Once in Santiago, our clue says, Make your way to the statue of the Virgin Mary.
“The statue? What, are you trying to tell me that there is only one statue of the Virgin Mary in all of Santiago? I find that hard to believe.”
Oh, they mean this one.
Oooh our first funicular of the Race! Love those. Well, we love it once Cim gets over her instinctive fear of trains. “It’s not really a train, Cim. We’ll be fine.”
[Ask us about how we almost got killed by a train one night in Newark, California. “See, the fact that we're not dead means that we actually have GOOD luck with trains!” “Hmmm...I shall consider that...it will take time.”]
At the top of Cerro San Cristóbal, at the (big white marble) feet of Santa Maria, is our next clue. It’s a Detour!
Easiest choice ever. Como se dice “schlep” en Espanol?
Jai: Duh. Books. I’m for books. I love books and books love me. Please. I hate shopping. Also, fish smell. I prefer the smell of books.
“You know you’re not going to have time to read any of those
Cim: We hate shopping and we want to save our dough. Besides, the Schlep involves books. Hello, my teammate is Jai. We're doing books. Jai grabs, Cim stacks. Jai peruses books on the way to the library.
Jai: I’m totally sneaking peeks at street corners while we’re waiting for traffic lights.
Phil says this country is “well known for Nobel Prize–winning authors.” Huh, well how about that. Off the top of my head, I can’t name a one. Jai is shamed…until arriving at the Libreria Chileana bookstore, and noticing the stacks and stacks of books with pictures of Pablo Neruda plastered all over the covers. Aha! Neruda! Chilean poet! Nobel Prize winner! Phew.
Meanwhile. 180 books. Count in stacks of 10. Take them ALL at once, duh. Uh, if at all possible. Cim is in charge of stacking. And, does it have to be exactly 180? 182? Just to be safe? Also, get directions to the Library of Congress from bookstore owner before leaving. Also, at the Library of Congress, ask the counting guy if he can count while we are shelving the books.
Done! Get the clue sending us to the Pit Stop in the center of Santiago! Get a cab and goooooo!
“Well that’s just lovely! Truly!”
“You mean Phil?”
“Well, yeah. But the fountain is nice too.”
“Oh yeah, that.”