3.05.2008

Back In The Land of Earplugs

I have been spoiled for the last couple of weeks. Mr. L came to visit and he splurged on a few places that were a lot nicer than the ones I have been staying in. Also, I finally used up some of my Sheraton points and splurged for a five star treat in Santiago for a few nights.

In a nutshell, the past few weeks...

1. Valdivia, CH - College town, near a river, famous for its fish market....we only spent a day here before going back to the lake district.

2. Pucon, CH - Lake town, with many National parks, Lakes and Volcanos. We hiked Vocan Villarica, which is about 3000 Meters of steep climb, complete with dust and smoke. It was not a very difficult climb, but it was hot and I did not have enough water and it felt like I was smoking a few packs of cigarettes while hiking up a dusty mountain. We also spent some time at the lake, which was packed with Chileños and their niños and people trying to rent you quitasoles (umbrellas) but was still a refreshing treat.

3. Mendoza, AR - A little unexpected side trip - a sample of the outdoor cafe life, a little bit of wine and lots of relaxing days spent drinking coffee and chilling in the shade. Mendoza is the main wine region of Argentina, known in the US mostly for its Malbec, I believe. There are many others, of course, and try as we may, we did not have time to sample them all.

4. Viña del Mar - Beach town on the W Coast of Chile, this is actually part of the outskirts of Valparaiso, CH. It was nice, very much like Santa Cruz, a little bit foggy in the AM and then around 3, the fog blows off, leaving a very nice day behind. The beaches were packed, the seafood here was delicious, the houses on the hill were very quaint and precariously perched.

5. Easter Island, CH - Oh the heads!! I am so glad that I went here. It is very far out of the way; it was a 5 hour flight each way, but it was totally worth it. The history here is so interesting and captivating. Maybe I can summarize a little. There were two tribes, the long ears and the short ears. Both of them made these statues of the heads, called Moai. They went to war, and many of the heads were tipped over (and still are). However, some have been put back upright, so we can enjoy them. They were huge! Some of them have hats and the hats alone are as tall as me. It was great! This is a beatiful polynesian island which would be great all on its own, but with the history included it was a ten!

6. Santiago, CH - A couple relaxing days spent by the pool at the Sheraton was exactly what we needed after so much moving around. Here I met back up with Chris and we got back on the move again.

So, now I am back in the land of earplugs, cheap hostels, noise and PB&J sandwiches!!! More news later and pictures to boot!

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