Page 5 of nnareda Travel Blog Posts


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz February 9th 2015

Well Ronald was right. We got a trufe (a minibus without seatbelts, anybody can get on or off at any time and it’s packed full of people so that when one person needs to get out from the back all passengers need to get out to let him out.) Once we had gone down from La Paz El Alto (the highest point where the airport is located) to the town of La Paz the transport was chaos, there were trufes, all cars were Japanese (some very well maintained, some not) and there were also the first buses brought by the North Americans in the 1950s, doges, which pumped out a mass of black exhaust. As all of La Paz city centre is hilly when vehicles go down the hills they turn their engines off and coast. ... read more

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica February 9th 2015

Today I took my flight from Santiago to La Paz. I’d left my packing to the last minute which made the morning more stressful than it needed to be, but I’d packed my food for the airport the night before, got the metro at rush hour with all my backpacks, got a bus from the centre to the airport, checked my luggage in and got through security with plenty of breaks for coffee and plenty of time to relax. Security was relaxed. The only items that were prohibited on the plane were explosives, sharp objects and fizzy drinks. I suppose the liquid laws haven’t reached Chile yet, and perhaps terrorism from Islamic groups is non-existent here. The first flight which took about 2 hours dropped us off in the middle of the desert in Iquique, still ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 8th 2015

There was so much interesting history left to study but I knew soon that I would find myself in a room dedicated to the 1970s, where the explanation of the grim life under Pinochet’s regime would begin. For me it was time to head home at this point. I’d had enough of politics and after reading everything in Spanish, my mind felt like it had been participating in a triathlon, but instead of swimming, cycling and running, reading Spanish, processing Spanish and looking at objects. Besides which I had a whole appartment waiting for me, from which I could sit on my terrace and watch Santiago act as a passage way from all the hikers heading to the mountains and all the families heading to the swimming pool on a beautiful Sunday, whilst I drink ginger ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 8th 2015

I studied about Chile’s independence process, inspired by the French Revolution and the American war of Independence which both gave Chileans ideas about becoming independent from Spain. It began with Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808 to the Battle of Maipu, then in1811 with the National Congress and ended in 1818 when the War of Independence ended and the empire collapsed. The King abdicated and Chile had its first autonomous government. I learned a bit more about how Argentina, Chile and Peru got their independence, helped by the same man in each country – the Argentinian Militar Jose de San Martin. I’ve seen statues of him everyhere in Argentina. According to Argentinians he is the one famous person who is popular amongst everybody, a completely non-controversial figure unlike all the others. I also learned about the ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 8th 2015

I then studied about the changes which took place in the 18th century in America and Chile, due to the reforms carried out by the Bourbons. The church began losing its importance. The church carried on living alongside the Bourbon dynasty, new buildings were built in the Neoclassical style, rather than Baroque. This was what is know as the Golden Period, when the elite began using the estancias as a means of getting rich. The elite they would recruit immigrants who would work on their land and make money for their businesses, and prosper from the agriculture stemming from the land of the Estancias.... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 8th 2015

In the second room of the museum I re-learned about Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492 which was a period of history I’d studied at university in a Spanish and Portuguese history module. I also learned about the roles of Felipe II King of Spain and Pedro Valdivia, a leader of the Spanish Region who founded Santiago in 1541, by the river Mapocho. I then went on to study more about the Colonial Period and the order imposed by imperial Spain in colonial America, mainly in terms of the Church having complete influence over daily life. I found this part very interesting as I learned that this was the period when Baroque art developed and I had already seen plenty of examples of it in the form of churches and Jesuit Estancias back in Cordoba ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 8th 2015

After a good nights’ sleep I made my way to the National Historic Museum which had just reopened last Tuesday after being closed for 2 months. It was the best place to learn about Chile’s history. I learned a lot about the Mapuche tribes in the Art Museum but here I learnt a bit more about the other tribes who lived in Chile alongside the Mapuche. They lived in different regions such as Chinchorro,Arica, Aymaras, Changos, Atacamenos, El Molle and Diaguitas. I find learning about their lifestyles fascinating mainly because they adapted their lifestyles so well to the geographical areas of Chile which they had inhabited. A lot of the museums in Santiago have shown the lifestyles of the indigenous tribes through displaying objects found in archaeological digs.... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 7th 2015

Not long after tuning into Patrick Swayze, I found myself back in safe Santiago, and then at the very impressive appartment I’d rented out after the unpleasant few days and nights I’d spent in Valparaiso. It was in the same neighbourhood as I had stayed in before, in Providencia, one of the wealthiest and safest areas. The self-catering appartment had been cheap, on special offer for the weekend as most people go on holiday at the weekend. As it is the hottest time of the year people head out of the city to do either outdoor activities or go to the coast. The apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with all the mod-cons,a sofa and a terrace. I had only paid for the price of one room with a bathroom but I got the ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 7th 2015

I’m getting very curious about South American countries. After visiting two, by logic and a little knowledge of each country’s history, I’ve figured that all of the countries probably have their own problems and their own strengths different from each others. I definitely want to visit more of the countries, I still feel that there is a good bit of meat still to chew off the latino bone before getting to the bone itself. On this trip for me each day is a day of enlightenment and discovery, and this trip is, whilst very hard work, incredibly rewarding. I really want to come back to South America one day in the future but I would do it differently. I’d come for 10 months so I wouldn’t have to race around and I could enjoy more slow ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago February 7th 2015

It seems that as Chile is geographically isolated, separated by the Andes from Argentina, especially in the North of Chile where the Andes are higher, it seems to consider itself protected from the unsavoury characteristics of other countries, and as a result in my opinion seems to have an inflated sense of its own superiority. I was getting very stressed on this line of thought and as we drove through the Andes my view of the many roadside graves where people had died in one tragedy after another was only increasing my anxiety so I put my headphones on, put my Dirty Dancing soundtrack on my walkman, closed my eyes and as there was no way I could even do a small thing to change the world for the better in that very moment, I began ... read more




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