Blogs from Viña del Mar, Valparaíso Region, Chile, South America

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Mendoza, Argentina to Vina del Mar, Chile..... We were to spend two nights here in Mendoza and take in the cultural and winery scene, well some of us stayed for three nights and really enjoyed the city. We went to Lopez Winery for lunch on our last day and we were in for a treat, this will now become part of our next Tarmac Tour. Gerardo, along with Bob and Mary, went onto Uspallata for the last night in Argentina, while we, D Duke and D Nurse stayed the last night in Mendoza, we made an early start, getting away by 8.00 am the next day and made a run for Chile...After a refuel and a coffee for us in Uspillata, a quick look at the Puente del Inca, we caught up with the advance party ... read more
Puente del Inca
The Stop and NOT Go man
Zig Zag all to us...


Well, folks, this is it. This will be my last blog entry here in Chile. After a trip so incredible, how can I sum it up in a blog post? How can I do justice to everything I have learned and experienced here? I think the truth is that I can’t. However, there are a few thoughts which I would like to share as my time here comes to an end. When Katie was here, she asked me about the three things about being in Chile that I would miss most when I am back in the US, either because we don’t do them there or because we do them differently. I found it a great question and have spent quite a bit of time thinking about it. Though there are so many things I will ... read more
I will miss this.
and this!
A restaurant inside an old train.


As strange as the title is to type, it is true. It’s crazy to me. I am down to my last two weeks. Besides being strange because it is the end, it is also weird because many of my friends who were here abroad with me have already left to go back to the US! I tried to convince them that it wasn’t allowed to go back without me, but, alas, they didn’t listenJ Though it was sad knowing we would all be parting ways, we made sure to take full advantage of our time by doing several things as a group. One night last week, we all went to a Mexican restaurant together for dinner. It started out just being an idea of a couple people but then more and more people decided to join, ... read more
Enjoying the once.
Last day?
we found a cool park


As I think I mentioned toward the end of my last blog, Katie was here for part of last week and into this week! In total, she spent 8 days here in Chile with me, and I had some awesome opportunities to show her around and show her what my life here was like. For a lot of reasons, it was a wonderful trip! It started on Wednesday morning when I met her at the airport. As I was waiting I met a man also waiting for someone to arrive. We chatted for a bit and it turned out he had a really interesting story to tell. Though Chilean, he had spent over half his life living in the US, and just recently moved back to Chile. He was there waiting for his sister who, as ... read more
API gives back!
Making friends with a dog.
Tasty tours.


Last Thursday we set out on what was most likely my last long weekend adventure! This time we went up North, flying into a city called Calama. From there, we waited around for a few hours until we could catch a bus for the 2 hour ride to San Pedro de Atacama, which was where we stayed for the weekend. After arriving in San Pedro, we dedicated the rest of Thursday to exploring the city (which wasn’t very big) and figuring out what we wanted to do for the rest of the weekend. San Pedro definitely has what I would call an “old time” feel to it. It is a small, touristy city, set off by itself, surrounded by miles of desert. The streets are all packed sand with rocks and gravel. It was a laid ... read more
The biking crew!
Valle de la Muerte
Our little cavern exploring adventure.

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It is getting chilly here, folks. As all of you in the U.S. are finally celebrating spring, I’m going through the exact opposite here! I think I have mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again. In Chile, it is incredibly expensive to have indoor heating like many of us (and definitely myself) are accustomed to in the U.S. So, for what I am used to, it isn’t really cold outside right now. It is about 50 or so during the day and a bit colder at night. But the difference is, my pattern for 20 years in the U.S.: Freezing, freezing, freezing (step inside), WARM. Here in Chile: Cold, cold, cold (step inside)…cold. As a result, I find most of my days are spent with a sweatshirt or light jacket on. And when I am ... read more
we saw some sand art!
this one was cool, too.
fish, anyone?


Now that I have time to write a little more about daily life, I want to use this blog entry to reflect on some things I have learned through my first couple months here. First, one thing that has really surprised me about my time abroad so far is how easy it was to adjust compared to what I thought it would be. I was prepared for a long, arduous process of struggling not only with the language, but with the culture, the big city, and the multitude of other things which I was experiencing for the first time. While there have been and will, I am sure, continue to be some struggles, overall, they have not been nearly as difficult as I was expecting. For that, I am very grateful to friends and family here, ... read more
A pretty view from the mirador by my house.
empanada!
Banana boat.


We have all arrived in Vina del Mar after 10,000 plus kilometres on the road, but not without problems to re enter Chile. We had a great run down to La Rioja, from Andalgala, apart from Terry and Howard heading off in the opposite direction towards Belen. They finally arrived in La Rioja about three hours and 200 km later, so they had their own adventure. While I was in the plaza, I heard my name called out, so turned to see Mauricio, the fellow we met last year whith the 2CV's, running towards me, we had a good man hug and chatted about last year and now he also Has a 2CV and it was parked in our garage, so of course we had to go and check it out, lucky I had one more ... read more
La Rioja
Talampaya
Talampaya


Wow, it’s already been 10 days since I last updated this blog. That’s crazy, I was sure it hadn’t been more than a week! But I guess that just proves the title of my last entryJ As I have a few trips coming up, I have been trying to use this time to relax and rest up, but somehow I always manage to keep myself pretty busy, which is definitely better than the alternative! I’ve done some pretty fun things in the last 10 days or so, so I’ll try to start at the beginning. For Easter weekend, we went to the capital of Chile, Santiago. We arrived on Saturday and stayed in a hostel Saturday night. The dumby who printed off directions to the hostel (couldn’t have been me…) wasn’t smart enough to write down ... read more
the view outside from our hostel.
a weird bridge thing I saw in Santiago
I don't know how he got this big...


So I have been living here now for over a month. Wow. That is incredible. But it is strange because when I think about it, I can’t tell if it feels more like a week or 6 months. When I think about all you lovely people back in the United States, it certainly feels like a long time since I have seen you all, so it feels more like 6 months. But when I think about the time I’ve spent here and how fast it’s gone by, it seems like I have been here about a week. So I guess a month is probably about right after all! As I said, time here continues to fly by. I have gotten into a pretty good routine with my class schedule. My only busy day is Tuesday, in ... read more
at the dunes!
just another example of the graffiti
the cars are waiting to be destroyed




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