The Americas travel blog

It's Chile's National Independence Day. Phil is still having back problems and lots of pain so we whatsapp our host for the name of a good Hospital near us. Carmen comes back with Hospital Clinico de la Universidad Catolica. At 11 am we catch a taxi there and it's not too far. The Hospital seems okay, fairly modern and the staff are helpful even though we don't speak Spanish and they don't speak English. We seem to muddle through. We wait about an hour and then see a very nice Doctor who speaks English. He explains that Phil needs to give his back more time to heal. He prescribes 4 lots of tablets and says that Phil should rest up as much as possible. We walk to the Farmacia, which is just around the corner, to get the prescriptions filled and then get another taxi home from there.

Phil is going to rest but as it is a special day I am going out to see if there are any celebrations for Independence Day. Firstly I walk to Plaza de Armas which is not far. There has been something on there today as there is a stage set up, but whatever was on, has finished now. There are lots of people milling around and the usual street performers but nothing special. I then get a taxi to Parque O'Higgins which was a venue for a 'fonda' last year. This is where it's all happening. It costs CLP4,000 or A$8 entry. I wander through the Park and there are market stalls, lots of barbecues with huge skewers of meat and chicken, children's entertainment, street performers and a large stage area set up. On the stage at the moment is a magician. He is very good. He has a large cardboard box that he is levitating off the ground and moving sideways and when it stops still, his assistant pops out of the top. Amazing! At one stage a prop, a small trolley on wheels, is brought on stage by half a woman. Just from the waist down, in a shiny yellow fringed skirt and with long stocking legs, she pushes the trolley across the stage. Unbelievable! He does the old 'disappearing' trick but it happens so fast that I just can't get my head around how he does it. It gets me every time. Further over there is another area where locals are being taught the traditional dance with the handkerchiefs. Done well this dance is lovely to watch but there are a few people here with two left feet. Well it has been good to see the locals enjoying their special day. I head home and find Phil has had a restful day and his back is gradually getting better.

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