ChilePosted by Jan Lamers 03 Jan, 2013 01:20:38
We "celebrated" new year in Puerto Tranquilo, a village very nicely situated on the shore of the lago General Carrera. The blue lake is surrounded by snow capped mountains. Because of the low altitude there is a lush vegetation with many colorful flowers like lupine and wild roses. But as the name already suggests nothing much happens in Puerto Tranquilo. Nobody celebrates new year. No party no fireworks. The only noise we heard at twelve o'clock was the sound of a siren that roared for half a minute. After that silence. We wished eachother feliz año nuevo and went to sleep.
ChilePosted by Jan Lamers 03 Jan, 2013 00:50:45
Chaiten is a village at the beginning of the Carretera Austral (the southern road). This road was built during the Pinochet era in order to defend Chile against its neighbour Argentina. The road is mostly unpaved and very scenic. In Chaiten I noticed a lot of uninhabited and run down houses. This is a consequence of the 2008 eruption of a nearby volcano. Its pyroclastic flow destroyed a fair bit of the village. All inhabitants of the village were evacuated for more than a year and from 4200 only 900 have returned. Hence the ghost town feel you get when walking around in Chaiten. You still can see houses filled with mud to the roof.
ChilePosted by Jan Lamers 27 Dec, 2012 23:09:28
We spent Christmas in Pucon in the Chilean lake district. We were looking forward to summer temperatures and long days at the Villarrica lake. Instead it started raining immediately upon our arrival in Pucon. And it didn't stop. We have been indoors for two and a half days. We only got outside to go to a supermarket or to a restaurant. It was only on the third day that I managed to take pictures with a little bit of sunshine. From Pucon we rode down to Puerto Varas. The weather still wasn't all that great but at least it was dry and from Puerto Varas we got a good view of Volcan Osorno.
ChilePosted by Jan Lamers 23 Dec, 2012 16:30:42
From La Serena I slowly made my way down to Santiago, the capital. There I enjoyed the warm sunny weather. I watched the religious freaks on the Plaza de Armas screaming their lungs out in order to convert the masses. I saw a couple of Santa Clauses sweat profusely in their red suites. It is strange to see all the Christmas paraphernalia in a city with an outside temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. Clarena, my friend from Salento, came to visit me and together we had a really wonderful, what she called, luna de miel in Santiago and Viña del Mar. I also met Kevin again in Santiago and together we headed down south on our way to Patagonia.
ChilePosted by Jan Lamers 14 Dec, 2012 01:16:14
After three consecutive days of long hauls I decided to take some R&R at the Chilean coast in La Serena. La Serena is a nice laid back town. The weather is nice and sunny but not too hot. I worked a bit on my bike: set the valves, changed spark plugs, changed the rear tire. In the aftrenoons I took long strolls along the beach. And in the evenings I drank a lot of good Chilean wine. Chile is a rather expensive country but the wine is dirt cheap. I celebrated my birthday in La Serena. I sent an email to myself in which I congratulated myself with my birthday. It's always nice to receive birthday greetings from people that are very close to you. Fortunately I got a lot of mail from family, friends and colleagues as well. This is the first birthday in my life that I celebrated entirely by myself.