Putre pride

Published: June 25th 2010
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There resides a vast number of birds in this area, noisy little things in a kaleidoscope of colours, many hawks eagles and condors call the area home also, John found a condor feather measuring about 20" in length, Days have been spend researching and casually exploring.

We spent a few days in another Hostel in town called Pacha Mama as Chakana had a prior booking and had no room, Its a sweet little place but oh so cold at night, they have a 4 month old alpaca who has the run of the place, so cute.

We met a german lass called Regina who was fun to hang out with and a gentleman from Switzerland called Dieter who was 75 years old and could outwalk all of us.

An orchestra filled the square of Putre one afternoon and played a rousing set, they were highly professional and quite wonderful, they had been touring Northern Chile as part of a government drive to promote tourism in the area which has been badly effected by the earthquake in February, the Icelandic volcano and the general state of the world economy..

It remains warm with blue skies in the day and freezing at night as the mercury drops a with the setting sun. Sunsets here in the desert are truly awe-inspiring each one marking the time to put on warm clothes or better still just climb into bed.

Nearby the thermal baths are soothing after walks and one can cover one's body with the red volcanic mud which is reputed to contain therapeutic properties.

It is terribly arid here and has been a number of years since the area has seen rain. In the dusty track that leads to the village it is more common to see footprints and the prints of horses hooves than it is to see tyre tracks.

On the way to Putre on the right had side of the road stands a military barracks, somewhat sophisticated wooden and breezeblock building which are well maintained and adorned with satellite dishes and all manner of communication equipment. The grounds are well kept and the shouts of drill sergeants and their obliging troops can be heard exercising and training, preparing for unforetold events. Directly across the road sits the local school where breezeblock somewhat draughty looking buildings with rusty roofs house the school children of the area, around the unkempt ground you can hear the whoops and hollers of the kids being kids.

One would hope these children are learning the way to debate and discuss problems that Chile may have in the future and its more affluent neighbors across the road may one day be obsolete and the money spent on military comforts may be sunk into the schools and the education of Chile's future generations………….One can hope.

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