Tuesday, August 27, 2013


On Saturday August 17, 2013 the Harbor Hellcats of the Santa Cruz Derby Girls played the Atomic Assault from Fresno, CA of the Central California Area Derby at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. What is roller derby?  Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track; in this case, a flat track.

 The girls all have wonderful roller derby nicknames and are introduced by those names.  Roller derby is full of jargon, and I found a blog that explained a lot of it.

There are almost as many creatively named referees as there are players on the track.  It is confusing to the spectators so especially marked helpers are equipped to help out with explanations and a reference card.

Basically the girl with the stripe on her helmet calls a jam.  She also can stop a jam.  A lot of jamming went on as we watched the game. A girl with a star on her helmet tries to work her way past her opponents to score points. This happens quickly and points mount quickly.

After the first period of 30 minutes, the score was Hellcats 195, Atomic Assault 30.

At the end of period 2, the Harbor Hellcats had tromped the Atomic Assault 303 to 119.  This projected scoreboard has a bit to be desired by the arena. Apparently only the D level Warriors can use the real one. Somehow it just wasn't as exciting as the roller derby we used to watch on television years ago.  We wished there was less set up for jamming and more actual skating.  All in all it was an entertaining evening, and we learned a lot about women's flat track roller derby.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. –Marcel Proust

Returning to Santiago for our last two days in Chile, we discovered enchanting areas of the city; thanks in part to a delightful family we met in the Parque Esculturas (Sculpture Park) .

…I think about all the different ways we leave people in this world. Cheerily waving goodbye to some at airports, knowing we’ll never see each other again.  Leaving others on the side of the road, hoping that we will.  –Amy Tan

One more tree.

The gentle dogs of Chile.

Another interesting but closed museum.

On the way to the zoo built on the hillside.

The zoo.

The fountains.

The chess tournament in the plaza.

The friendly and helpful Carabineros.

The folk dancers.

…once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers…the mind can never break off from the journey.  –Pat Conroy

There is so much missing from these posts.  We had a wonderful time traveling in Chile.  Thank you to all the people we met.

                                  February 12-13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

…the open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself. –William Least Heat Moon

Back to the mountains...leaving the crush of summer vacationers at the beach, capturing vistas along the way, attempting to skirt the big cities, realizing I left earrings at our last cabana and hoping someone finds them and  enjoys them, negotiating 21 hairpin turns up and down a mountain, navigating through Santiago to our night's lodging....

Chilean men on their way to a Sunday fiesta?

Sunset clouds over the Andes.

 Advancing towards the border with Argentina.

The road is closed for another 10 days.

Retreating towards Santiago.

Aconcagua on the left in Argentina.

3 of the 21 curves.  We do not know how many more there were.

Curve  7.

                                           February 10-11, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

…all any of us need is a very light suitcase. –Oswald Wynd

We have finally made it to one of our top destinations in Chile, la playa naturista, La Luna.  Of course, it was at the end of the road where we paid a high price for parking, down a steep path, past the tidepools, at the end of the beach where the volleyball net was located.  It was most enjoyable, especially because there were many Chilean couples and families enjoying it as well.

                                        February 9, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. –Lao Tzu

Jim drives north...not to anywhere in particular...just towards a beach.  The weather has definitely changed into the high 80s to mid 90s.  It is summer for the people of Chile, and they pack the beaches and the beach communities.  I try to navigate around the congested areas with our limited maps.  Most days we are map challenged; other days we sail away.  As we leave the south, we have seen many vineyards and land planted in vegetables.  We have eaten succulent nectarines and melons.

In the plaza of Santa Cruz, Chile, a redwood tree grows alongside the palms.

On the road to Navidad the landscape becomes much drier.

It is so dry that cactus grows here.

From a lookout in the mountains that run along the coast, it looks like California.

Metal sculptures dominate the lookout.

Finally we see the Pacific Ocean.  The waves are big enough for surfers.  On the way out a car with a protruding surfboard zooms past.

In San Antonio we join the melee, get some pesos, have a refresco (Coke), pass through a giant mall with a casino downstairs to arrive at an extended wharf (really a boardwalk) with hundreds of other Chilean families.  Treats are available.

Pelicans wait for the debris from the fish market to be pushed off the deck.

San Antonio is Chile's port city.

So many fish and shellfish.

The sea lion colony also gets sustenance from the tourists and the fish market.

Beach foot traffic.  "Beep!  Beep!"

Our handmade rebar BBQ.

                                     February 6-7-8, 2013