much more snow. Days at this city have been mostly marvelous days. Despite the short days, when the sun shows up, we get really clear and sunny days which display a whole range of amazing colors and a contrast I haven't seen somewhere else.
I've been taking some cool pictures too and as I have some time now I have been working with them doing some editing to enhance the colors and actually do justice to the landscape I capture with the camera.
Not many adventures have been going on though. Living in a city is quite boring compared to what happens when you are on the road. This has made me miss the road in several occasions in the last month, and the thought of taking the bike and just ride somewhere else has crossed my mind in more than once. Still I know I have to stay in the city as the goal is to reach Antarctica once the season starts, after that, hopefully, Punta Arenas will be history for me. Sometimes though, I wonder if I will be able to leave this city at all as so many things show up randomly and attract me. We'll see.
And what's to come?
Finally some adventures are about to come. Diving and Mountains for the weekend. Hopefully next weekend I'll go to San Isidro lighthouse again and have some awesome diving times in shipwrecks, deep diving, and even a night dive if all goes fine. If I get night rides it's obvious I need to get night dives, isn't it?.
I'm still on road to Antarctica and some people have contacts that will try to get me on a yatch as deckhand to reach the white continent, in the meantime, adventure time between the sea and the mountains.
I hope to update the blog in the following weeks as some cool adventures are approaching.
Check some of this amazing pictures I've been working with lately and tell me what are your thoughts :)
Pictures here and here.
Pictures here and here.