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San Pedro de Atacama

Puerta de entrada al desierto mas arido del mundo.

Primera impresion: siento que he entrado en un dibujo animado donde Speedy Gonzales, el Correcaminos o el Coyote apareceran en cualquier esquina.

Un sombrero mejicano enorme no me iria mal para crearme sombra y pasar el dia.

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

17 hours bus drive. Perfect timing to re-read some classics

Drove from the chilean coast to the border with Argentina through Valle del Elqui.
Tall cactus and giagantic dried mountains were our only friends for most of the way.
At night we spent some hours looking at the Southern stars through huge telescopes in Vicuna (famous worldwide for its astronomical observatories  due to the the region’s exceptional atmospheric conditions and clear skies)

Drove from the chilean coast to the border with Argentina through Valle del Elqui.

Tall cactus and giagantic dried mountains were our only friends for most of the way.

At night we spent some hours looking at the Southern stars through huge telescopes in Vicuna (famous worldwide for its astronomical observatories  due to the the region’s exceptional atmospheric conditions and clear skies)

Valparaiso. Ups and downs and life inside a graffiti

Valparaiso. Ups and downs and life inside a graffiti

Santiago

Art Galleries, metro, real coffee, white wine and a pool that comes with a Dutch community.

Loving the city break on the way north

Fin de semana en la Toscana

No era fin de semana, ni era la Toscana, pero lo parecia.

Nos enteramos de la existencia de Capitan Pastene por casualidad, como cualquier buena historia. Leimos en una revista que en este pueblo de 2000 habitantes todavia se cocinaba como lo hicieron los colonos italianos hace 100 anyos.

Y es verdad, solo tiene 3 restaurantes, pero me hubiese metido en un bucle infinito para desayunar, comer y cenar todos los dias en ellos.

On our way to Crater Navidad

On our way to Crater Navidad

Craters, Brazilians and Randomness

We decided to leave Pucon (aka Lloret de Mar) and head for the offbeaten track to Curacautin where, apparently, we could see some moon landscape and hike Crater Navidad.

We tried.

No bus to drive us to the National Park, so we were dropped by the local bus on a close point on the road. So we started walking, at some point I was thinking…trekking, again? Torres del Paine was fine but 3 times in a row no way, I should have stay in the hostel, it s gonna be the same landscape

Luckily, after half an hour walking on the road, the landscape and our good luck changed.  A car stopped and would take us to the base of the volcano were we could actually start hicking.

However, we forgot about the hike, the couple happened to be Brazilian, age of our parents and just adorable. We stayed in the car driving very slowly to be able to stop and see all the volcanic rocks, and chatting and chatting the 4 of us agreed on spending the rest of the day together.

More than 20 years ago Luisa, with a handmade backpack, and a lot of patience with public transport (including train! which in Sout America is a challenge) had been travelling around Sout Ameria as well.

Paulo told us about his adventures in Antartica and Galapagos Islands where he used to go for “work”. As I was talking to him I was sure that I chose the wrong university…should have studied engineering or chemistry.

That’s for me the most beautiful thing on travelling randomly; the complete strangers you meet on the way and treat as if you knew them for a long time.

Priceless. We promised to send them a postcard if we reach Alaska :)

El pajaro loco!

Villarica Volcano: it is actual smoke, not only clouds.

Villarica Volcano: it is actual smoke, not only clouds.

Rastreando los pasos de Maria en “La Ultima Frontera” (Valdivia, ciudad universitaria)

Rastreando los pasos de Maria en “La Ultima Frontera” (Valdivia, ciudad universitaria)

After the conversation with the waiter, it took us 48 hours and 7 car hitch hicking to arrive to Chaiten. It could have been done easily in 6 hours in normal situation.

As we were gettting closer it became like the promised land, so much I had to say “a chaiten?”

When we finally reached the town, everybody in the car went silent, mesmerized by the sight we had.

And that s what we saw.

A year and 9 months since the volcano erupted and still no efforts on removing the ashes. I couldn t believe my eyes.

What touched me was not to seeing a ghost town, but seeing how few families would stick to their hometown despite the tragedy. With no water or electricity, only the bitterness of being forgotten.

Elecciones Chilenas y comentarios de una abuela

  • (Viendo los resultados de las elecciones con la television de fondo, salen imagenes de Pinochet)
  • Tia Lety: Ai, mi Pinochet querido, tan lindo.
  • (hacia a mi a modo descriptivo)
  • Tia Lety: El nos puso la carretera, nos vino a ver, aqui a la La Junta
  • Me: ah si?
  • Tia Lety: Siii, y la escuela, esa de ahi! tan lindo, murio, pobrecito.
  • (se gira y sorbiendo mate me pregunta)
  • Tia Lety: ustedes tienen ese problema en Europa?
  • me: el que?
  • Tia Lety: socialismo
  • No supe que responder

Road Trip to a Ghost Town

  • me: queremos ir a chaiten, sabes como podemos llegar?
  • camarera: chaiten no existe, no hay nadie ni nada que hacer alli
  • me: ah no?
  • camarera: no, el volcan se lo llevo todo hace un anyo
  • me: ah, por eso no hay buses?
  • camarera: claro
  • me: y el puerto, funciona? queriamos coger un barco alli
  • camarera: no lo se, pero informaos bien antes de ir
  • (decidimos, por si acosa cenar bien esa noche)

Driving north on route 40 I keep wondering…how come there are glaciers within one hour drive from desserted landscapes?

Should have payed more attention in natural science class

San Pedro de Atacama
"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta"
Santiago
Craters, Brazilians and Randomness
Elecciones Chilenas y comentarios de una abuela
Road Trip to a Ghost Town

About:

Sometimes good luck is at your side.

On a classic rainy irish afternoon I played an online game with Air France. I didn't even realise that you could win a prize.

A month after I received an email saying I was the lucky winner: the prize, two return tickets anywhere I wanted in the world.

So we quit our jobs, and free as a bird, we decided to go tho the middle of nowhere: island hopping in the Pacific and from there to the very south of Chile all the way up to Alaska on the American Pacific coast.

As for the return ticket, we are only using it one way. We'll find our way home in some month

Check my other tumblr for a summary of pictures:

pacificlandscapes.tumblr.com

And if you want to follow us on Youtube:

www.youtube.com/travellari

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