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

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Supposed to dock at 5.30a.m. but ended up getting the ship on port around 8.00a.m., broken crane had to be removed/repaired - docked in working port - bused to port terminal around 2 miles. Been here around 2006 when we went to Santiago the first time. Very cute place - with all the unique houses scaling the surrounding hills, from the ship you can see numerous fununculars. Teamed up with 5 other couples, three from the world cruise 2012, and off we headed for a fun day. Very lucky we are with Carlos - Spanish/Chinese decent - living in San Fran - knows the lingo - so caught the local bus up to the plaza - first stop a pharmacy so people could stock up on prescription drugs etc - then took a walk through the ... read more
MANY, MANY MURALS
SO MANY CUTE RESTAURANTS AND BARS
WALKING UP ONE OF THE HILLS

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar December 5th 2014

We have all arrived here in Vina del Mar, here is a catch up from Chaitan. Leaving Chaiten, we got an early morning ferry ride to the island of Chiloe, where we slept overnight at Castro. Leaving Castro the next day we continued north to Chacao where we caught another ferry to the mainland and Puerto Montt, then onto Valdivia on the coast. We made a detour to visit a New Zealand owned farm called 'Manuka' it is now the biggest dairy farm here in Chile. Both Jack and David had connections here and we were invited for lunch and a tour of the farm, this was enjoyed by the farmers and non farmers alike. After the farm tour we headed out to the coast for the night at Valdivia. This morning Cristian left us and ... read more
All aboard
Paul and Melean
The visit to 'Manuka'

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar September 28th 2014

Here we go again! All the motos are on their way to Valparaiso for our Patagonia Expedition - we fly in at the end of October for more South American adventure. We have a great team ready to ride with us from Chile, over the Andes into Central Argentina before exploring the fascinating terrain of Argentina Patagonia on our way to Ushuaia. With only four weeks to go before we fly out to Chile to rendezvous with our motos we shipped to Valparaiso a couple of weeks ago, the excitement is mounting amongst our small group of adventurers. Joining us on this Patagonia Expedition we have four riders that have been with us to the High Andes a couple of years ago - Tiny and Rippa Campbell from down the Naki, both riding their KTM's and ... read more
Sorting stuff for shipping
Tiny and Robyn
Rippa and David

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar September 24th 2014

Eduardo presented about all things marine this morning, from Chile’s maritime sea claim to Easter Island to fishing life in the archipelago. He reviewed the key points about the various disputes with Argentina and Bolivia without getting too serious. His knowledge of fish was limited. We got on the bus for what I expected to be a fairly routine city tour. Quite fun actually. We were soon off the bus, wandering through the gardens of a hacienda that once belonged to the father-in-law and subsequently the daughter of the founder of Viña del Mar, Jose Francisco Vergara. His daughter had a fraught life and the family all died out. The hacienda became the property of the municipality. This is a remarkable common story in Chile, supplying the municipalities with some beautiful buildings for museums, libraries and ... read more
Eduardo Gato Alquinta
Congrio for lunch
Carriage

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar September 10th 2014

At 5:45 p.m. we are on the bus, rushing along a major highway, having spent a long afternoon at an alpaca farm. At Quintessence we learned to identify alpacas by their topknot that looks like a bad hairpiece. A few llamas were there also – almost twice the height and stiff necked. Over twenty years the owner (who wasn’t there) has been breeding her animals to purer but still natural shades. When we arrived the animals were in pens, curious about the commotion and peering at us as we took pictures of them. Then one of the workers let some out into a grassy yard. They ran out in obvious delight, some jumping and gambolling. Others had a good roll in dusty patches. Most of all, they pecked the fresh grass. One liked to zoom repeatedly ... read more
Quintessence shop
Picking wine grapes
Dream realized!


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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