A dream I have had for a long time now is finally going to come true. From the time I worked in Chile in the late 70’s, I have wanted to go back as a tourist. We have just decided to take a 3-week trip in late February to this southern place which will be celebrating summer while we shovel snow back here.
Of all the many countries to which I traveled giving technical assistance, Chile is still my favorite. It reminded me of Norway and of Europe in general. The Spanish was more understandable than the clipped fast Spanish of the Caribbean. The people were warm and hospitable. From Santiago I traveled to beautiful places on the weekends.
We will start in Santiago, getting acclimated to the warmth and the good wine and the language. From there we will fly 500 kilometers south to the lake country, where we will stay at a small hosteria in Villarica on the lake at the foot of a volcano.
We will continue south by (rented) car to Puerto Montt, where we will take a 6-day boat trip that features islands and glaciers. This will be the farthest south either of us has ever traveled.
From Puerto Montt we will fly to the far north to Calama to visit the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the face of the earth. It is not unusual for the temperature to reach 100 degrees F. during the day and dip down to 30 degrees F. at night. My first real desert adventure.
We will fly back to Santiago to spend our last night in Valparaiso, a quaint little town right on the Pacific coast, known for its seafood and charm.
We have most of the reservations made at this point, including using a bunch of frequent flyer miles. We must still deal with Jake-care and I would like to reclaim my knowledge of Spanish before we leave.
It is exciting to have a trip on the horizon, not even a very distant horizon.