Sunday, November 29, 2009

FOOD in Chile


The food in Chile is off the rictor - incredible!!! every meal is also big enough to feed an entire family! and theree are so many fish markets and local sea food! we arrived in Chiloe at dinner time...all starving!!! So we went into a cheap looking restaurant and ordered ´Curantos´....we had absolutely no idea what we were ordering...and should have picked up on the hint when the waitor told us to move to a bigger table....because the BIGGEST DISHES we have ever seen came out.....mountains of shellfish, pork, sausages, chicken, potatoes, bread, and some other strange things!!! Goodbye to the vegetarians you probably once knew!!! It was do delicious!!! and I took on the dare and won the competition of who could eat their whole meal!!! hell yeah!!! I probably wont need to eat again for another 7 months!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ramblin´ol ´thoughts

Siesta time on sunday in Ancud (chiloe)

Hanging on the edge: View from our camp site in Ancud (chiloe)

Bohemian amazed by Caitlin´s jewellry in Pueto Montt

Crusing on the Lago Todos Los Santos under the glance of Volcan Osorno, Petrohue

Sunset at Ensenada

Hitching a ride down the mountain after 16km of walking, Ensenada

Beautiful tegan in the flowers hah!


I´ve realised the importance of language. Without it you cannot communicate your feelings, your desires, or your intentions in their entirety. Spanish. Speaking. Understanding. Translating my thoughts from one tongue to another.

Chile. Gobsmacked by the beauty of the southern landscapes. And i shout at the sky or the wind at least three time a day, ¨i love Chile¨or more generally ¨i love living¨. Standing on the shores of lake Llanquique in the blistering wind, with the dying sun, casting pink shadows all around, i realised just how good travelling is for the soul. No plans or schedules or obligations or possessions. No heavy weights of western living that distract us from what really makes us happy. We were just murmurs under the powerful presence of the volcanoes. It was humbling.

The first week has been dynamic. Crazy times of belly aching laughter mixed with beautiful isolation. Trying chilean dishes, practicing spanish, following our feet in all directions. Cuatro locas gringas. Camping in a tent near the shores of a thunderous lake, almost at antarctica. Huddling like slugs in our sleeping bags to stay warm. Days are long. Sun setting late. Trekking 10km up a hill to find walking trails, catching a ride back down in the back of a ute, hair flying everywhere. Petrohue falls. Lago todos los santos. sun glistening off the wild yellow flowers on the pebbly shore where we all sat in silent consensus, drawing it all inside our own minds. Snowpeaked volcans y montañas surrounding our heads. Artisan shops in Puerto Montt. Men singing in harmony.

i cant say much more than Life is Fuking Grand.

Southern Chile...

Our Brazilian mate. Don´t think he had much luck with the fish..

Ramshackle boho town in Puerto Montt

Volcan Osorno


And so comes the end of our first week..
Since being in Santiago we have been in the South of Chile, where the volcanoes are huge and the weather miserable. There´s truthfully not much to say about Valdivia, the first place we went. According to Lonely Planet (bastards), its supposed to be a very interesting, arty university town. We didn´t see much evidence of this. However, we slept a lot of the time we were there, trying to get our pattern back in order. (We tried having an afternoon siesta, the done thing in Chile, just like Spain, but we ended up sleeping until 10 pm that night, then getting up and going out again - thus defeating the purpose of having a siesta.) The highlight of Valdivia were the sealions that just hung out in the harbour around the fish market. One maaaassive male sealion was like the compost bin for the market. I don´t think it was a happy animal. It was bizarre, to say the least. I think we watched them for about an hour...
Anyway, we fanged it out of Valdivia the next day, leaving behind a whole lot of important stuff including our LP guide. Ah well, such is travelling. After a day of jumping on and off buses we arrived in Ensanada in the pouring rain. We set up camp by Lago Llancique (a lake), to the shock of the locals (crazy gringas..), in the shadow of Volcan Orsono - a fuck-off-big snowcapped volcano, the top of which we couldn´t see until the sky finally cleared on the second day. Basically our time in Ensanada involved trekking, a boat trip and gasping everytime we saw the mountains around us.

Now we´re in Chiloe, an island off the coast of Chile, in Ancun - finally, a Chilean town that I can truly say I like (Can you tell I´m hanging out to get to Bolivia??). Its a town of political graffiti, much of it seems to be about Mapuche rights (Indigenous people of Chile), which is brilliant to see, and ramshackle houses that seem to defy gravity in the way they´re built up the hills. The people are very friendly here. It seems people who live on islands are always happy, like the sea around them is a buffer to the woes of the world.
Speaking of the sea, we are camped on a headland looking over the sea and the town. In the distance we could still see the mountains, I think you can see mountains almost anywhere you go in this country.We arrived at sunset, perfect timing, perfect colours, perfect weather, dreamy.
However, its not all dreamy. Grace and I are sitting here writing this as we nurse our seedy hangovers. Turns out there are pros and cons to free drinks all night...
To get to Chiloe, we stopped in Puerto Montt for a few hours, another seedy Chilean city. But we stumbled upon an old section of the city where the artesans and bohemian musicians were hanging out. They serenaded us and we spoke with them to the best of our ability in our broken Castillano (South American Spanish). We were invited to come work for our keep on an organic farm, but it proved to difficult to find our way and get there..

So, my impressions so far of Chile.. It is a fairly westernised country, very European in comparison to the rest of SA I believe, but this was to be expected, its widely known of both Argentina and Chile. Although, on Monday we will be picked up in Temuco and taken to an Indigenous community, something we organised through contacts before coming over, so this will be a good change I think. I´m not really sure what to expect, or what we will do there, ´we´ll just wait and see I suppose. In saying all this, I think what people come to Chile for is the landscape, rather than the culture. In this way, this country has gone above and beyond my expectations so far. I´ve only ever seen mountains like this in postcards, having never been to the snow. They rise up around you like ancient beings watching over you, with their heads in the sky. (I know this is a tacky metaphor, but thats how it felt to me)
Okay, I think this is all for now. We´ll put up photos later, haven´t got my cord, so yep..
Missing everyone back home already. Feels like so much more than a week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Arrival in Santiago de Chile

We´ve spent our first weekend in Santiago de Chile, where we flew in on Thursday and Friday (We flew in seperately, Grace and Charlotte first, then Tegan and I). Flying in, it didn´t hit us that we were in South America until we emerged through the bottom of the clouds and realised we were surrounded by the Andes - incredible snowcapped peaks as far as we could see. Oh my god, fucking breathtaking.
Anyway, Santiago.
We´ve been staying with Charlotte´s friend in Old Santiago, which Raul (our wonderful Chilean host) calls Gaytown, of which he is king. The city itself is very westernised, but we have differing opinions on it... Having friends to show us around has been fantastic though. We´re all still very jetlagged, although we haven´t helped ourselves by staying up late drinking both nights...
Our Spanish, at this point, is fairly dismal, but we are learning quickly.. we think. Raul took us to dinner at his family´s house last night. We were under the impression it was only going to be his immediate family - maybe la mama y unas hermanas? No. The whole fandangle. 50 Chileans, and that was only half - los tíos, los primos y la abuela! They all spoke Spanish very fast (¨Errr... Repetir por favor?¨)
Tonight we are heading South on an overnight bus going to Valdivia. I won´t say anything about the town until we get there, we could be very wrong about the place... We´ll see.
For now, hasta luego.