Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chile Argentina memories

Travel Chile/ Argentina

Dec 2008 Santiago, Chile . Very warm city..with parks all along the main street in the center of the entire street! Wonderful weather, too! Saw the textiles and pottery at the Museo Chileno De Arte PreColombino. Saw the castle way up the hill called Cerro Santa Lucia and enjoyed a great view of the city. It had lovely gardens on top. We tried an Karangi but with cheese filling. Santiago had a fountain that was a lot like the Bellagio in Vegas. The main street has parks continuously down the center including this fountain..the only thing missing was the music! Enjoyed meeting fellow passengers at the Welcome dinner .

Santiago City tour. Saw some galleries, and the Presidential Palace. Their current president is a woman who passed a law that gives a pension to housewives at age 60!

Trip to Via Del Mar and Valparaiso
Via Del Mar is a resort town with Casino. Palm trees line the river on both sides.
Valpraiso’s houses are very colorful and on top of steep hills. The early settlers built houses high up on the hill and painted the crimped aluminum different colors so they could identify their home from a distance. Went up a Feniculare for lunch and had a fantastic view of the city. A man and his pregnant wife entertained us with his guitar and sense of humor.

We flew 600 miles south to Puerto Montt and went to the town of Puerto Varas..our hotel room overlooks a huge, beautiful lake. Visited a ranch and saw many horses and their show with Gauchos..their cowboys. They teach the horses to walk sideways for takes them 4 years or more to learn and then a couple of hours a day practice. The horses we saw won 4 microwaves and ribbons for their owners at the last show! It is a sense of pride for the Chilean"cowboys". It is a resort town and has small shops as well. The weather is cooler as it is further south.

Cross the lake into Argentina's took all day with a bus-boat-bus-boat-bus-boat-bus. First we took a bus to Petrohue and then a catamaran on Lake Todos Los Santos, a very green lake.The rides were very scenic as we admired Osorno Volcano. From Puella, rode to Puerto Frias and took a second catamaran and crossed Lake Frias . The bus took us over crushed black lava to Puerto Blest. Our third boat ride was across Lake Huapi, also green in hue and we had a picture perfect day. Arrived in Bariloche, Argentina. We can see 2 volcanoes from our room across the scenic 40 mile Lake Huapi. We could sit by our picture window all day! Went to a Patagonian Ranch where they raise sheep. Also visited an amazing Patagonian Museum where a knowledgeable Mr. Fixit had awesome displays. This small museum was packed with wonderfulinventions.

We went to the top of Campanario hill by chairlift and saw the most breathtaking views of this area..the Andes and all the lakes and fir tree covered islands are so spectacular.....that is by far the highlight of the entire trip! Wow!!!!!! Buenosaires..very hot , with tall buildings and European type architecture. Some buildings were palaces and brought here after being disassembled and reassembled here. Saw a beautiful Cathedral where ordinary folk confessed face to face to the priests. Attended a home hosted meal by a divorced mom of 4. She lived in a very small apartment with her high school age daughter loved everything American. We also saw some filming a movie/Tv show right near our hotel with lots of pink and purple confetti. City tour including impressive La Boca’s colorful buildings, impressive Recoleta cemetery and got Tango lessons! Attended the local antique market and also the craft markets where they create wonderful jewelry with silver and assorted stones, even changing stones on request as you watch them work. An amazing artisan carved a matchstick with an Xacto knife of a couple doing Tango. Parana Delta Tour..interesting how they have so many houses on stilts as their vacation homes. They had grocery stores on boat , a lot like Venice with lush greenery. Our guide, Luis was wonderful and the trip was great!