Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Central Chile to Vicuña

As we continued north, we made a large detour around Santiago, and started to zigzag our way toward Vicuña, where we have good friends, and where we are now.
Salto de Laja, Chile

On the way, we passed through interesting places, some big and most small. The names of the more easily pronounceable ones are, for example, San Nicolas, Los Andes, El Tártaro, Cabildo, Totoralillo, Illapel, Combarbalá, Monte Patria, and Andacollo.
Central Chile
San Nicolas, Chile — Pacific Coast

Our overnight spots varied from big noisy truck stops along the Panamericana (where we washed all our laundry for under a dollar) to the remote and silent Reserva Nacional de las Chinchillas (where we were the only campers and locked in for the night); by the way: who remembers the Chinchilla?
rural Chile
From/von/desde Chillan to the coast/zur Küste/a la costa
Chilean landscape
Very often, Chile's coast is under a dense marine layer of clouds. This layer may extend inward for 10 miles going upstream along river valleys. There may be light drizzle on the  coast, while there is sunshine and blue sky a little ways inland.
Constitución, Chile
Constitución, Chile
South of Santiago, the climate becomes dryer and warmer, and vineyards start to appear. From here north to the southern edge of the Atacama Desert is Chile's famous wine country. Where ever people irrigate, wine grows.
One also encounters the occasional mine. But vast stretches of this increasingly dry and rocky area remain wild and undeveloped. Only important roads are paved, most rural ones are narrow and graveled.
Iloca, Chile
Now, we'll be here in Vicuña for a while, specifically at our friends' Terral Hotel. We had planned to cross over the Andes to Argentina for a bit, but the nearby passes closed prematurely this year due to snow; well, they're almost 16,000 feet high and feature single-lane gravel roads.
Vichuquen, Chile
The witch and her menu/Hexe und Speisekarte/La bruja y su menú

At Terral Hotel, we again have a "job" in exchange for free parking. We're in charge of improving English proficiency of hotel staff, among a few other things. The hotel owners, Rene and Karen, also are overlanders, and I have been helping them with small details getting their big expedition vehicle ready for their next journey starting right about now.
Copao catcus, Pomaire
Tuna = Cactus fruit/Kaktusfrucht/fruto del cactus/Pomaire, clay crafts/Ton Handwerk/artesanía de arcilla
desert in Chile
Transitioning to desert/allmählich wird's Wüste/Transición al desierto
In early May, I'll be flying to Germany to visit my good old Dad. Marcela will stay here at the hotel as a volunteer. After my return in mid-June, we will continue our travel with the sun in our laps.
Central Chile
Roadside sculture/Kunst am Straßenrand/Escultura en carretera
products for sale
Local products for sale/Lokalprodukte zu verkaufen/Productos locales para la venta
 Dieter received a flurry of emails for his birthday. We were very happy to hear from  people who we have not seen in many years. Thank you all for your good wishes.

Andes central Chile
Andes Central Chile

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