We have been in Chile for two weeks now and have not seen as much of the country as we would have hoped but what we have seen has been very nice. We started in the far north in a dry and dusty town called Arica. From there to get to Santiago we cheated and flew as neither of us could face the 30 hour bus journey!
We only spent one night in Santiago wandering around Barrio Brasil where our hostal was and from there exploring a little bit into the main centre. It seemed like an alright city but not being particularly city people we had planned to move on the next day.
We took a night bus to Pucon, which is a small town on the edge of the Chilean Lake District and overlooked by the active volcano Villarica, which is quite an impressive sight. It was so nice to get into the countryside and see some greenery at last – it reminded us of England in the autumn! The hostal which we stayed at was also really nice. We had our own little log cabin in the gardens and they had a fantastic communal kitchen with a log burning stove.
When we arrived it was a lovely sunny day so we decided to make the most of it by going horse riding as we were told that it normally rains a lot. It was great fun but I think that I enjoyed it more than David who kept calling his horse dogfood. The countryside was stunning and we got to go really fast. The next day as predicted it rained, but we went and explored an old lava tunnel anyway and got very wet up on the side of the volcano.
We stayed a further two nights and then moved on to Valparaiso a city 80 miles north of Santiago where we have seen a pickled two-headed baby in the Natural History Museum which was a bit gross. Other than that we have been walking up and down a lot of very steep streets and recovering with some of the local red wine. We even found a restaurant for lunch where David finally had the curry he has been missing for the past four months.
So it´s off back to Santiago for a night tomorrow before our flight on Saturday to New Zealand. Can´t wait to get there even though we don´t feel like we have spent quite long enough in South America. Might have to come back one day and see the bits we missed!
Sian (and David) xxx