Northern and Central Chile

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Chile, the Europe of south America! As we entered the far north town of Arica we were struck by how different Chile is to the rest of the continent, pedestrian crossings, huge supermarkets, plumbed in hot water (Anna's favourite) and very pricey! We met mum and dad Michaels in the Atacama dessert after a long overnight bus journey from Arica which included being hauled out the bus at 3am for a drugs search.

The Atacama, the worlds driest desert, was simply breathtaking. We weren't sure what to expect, but found amazing views across the desert and onto the Andes from almost anywhere and lots of sand! As the air is so dry and unpolluted everything appears much closer than it actually is and the stars at night were almost 3-dimensional. The activities were amazing and included cycling one day in the desert to a salt lake to swim and float, cycling through canyons, walking to hot springs, horse riding, yoga... One day we headed out to see a field full of geysers in the early morning at 4,200 metres. The hotel provided guides every day who were informative, insightful, and generally great and every day was something different. The pictures are amazing and we have put lots up so people can see how great it was.
We then headed to Santiago and about 250km south to the wine region in our rented car and had an amazing 4 days exploring the vineyards, small towns and countryside. We had one full tour and lots of time chilling out, the scenery was really amazing. We have been practising our yoga almost everyday, having learned from our private instructor in the desert, and been out running with Rocco, the hotel dog, every day. We are both now amazingly fit!
We've posted lots of pictures as these are the only way to show how amazing Chile has been, we have absolutely loved it here and it is definitely the highlight of our trip. Big thanks to mum and dad Michaels for actually coming out here, something which did not go unappreciated, we've had a really great time! Looking forward now to coming back early next year and have been doing lots of thinking and talking about where to live etc. and it has turned our minds to how exciting this will be. The wedding is now all but planned which is very exciting, and it's been so lovely spending time with M&D Michaels and a huge thanks for coming to visit! Hope everyone likes the pics, they are our best so far.

We are now leaving Santiago heading south...
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dad on

great blog, brings back lovely memories of you both. You both love each other so much it is a pleasure to see. D

Gram, with love on

Looks so goes on and on. So good you could share with the Michaels. And yes, you are probably as fit now as you will ever be.

I've been out a lot this week, which is good and tomorrow go to Boston for Dr. Karamechedis' party. Then Tuesday some friends from Hingham are coming up

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