Blogs from O Higgins, Chile, South America

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After a full-on couple of weeks, our first day back in Santiago was a rest-day and, for me, a chance to catch up on the blogs. I edited and posted all of the Antarctica and Falklands blogs during the day, but generally just stayed in the hotel room and took it easy. Dad did similarly, although he’s not blogging, he is writing a journal and he spent the day getting it up to date. We did, however, have something to do on Sunday night. My travel agent, Vanitha, had insisted we book for dinner at a restaurant near the hotel called Bocanariz. I thought it was because of the food so, not being a foodie, I wasn’t all that excited. Although during Sunday I finally got around to googling it and discovered it was essentially a ... read more
Mural
The Vineyards
Mural

South America » Chile » O Higgins » Pichilemu November 13th 2018

So our first Chilean road trip did not start off well. About two and a half hours into the drive, as we drove down the main street of a little town called Litueche, the alarm sounded...except well, it wasn't an alarm, it was an "uh oh she's barfing", and it was said very matter of fact, although I can't quite remember who said it, but pretty sure it was Steph's mom who was sandwiched between the two girls car seats in the back. And I turned around and well, I can spare you the growing details (let's just say some people in the car may never look at fishy crackers the same), but my eyes soon confirmed that yes, poor Maelle was barfing. And so we quickly pulled over, got her calmed down and a change ... read more
Infiernillo Beach, Pichilemu
Beach walk to breakfast
My little surfer girl

South America » Chile » O Higgins » Pichilemu March 10th 2018

And so somehow we came to find ourselves in Pichilemu, the surfing capital of Chile, on the Pacific coast. Not the most obvious place for us to be as the last time we had attempted to surf (11 years ago) we had agreed that there was nothing wrong with being unable to do something. One of the many things I love about Pete is his indefatigable optimism. What had been impossible 11 years ago could very likely have become possible in the intervening years, with the additional wisdom and agility gained in the intervening time..... And as I dropped him at surf school and headed out to enjoy the sunshine and the fishing boats, I knew he would be a star.... (Pete; actually I’ve improved immensely from 2 seconds standing up to a full five seconds ... read more
I'm pretty sure this one's Pete....he's doing rather well don't you think?
Returning victorious, my surfer dude hero.....
Pete has really caught the sun.....

South America » Chile » O Higgins » Santa Cruz March 8th 2018

Santa Cruz. We moved on to stay in a very congenial Californian’s apartment for a couple of days in Santa Cruz. He advised us on what to do and how to get there. We booked into Clos Apalta winery for starters (www.closapalta.com) for a tour of the very impressive winery then lunch. Turned out we were the only English speaking tourists so we had a personalised tour guide. Twenty years ago the winery was bought by the French family who invented Grand Marnier about a hundred years previously. They invested a lot in dynamiting out granite hills to build a beautiful structure reflecting the shape of a wine barrel. All of the processes used gravity to transfer the liquids from one stage to the next. To achieve this, the building was 70 meters tall but buried ... read more
The seven tea cups
The falls of the Bride's veil - obvious eh?

South America » Chile » O Higgins » San Fernando March 2nd 2018

After the conquest of Fitzroy we decided to take a leisurely stroll from the estancia into town the next day. The weather had changed and we realised why the books give a very short window of opportunity to visit Patagonia. The window was definitely shutting and the wind was simply ferocious. We had been so lucky with the weather but it was good to be reminded that we are very very small and the forces of nature and God are very very large. As we supped a morning coffee in our favourite cafe in town, the view through the picture windows reminded me of cowboy westerns, vegetation blowing about, people stumbling around, doors banging and breaking etc. We were relieved to have completed all the hillwalking we’d planned. Next day we set off, saying a sad ... read more
We were slightly under-dressed for the rodeo.....

South America » Chile » O Higgins February 14th 2018

So our cattle freighter day finally arrived. Didn't know whetherto wear my full milking maid costume but decided to leave it in my rucksack for later. We had to check in at a very posh Holiday Inn where the doorman took a look at us and wouldn't let us near the lift to the public rooms but ushered us up the stairs to where others in the same state as us were waiting. A mountain of rucksacks and interesting people awaited us. The actual boat was 15 km away so we boarded a bus for our trip to the freighter depot. Our cabin was 506 so 5 flights of steps to carry our stuff. Wonderful boat with about 85 passengers and freight. NO COWS. I thought we should ask for a refund. We will pass down ... read more
How embarrassing not to be able to even scuttle a ship!
Puerto Eden....these properties have large plots and are ready for the right buyer.... (S & R?)

South America » Chile » O Higgins February 26th 2017

De retour au Chili, nous faisons étape à Puerto Natales petite ville de pêcheurs incontournable pour aller se balader dans le parc national Torres del Paine. On en entend de tout à propos de ce parc et surtout des tonnes de conseils sur la façon de le visiter. De notre côté on décide finalement de louer une voiture et on a même la chance de rencontrer Vanessa et Renaud (un couple qui vit en Nouvelle Calédonie. Ça faiiit enviiiiee 😊) avec qui on partagera le véhicule pour nos rando. Première et grosse journée, la météo est top alors on n'hésite pas longtemps pour se décider : aujourd'hui ce sera la Base des Torres! La rando est très sympa, on marche à travers les plaines en longeant une grosse rivière. On s'enfonce dans la vallée avant de ... read more
P.N Torres Del Paine
Las Torres
Salto Grande

South America » Chile » O Higgins » Santa Cruz August 5th 2016

The Colchagua Valley, a 3 hour bus ride south of Santiago, is often visited on a day tour from the capital. Santa Cruz, the principal town, has pretty poor accommodations unless you're willing to splurge, but Peggy and I found a private apartment in town on Airbnb that was suficiente. The town itself was pretty ordinary, especially in the low tourist season (early August). We hired a cab for 30,000 for the day (42 dollars) and visited 3 wineries: Montes (www.monteswines.com/en/) Peggy arranged a wine tour here, and since it was low season and we requested an English tour, it was just the guide and us. The guide looked half our age but was surprisingly knowledgable; his youthfulness translated into being a wine fanatic. Thankfully, he didn't concentrate on the separating of grapes or the process ... read more
Grapevines at Viu Manent
At Estampa Winery
Tasting Room at Montes


PATAGONIA ICEFIELDS 4th February Amalia Glacier5th February PIO XI Glacier After leaving Punta Arenas we sailed out through the Magellan Strait passage towards the Pacific Ocean. After passing the Island Evangelistas we turn into Nelson Strait, then onward through the Sarmiento pass into the Amalia fijord. Both the glaciers in the icefield are part of the largest reserve of fresh water after Antarctica and Arctic. Amalia Glacier, also known as Skua Glacier, is a tidewater glacier located on the edge of the Sarmiento Channel. The glacier originates in the Southern Patagonian Icefield. From 1945 to 1986, its terminus retreated 4.3 miles being, along with the recession of the O'Higgins Glacier, the most dramatic retreat of the glaciers of the mentioned icefield during that period. The glacier partially surrounds Reclus volcano and erodes the northern flank of ... read more
AMALIA 2
AMALIA 3
AMALIA 4

South America » Chile » O Higgins » Pichilemu December 28th 2015

Neither one of us was ever a manager of a hostel before but now we can check that off our list of things to do. Upon arriving at our next workaway experience we were sent a picture from the owner of the hostel, Oliver, with a hand pointing to a key and a message that read I will not be there when you arrive but let yourself in, this is where the key will be. So that's what we did, we let ourselves into the place we would run for the next few weeks, without the real owner anywhere in sight. Our job was simple, clean and wash the sheets after every guest and make sure all the beds were made for any incoming guests. Keep the bathrooms cleaned and make sure the kitchen wasn't a ... read more
Sunset over the pacific
The view from one  Kristine's favorite places to do work.
Morning fog over Punta infernillo...one of the three point breaks in Pichilemu




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