The Rest of Chile
Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
12Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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Calama - A town with one purpose, mining. It is the site of the countries largest copper mine and the biggest source of income for the country.
Positive: I was only there for one day, I didnt even have to stay a night. Mine related, the conditions for the miners has improved a lot over the last years.
Negative: Its a one industry town and the work still sucks for the people that do it.
Random: This mine is huge, cars driving down looked like ants. Sooo small. 3.5km x 4km x 1.5km deep. The old town where the miners used to live is now a ghost town and they are burying it with rock waste.
San Pedro De Atacama - This is the single most touristy town I have been to. It is very remote in Chile and every restaurant, and store caters to toursits in some way.
Positive: The geysers were very nice to see. I was up at 4am to see them though. I have now seen 2/4 geysers in the world; New Zealand and Chile. I just have to make it to Iceland and United States to see the others.
Negative: Valley of the Moon tour was not that exciting but it was not very expensive so that was not an issue. They had no good internet, it was so slow.
Random: I ran into a guy I made good friends with in Lima my first week in South America. It was the most random thing to happen yet.
La Serena - Some port town along the coast I stopped at for a night on my way back down to Valparaiso
Positive: Had a fantastic walk down to the beach to check out the non-functioning lighthouse which is very old and starting to fall apart.
Negative: I arrived on a sunday and there was NOTHING to do other than walk around.
Random: I saw a dead sea lion, 2 dead pelicans, and some dead fish walking down the beach.
Valparaiso - Chiles port city, it is quite old and very picturesque of Chile. It has the funiculars which are on every post card. The whole city has a very bohemian feel.
Positive: Fantastic city with a lot to see and do, I could have walked the streets for weeks and not lost interest.
Negative: I only got to spend one night there. I did get to see much though.
Random: I found a nice restaurant on the edge of a cliff, I was going to have a drink and write in my journal. I left after I waited 15mins for a beer.
Santiago - Chiles biggest city and capital, has been the most western like city I have been to yet. It has a great train and bus system which I used quite a bit.
Positive: Did a lot of sightseeing for the short time I spent there. I met up with Luke again and we checked out the city and even hosted a BBQ for 20 some odd people.
Negative: People kept stealing my milk from the fridge at the hostel!
Random: Planning, shopping for and cooking a meal for 20 people is not something I plan to make a habit of, too much work.
Pucon - A touristy town that reminded me a LOT of Banff. I was hoping to be able to go snow boarding while here but I missed the season by a couple weeks. I was really hoping to make it in time.
Positive: Found a good hostel for cheap. I went out on the town that night all alone and managed to meet quite a few people.
Negative: I was really hungover the next day and had to catch a bus..not fun at all in fact it was awful.
Random: Don't bother looking for a decent english book here. The bookstore had the biggest collection of crap english books I have ever seen.
Puerto Montt - My last stop before the great Navimag boat adventure. I didnt do much here, I spent some time in the internet cafe uploading photos one afternoon.
Positive: Nice places to eat and not too expensive, but not cheap either.
Negative: Once again EVERYTHING closes on the weekend, nothing was open sunday.
Random: I remember seeing a lot of tourists in the town I saw them all again on the Navimag.
Navimag - The four day boat trip from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales. It cruises through some nice scenery.
Positive: Made a lot of good friends and had a blast almost the whole time. There was a lot of time to yourself and I just relaxed everyday. The parties in the night were a lot of fun.
Negative: Sleeping the second night was next to impossible with all the swell in the ocean. I was sliding around the bed all night.
Random: 5 meter swell can be a lot of fun on a boat they lead to challenging games involving standing in one spot without moving and if you move you are out. Last man standing wins.
Puerto Natales - It seemed as though this town only got busy the days the Navimag boat would come in to town.
Positive: Had a great dinner with some of the people from the boat.
Negative: I tried to make some reservations for the park and find some rain pants but didnt accomplish either.
Random: Hostels rent you all sorts of shoddy and old gear for you hike through the Torres Del Paine park. I had some sexy rain pants and rain jacket.
Torres Del Paine National Park - Chiles best, most amazing tourist destination. So few people come here but it is fantastic. You can spend anywhere from 3 to 9 days touring the park depending on how well equipped you are.
Positive: The weather was really good for us. We didnt get rained on once, we kept making it to the refugios rights before the rain.
Negative: The first day we hiked to the Torres and my feet got really wet, my boots sure arent waterproof. The hike down was no fun.
Random: I learned to play some new card games, 500 is a lot of fun I hope I can play it again before I forget the rules.
That sums up Chile. After the torres I went back to Puerto Natales with the group I was traveing with and we took off for Argentina the next day.