Chile

The Final Week in Chile

Before we left Chile, there was one final thing we wanted to do - Go and see the penguins! And who better to do this with, than our new-found chums from the Torres del Paine trek.

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Patagonian Alphabet

“Are you doing the W or the O?” we were constantly asked on our way down through Chile. We knew we wanted to do some hiking in Patagonia, but this trekking alphabet was new to us. Before much longer, the Q came into question as well. It was time for us to set our route – and a visit to the free talk at Erratic Rock was just the medicine we needed.

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When it all started turning German

There were hints of Germanness in the north of Chile, where we spotted the “Bavaria Restaurant” and “Alemania Optician”. Then we spied Nestlé's rather pricey “Sahne Nuss” chocolate in the supermarket – which got us wondering.

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Becoming Our Own Porters

In Peru, we had porters (Machu Picchu - Der Weg ist das Ziel), but in Chile, we decided to try it out ourselves.

For years my father-in-law has undertaken his annual “Hüttenwanderungen” (multi-day hut-to-hut treks) in the Alps and encouraged us to come along. However, we had always shied away at the thought of carrying more luggage than a day pack. Somehow, in Chile, we dived right in at the deep end, and armed with tent, sleeping equipment, cooking pots, and 5 days' worth of food, we set off on our first multi-day trek carrying all our own luggage. And in the process…

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Chomping Our Way Through Chile

Chilean food is oooh-so-tasty, but hardly good for the waistline – as we well and truly discovered. With gargantuan portions and plenty of cheese and sugar, we had to ration those meals out...although you wouldn't think it from this little lot ;-)

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Why You Shouldn't Skip Santiago

Many people say you can leave Santiago out of your travel itinerary. Chile's capital doesn't rank highly in the reputation stakes, but we are no strangers to getting acquainted with places with bad reputations (remember Mannheim?), so as it was conveniently located between our destinations of Mendoza and Valparaiso, we popped in, gave it a chance, and were pleasantly surprised...

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Star-Struck in the Atacama Desert

With the clear skies of the Atacama desert on our doorstep, we weren't go to miss out on a spot of star-gazing fun. First stop was the SPACEObs tour just outside San Pedro de Atacama, but we ventured further afield to get up close to the “very large” telescopes of Paranal.

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The Quiet Before the Storm

On January 7, 2015, when we set out to climb Vulcan Villarica, it looked like the above. It's hard to believe the pictures that are now in the media:http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-31726286Looks like we were there just in time.

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What We've Been Up To in Chile

We've been busy seeing Chile, folks. We hit San Pedro de Atacama at the end of our Bolivian salt-flats tour on December 6, and have been discovering just how incredibly diverse and long the country is (there's over 4,000km of it!). So, to update you a bit, here's a taste of our Chilean shenanigans. Oh, and by the way, if you haven't discovered it yet, you can keep track of our more detailed route under "Where We Are" at the top of our page :-)

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Not Quite the Same Procedure as Every Year

Many of our friends familiar with German culture will know the short 18 minute black and white sketch that is aired every new year called “Dinner for One”. You'd probably be hard pressed to find a German who doesn't know the phrase made famous in the sketch - “same procedure as every year”.

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Fourth Week of Advent...

...in colourful, charismatic Valparaíso.

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A Birthday in the Sun

There was proper coffee at the German-run hostel in La Serena, Chile, flowers on the table, Google hangouts with the family, a stroll along the beach, a saunter through the Japanese garden, lemon pie from the hostel, jewellery from the hubby, crab swimming in cheese (pastel de jaiba) for dinner, a glass or two (or maybe more) of Chilean Carmenere (a red wine originating from Bordeaux but now rarely found in France), and best of all – it was my first birthday in the summer sun.

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Third Week of Advent...

...in Chile. Where will we be for Christmas? Place your bets now, please ;-)

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