Draining the peaks of Parque Nacional Villarrica, the Rio Trancuro gains water and speed, as it rushes toward Lake Villarrica. For locals and vacationers, the river becomes a whitewater playground. We found a campsite right on the bank where we could watch rafters start their journey down the lower part, or finish their journey from the upper more turbulent water.
This southern part of Chile, north of Patagonia, has 3 regions or districts. Los Ríos, Lakes District and Araucania. Covered with thick ancient forests, snow capped volcanoes, countless rivers and large pristine lakes, these regions offer a hiking and camping paradise with adventure opportunities galore.
We had a great time travelling with Brett. He is enamoured with anything that moves, like birds or lizards, and most things that grow. Trees, flowers or cacti. He loves food and volcanos. His list of “want to see” was “everything”.
We hoped our son Brett could meet us in January for a week or so. But our plans kept changing. For awhile, we discussed meeting in Quito and going to the Galapagos. But the logistics of timing return flights to Quito, from 2 different countries, and then on to the Galapagos islands made planning difficult. It was easier for us if he flew to Santiago. Except the riots were still ongoing. Then the arson that destroyed many homes in Valparaíso. We listened to the news, and spent hours on google. After a lot of discussion we decided on meeting him at the Santiago airport. Coming from the north we could get to the airport without having to go very far into the City.
Dash in, pick him up, and dash out. Continue reading “The Northern Coast of Chile with a Visitor”
In the end, we had a large group for Christmas dinner. Over 30 campers from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Britain, NZ and us from Canada. We made at least 60 meat and vegetables kabobs, grilled over charcoal along with steak and Mediterranean rubbed chicken. All kinds of salads and deserts including a NZ trifle. Later, the Swiss family grilled whole bananas filled with chocolate. Eaten with a spoon right out of the skin. Delicious!
Continue reading “New Years in Chile”
Where can you see flamingos standing in a red sea, herds of llama grazing on green grass, ostriches running along dusty plains, and an armadillo crossing the road, all in the same place? On the Lagunas Route in Bolivia, that’s where.
Leaving San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, we rode in a tourist van for an hour on good tarmac, arriving at the barren border crossing of Hito Cajones, an altitude of 4700 meters. There the tarmac ended. Continue reading “From Chile to the Uyuni Salar in Bolivia”
San Pedro de Atacama is a village in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. A popular tourist destination for trekking, astronomy and exploring the natural landscapes, the population is around 5,000. Taupe brown adobe walls line dirt streets. The plaza is a hub for artisans, restaurants and of course, the church.
We parked at a hostel campground, and went out to explore. Sitting at the square, we heard a brass band. Down the street came two marching bands. In front of them was a troupe of dancers dressed in traditional clothing, dancing their way out of the adobe church and around the square. The detail in the weaving and beading was incredible. Continue reading “San Pedro de Atacama, Chile”
Before crossing into Chile, we decided to stay in Tacna, a small city in Peru, close to the border. We booked into the Hotel Royal for two nights. The parking in the lot at the back was a tight squeeze. A young man named Felix, smartly dressed in white shirt and black pants, came out to help us with our bags. We literally walked through the middle of men working on a new addition, past piles of gravel, crossed over mud on a thin plank, through thick dust, past mounds of red bricks, and into a beautiful little hotel. There was one window in our room. It was in the shower. Open to the shower in the next room. High up so you could not see, but you could hear all the bathroom noises from next door. Weird. Price $46 Cdn, breakfast included. Continue reading “Peru to Chile”
There are two routes away from the Colca Canyon. One was back the way we arrived and the other was to continue west on 109, then loop east to get to Arequipa. We had all day to get to the city, and a distance of 260 km. So we decided to continue west and see some new road. Bad choice. Continue reading “Arequipa and the South Coast, Peru”
If you google the top 10 things to do in Peru, a visit to Colca Canyon is most likely on the list. At a depth of 3,270 meters (10,730 ft), it is the second deepest canyon in the world. Deeper than the Grand Canyon. Equally impressive is that the Andean Condor can be spotted soaring over this canyon. We had to visit! Continue reading “Trekking in the Colca Canyon, Peru”