Blogs from Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Vitacura August 24th 2020

So I started writing an entry a few weeks ago, as I really feel this whole COVID situation deserves an entry, but I think I was in a dark place, so when I reread it after writing about 1,000 words I decided that you know, it wasn't really in the spirit of what I had been writing in here...not to say I'm in a "bright" place right now (well it is very sunny outside), but it's less dark, and maybe this will be a bit on the lighter side. Well really, there's not a lot to say on the travel side since my last entry...mainly just travel cancellations...we did get squirrely after spending about 3.5 straight months in the house in a government mandated quarantine (minus a few days in April), and traveled back to Canada ... read more
Bizarro COVID Travel
Lake Louise

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera August 1st 2020

I can't say I have been to many remote places in the world. They may have seemed remote, like the Atacama, Siberia, or the Arctic Circle. But check this out! Looking to really get off the grid? Welcome to Point Nemo, which gives a whole new meaning to the term “middle of nowhere.” Officially known as the “the oceanic pole of inaccessibility,” Point Nemo is the oceanic point that is the farthest from any shore — you may actually be closer to astronauts in the International Space Station than you are to any human on Earth. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Point Nemo got its name from the Latin word for “no one,” as well as the fictional sailor from “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” When drifting at Point Nemo, you are surrounded by well ... read more
The Atacama

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera May 30th 2020

Have you ever visited one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world, the Atacama in Chile? Well, on the long drive through the "Thin Country", we spent a few days in the Atacama before heading south. They say some parts of the desert have not seen rain for over a hundred years. As I recall, Mr. Mike and I were there during the early spring. The nearest town, San Pedro was a cold and windy frontier town, on the edge of the Atacama. But on the few occasions it rains, the desert transforms into a beautiful cascade of wildflowers. NASA uses the Atacama to mimic Mars. The Valle de Marte resembles the red planet. The unique colors have also provided landscapes for Hollywood movies. The desert is also ideal for stargazing, with cool, clear ... read more
Breakfast at Tatio
Tatio geysers

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Vitacura May 14th 2020

If you haven’t heard, or maybe self-isolation is a familiar term and you are living like the Unabomber in a cabin in Montana, there has been a little virus going around that has completely shut everything down. I myself, have already spent 20 days of government imposed quarantine on our community in Santiago, and then emerged to freedom for several weeks (freedom light I guess), and then saw my shadow (Santiago Steve), so we head back into quarantine this Friday. It was a nice run of freedom (we even got to go get coffee once), and whether this quarantine lasts another week or another month, who knows. Chile like everywhere else in the world has been under various forms of quarantine, and at the moment we are heading in to our elenventy-ith week of working from ... read more
More Mascarilla Time!
Fire time!
Talk to the animals

South America » Chile » Araucanía » Pucón March 26th 2020

On the rare occasion you must visit the grocery store, I have a great idea to break the boredom at home. Venture over to the well stocked wine section of your store. Nobody is there, six feet social distancing is not a problem! Instead of buying your usual red or white wine, try this: step over to a section of a country you have not tried before. Some choices I would recommend: Chile, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and France. But you might ask why? I say give it a try and do a little research. Be your own sommelier. How many times have I discovered a new wine by chatting with the wine steward, or another diner? Maybe try something sweeter or drier than your normal choice. Or my favorite, a sparkling wine! ... read more
Lots of choices
Wine and duct tape

South America » Chile March 23rd 2020

Sunday 15 March – Punta Arenas harbour We woke at 6.45am in order to be ready for cruising glacier alley at 7.30am, where it was planned that we’d pass 5 glaciers before 9am. I opened the curtains, saw a plethora of lights on the shore and my first thought was “Glacier Alley is a lot more populated than I expected.” At this point, my hubby used a couple of choice swear words as he read out a statement that had been popped under our door during the night. It said “ As we were sailing down to Glacier Alley late last night, we were informed that Chile would be following Argentina in closing its ports at 8am due to Covid. We decided to turn the ship around and we anchored in Punta Arenas harbour at 2.30am ... read more
Sarmiento Channel, Chilean Fjords
Torres del Paine NP in the background
60mph cross winds

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 15th 2020

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Santiago, Chile. Most of our small group arrived on Friday morning, looking forward to a lovely trip through four countries in South America, and for me, another chance to escape some of the winter's colorless cold in Maine. Our group numbers only ten intrepid travellers; eight had already cancelled for fears of the coronavirus or of the unknown. As it turned out, they were the smart ones. I hardly expected this trip to go forward because of all the shutdowns, but after calling Vantage and the airline multiple times (including on the morning I left home), I was repeatedly told that there were no problems in South America. So I travelled most of the day Thursday, and after arriving on Friday morning we met our Vantage leader, Nadia, and ... read more

South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Zapallar March 6th 2020

It’s summer in Chile, and that means Santiago drains of people and everyone heads off for summer vacation. Traffic is lighter and the city is quiet. Everyday is sunny and 30-35, every Sunday includes an afternoon BBQ at your friend’s (including lots of wine) and really, my favourite, most evenings include sitting out on our terrazza and enjoying the beautiful Santiago summer nights. This also means that the protestors, politicians and maybe police have all gone on vacation too, as despite the ongoing turmoil in the country, there has been relatively little protesting going on, except for the usual Friday night shenanigans in Plaza Italia/Dignidad that have been ongoing since the social crisis started in October. It is however, still on everyone’s mind, as right now there is a lot of anticipation for the return to ... read more
Christmas in Zapallar
Feliz Navidad...
Preparing for a different kind of Christmas Eve Dinner

South America » Chile » Santiago Region March 2nd 2020

Saturday 22nd February 2020 Another sea day and we didn’t get to Magellan Straights until mid afternoon. Bitterly cold wind, even though the sun was out - it was Chile!! Lol. The straights narrow to a gap about a mile wide which we reached about 7.30pm – we saw a few Comison dolphins but otherwise very quiet! Sea wise!! Sunday 23rd February 2020 I hope the penguins appreciated the effort (and cost – $310!!) to see them!! I somehow doubt it!! Up at 6.00 am to meet in the Theatre for our Cunard trip at 7.45am. Onto the tender, then onto the coach and along to our transport to Magdelena Island that was declared a national monument in 1982 and had a pinguinera (penguin colony!!) Transport left a lot to be desired!! It was an old ... read more
Our Ferry Boat
Sei Whale on Magellan Straights
Bad selfie with Amalia Glacier

South America » Chile » Araucanía » Pucón January 20th 2020

I think there is probably a general feeling, because I misunderstood this before I came down here, that the working culture in South America is let’s say, a bit more casual…more days off, less hours, etc. This is a misconception as I quickly discovered by a quick search of Chilean work culture before I came down here (uh-oh, spaghetti-o!). Workweeks are actually a standard 45 hours, and the standard hours in the office 8 to 6 every day. Time-off is generally pretty limited, with standard contracts having three weeks, with very little flexibility to negotiate further (although I did, heh-heh)…I should mention that Steph is on an expat contract, while little ol’ me, well I’m on a Chilean contract, so I am part of the system – Pension (AFP), Health (Isapre), time-off, etc, and also a ... read more
Hiding from the Hail
Salto La China
Zoe Falls?

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