I went back into Pucon (my B&B is up the hill about 7 miles) for dinner and had a great one at Oma Cafe.  I may have mentioned but it’s cold and rainy.  I mean, it’s really pissing out there and here at a bit of altitude the temperature is 6 C (in the low 40s F).  It isn’t supposed to freeze in Pucon but if we maintain the same separation in temperature as the town proper and they hit their forecast, it will freeze here.  It isn’t supposed to stop raining tomorrow until around noon.  A good bit of Pucon has flooded since I was there around noon.  Well, not flooded, but there is significant standing water in the roads.  All of this is to say, work on the proposal looks likely.

For dinner, I was thinking of a burger and fries.  Homesickness, perhaps.  Then I thought, because Mary isn’t here to think it for me, “Why not skip the fries?” and have soup instead.  And then I thought, as I usually do when the thought strikes me, “SOUP!”  I asked the waiter and he recommended I skip the sandwich as well and have cazuela de vacuno.  Google it.  I had it and it was outstanding.  It was served with a cream of vegetable soup first and then the principal soup which had ribs, white potato and sweet potato that wasn’t that sweet (well, the old BG says otherwise) and a cob of corn.  All suspended in a thick, rice broth.  And, did I mention, it was hot?  Really good stuff for a cold autumn night.

There, now my blog is a food blog.

As I waited on my soups, I was thinking of my last post.

I mentioned in the previous post that I have, as of this writing, been in Chile for 45 days in 2017.  I also mentioned that that made 53 days in Chile overall for me counting trips in other years.  This made me curious how many days I’ve spent in other countries.  It isn’t, for me, as long a list as I’d like.  There are also a couple of countries about to switch places on the leaderboard.


# days

United States







approximately 45





US Virgin Islands














British Virgin Islands




The table above is both needlessly detailed and somewhat vague.  I actually went to the trouble of determining how many days I’ve been alive (carefully including leap days) and then counting any day I stepped foot into a country as a day in that country.  Except Mexico, which I’ve visited twice for a total of, maybe, four hours.  There is also the problem of Canada.  Mary lived in Canada for two years (Mary’s list, by the way, would be much, much cooler than mine) and I visited her more than either my credit cards or Ned Porter liked.  Enough that I have no real idea how many days I spent there.  I’ve made several trips back and there was a notable one where I entered and exited several times.  So let’s just call Canada “45”.

As you can see, England and Chile are second and third, respectively.  But I have approximately 100 more days to spend in Chile on my current program, give or take depending on travel around South America.  So, Chile is going to end up second by a significant margin.  I’ll likely add a few more days to Argentina as well but not enough for it to plausibly catch Canada.  Not to mention that Canada is a frequent enough trip for me that it’ll certainly add more days.

But it seems pretty clear that Chile, which will end up in the vicinity of 150 days or so at the end of Southern Cone is going to be my second most visited country at the end of the day (the day being, in this particular case, my life).  In the event that Chile doesn’t end up second, I’ll make this wager:  the stock market will have either done very, very well or very, very bad.  Okay, I’ll explain my joke: if it does stupendously well, I’ll be wealthy enough to travel a lot.  If it does disastrously bad enough, I’ll end up a refugee somewhere.  You get the idea. You never know, but it seems very unlikely to me I’ll spend 100 more days in England or more days than that in any of the countries lower on the list.

If you’re wondering what the point of all this is, you didn’t read the last post where I write that my hike was rained out and I have a proposal to work on did you?

There is a great scene in one of the Hitchhiker’s books where Arthur Dent attempts to find the location of his cave on prehistoric Earth and comes up with a convoluted, crazy scheme which, it turns out, works, though he never knows that he got it right.  He does find Fenchurch though so it all worked out.  What I’m saying is this:  let’s just accept that the above list is absolutely, stunningly accurate.  By that measure, Chile will surpass England as my second most visited country on April 18.  I plan to celebrate with a bowl of soup.













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