Blogs from Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 18th 2022

(Note to reader - strap in, here comes a long one) I feel a bit annoyed with myself that I haven't kept these up, and that my posts have been rarer and rarer as our trip here has gone on. Part of this was COVID, as sh*t, what do you talk about when you're locked in the house (we don't talk about COVID no no). The other part of this is that generally when I have been inspired to write has been pointing out the little humourous differences in life between here and Canada. Like the travel experiences are great, but generally it's like, we went here, and we did this. Like great, anyone can write that. The true gold is the ridiculous day to day situations that I find myself in here, based on a ... read more
Estuario Reloncavi, Ralun
Volcan Osorno, Saltos de Petrohue, Vicente Rosales Parque Nacional
Rafting the Petrohue, Vicente Rosales Parque Nacional

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera March 8th 2022

From Fodor's: The Atacama Desert meets the Pacific Ocean in the Antofagasta region of Northern Chile. Rich in history, the desert-scape is peppered with abandoned nitrate mining towns and active copper mines around the Pan-American Highway. Dramatic cliffs drop to long beaches formed by the Pacific Ocean’s belting waves. Dry and arid winds have resulted in salt basins and lava flows throughout the Atacama Desert, lending it a moon-like landscape. The Valley of the Moon in Los Flamencos National Reserve is an exceptional spread of dunes, rugged mountains, and distinctive formations. At this remote location by the Pacific Ocean, dark skies offer some of the world’s most beautiful and clear star-viewing. I am reposting a funny story from our visit to the Atacama: After a few days on the coast of Chile, we rapidly tired of ... read more
Snow near the desert
Wine tasting in Chile

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 4th 2022

Friday. 03/04022. Santiago. Our main event was a visit to the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights.) It is mainly a museum about the period leading up to the election of the socialist president Salvador Allende, the subsequent coup d’etat by the fascist general Pinochet and the following 17 years of dictatorship. It included information about Truth and Reconciliation Commissions which were established in countries throughout the world, many more than I realized. The experience was moving and troubling but hopeful since Chile managed to return to a democracy. In the afternoon we returned to the Municipal Sculpture Park that is spread along the riverside for a better and longer look at all the art. For dinner we went to the wonderful Restaurant Peumayén Bellavista for their featured ... read more
Memory & Human Rights Museum, Santiago
Memory & Human Rights Museum, Santiago
celebrating the death of the dictator, Pinochet, Memory & Human Rights Museum, Santiago

Thursday. We took a double decker bus to Valparaiso and had front seats upstairs. It was about a 90 minute ride. The landscape was arid with wineries. It was relatively flat at first but got hilly. We went through a long tunnel and crossed low mountains and through an area that had suffered a very recent fire. Near the bus station is the less than beautiful modern Chilean Congress that the dictator Pinochet had built after he came to power. We took a taxi to the Pablo Neruda House on a hill with sweeping views of the old city center and the port. It is one of his three homes. It has five levels of small rooms that are packed with interesting memorabilia and architectural details. After our self-guided audio tour we set out on foot ... read more
en route to Valparaiso, Chile
en route to Valparaiso, Chile
en route to Valparaiso, Chile

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 2nd 2022

Wednesday. The nearest metro station was a 10 minute walk away and we took the subway train the Plaza de Armas, in the center of the old city. The large baroque Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral is there. It has a barrel vaulted ceiling and many beautiful stained glass windows. In the plaza we watched a woman lovingly caress the head of a horse who carried a mounted policeman. In another part of the park I was approached by a prostitute. We visited the nearby Chilean Museum of Pre Columbian Art. The upstairs galleries with the largest number of artifacts was closed due to the pandemic, but there is a basement room with artifacts from all the regions of the country. On the ground level facing an interior courtyard are galleries of donated artifacts on tables, most under ... read more
"To the Indigenous People" sculpture
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago March 1st 2022

Tuesday. Smooth disembarkation from our ship that took us to Antarctica then a bus to the airport. Beautiful day and I had a window seat on the east side of the plane which afforded views of steep snowy mountains, deep valleys, many mountain lakes and towns of the Andes. Santiago. Taxi from the airport to our B&B in the Bella Vista district at the apartment of Christian, our host. The area has a Bohemian atmosphere, low-rise buildings with many many murals, nightclubs, restaurants and an obvious gay presence. It sits at the base of San Cristobal Hill which has a large statue of the Virgin Mary on top, a sculpture that was made in France then shipped to Chile. A funicular runs to the top, but unfortunately it was closed, so we took the bus to ... read more
The Andes Mountains
Virgin Mary
San Cristobal Hill

South America » Chile » Magallanes February 14th 2022

Monday. We sailed from Punto Arenas down to the Beagle Channel with its fjords and Glacier Alley. It was even more spectacular than I remembered from sailing there with Simon, with the mountains, some jagged peaks and glacier after glacier, some high, some reaching down to the water. It was cloudy with occasional patches of blue sky. Nathan and I spent hours on deck, taking photographs and just enjoying the amazing beauty.... read more
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan

So you’d think after three years of living here (Aug 23rd was our three year Chilean anniversario) that I would get it…I would understand how things work, and have adapted my ways to the Chilean way of living, of thinking. Well you know what they say, you can take the Gringo out of Gringolandia, but you can’t take Gringolandia out of the Gringo…wait, is that right? No matter…what I’m trying to say is that, no matter what, there are some things you just don’t adapt to, or change your ways with. For instance, why do all the sushi rolls have cream cheese in them? What’s that about? No one has ever explained that to me and I have not met a single foreigner to whom this makes sense. Why is it when the restaurant makes a ... read more
An actual family picture with everyone looking
What kind of dog is that?
Don't go chasing waterfalls...

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 20th 2021

Interesting about Chile, where Mr. Mike and I did some serious wine tasting a few years back. Chile is the only major wine country in the world where no phylloxera exists. A lethal insect, phylloxera devastated most of the world’s vineyards in the 19th century, after which vines were necessarily grafted onto resistant rootstock. But most of the vines in Chile today remain ungrafted. Phylloxera’s curious absence is not fully understood.More zin than cab?? Cabernet Sauvignon plantings superseded Zinfandel way back in 1998. Today there are 94,854 acres of Cabernet; but just 40,061 acres of Zinfandel. Most of the Cabernet is planted in Napa and San Luis Obispo counties. Most of the Zinfandel is planted in San Joaquin and Sonoma counties. (Winespeed) PS, I am not a big fan of most zinfandel.... read more
Some Chilean carmenere
Try some Lodi wines

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Valle Nevado July 20th 2021

A great person once said "Not all vaccines are created equally"...or at least I think they said that, I'm not sure, but someone probably said it sometime somewhere. As we've moved through this pandemic, it's certainly become clear that not everyone agrees with the sentiment that the best vaccine is the one that is provided to your first, despite the quotes from medical professionals. Case in point is the country in which I am currently residing...that's right, you guessed it, Chile. We've been somewhat fortunate as Chile has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 in vaccines given since they were first approved and available. Even now, I think it's probably at around 80% of eligible people with first dose, and somewhere around 60% with two based on a quick google search. Which gets me ... read more
Yo tambien!
Golden Hour in the Andes
Maelle preparing to shred

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