September 07, 2010

Chile refresher course

We just dropped Dana off at college. She'll study International Affairs, and her Latin American studies professor is Chilean. Dana might be the only student in the class who's been to Chile. (I really shouldn't assume that: at her orientation she met an impressive, well-traveled group of incoming International Affairs majors and formed a bond with, for example, a Bulgarian girl who speaks five languages. Collectively, I bet the group's been around the world more than a few times.)

I gave Dana my journal from our Argentina-Chile-Brazil trip of a few years back to help refresh her memory about her professor's homeland and am posting here some photos for Dana -- and you -- to enjoy.

I found Santiago a dark, heavy city of limited charm, but the rest of the country is bold, brawny and beautiful. Chile's scenery is, of course, not what's putting it in the news these days. Thoughts and prayers are with the 33 trapped copper miners gathered in a small, dark refuge under the earth, awaiting rescue that will likely not come until year's end. May they find the physical, emotional and mental strength they will need to endure their ordeal. The most recent news is positive: the miners have hot food, music, clean clothes and personal grooming items, and they sent a video to the surface in which they're smiling, clean-shaven and in good spirits.

I'll go light on the captions and narrative in this post, as my main aim here is to jumpstart Dana's recall so she can converse with her professor. If you'd like to find out more about the places in the photos, or about the Cruce de Lagos, a spectacular multi-lake, multi-vessel, Patagonian border crossing between Chile and Argentina, I've provided links to explore.

Places in the photos below:

Photos 1,2 and 3: Valparaiso on the Pacific, showing the port; ascensores plying the city's high hills; and typical, brightly-painted wooden architecture

Photos 4, 5 and 6: Santiago butcher and market

Photos 7 through 15: Chilean scenes from our Cruce de Lagos Patagonian trans-border excursion from Bariloche, Argentina to Puerto Varas, Chile, including Petrohue, Peulla, Lago Todos Los Santos, the Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales and Puerto Varas at night.