We poured, and siphoned, and bucketed, and mucked, and glopped, and I think my cuticles are finally their regular color again, and the people were so lovely and calm and pleasant and positive and I got to run around in bare feet and hose things off and work and pretend I was a farm hand, Brooklyn represents. Because I am totally not a farmhand.
And I’ve been pretty much as far south as you can go. To Tierra del Fuego, but still not to Puerto Williams (weather and Christmas did not permit). And there is just so much of Chile, near and far that I still haven’t seen. I want to do a slow driving trip in the north. To Putre, and Paranal (the ESO observatory). Near here, I want to go to Rancagua (how have I never been there?), and to Los Andes (same). I’d like to take the metrotren to every stop (except Pelequén because I’ve already been there), and maybe PAC because maybe there’s not so much to see there.
I want to get to know every single beach town, even Mejillones, which everyone says is dull, and Los Vilos, where “nothing ever happens.” I’d go back to Pichilemu because I love it, and go visit El Tabo which has great graffiti, and look and look and look at the wide blue ocean that separates us from the rest of the world. I want to go to Juan Fernandez and wander on its rocky shores (and try not to think about the tsunami and plane crash).
I want to go to the south, to the various ice fields, drag a kayak overland and see fjords. I want to visit the Carretera Austral again and walk along terraced Caleta Tortel, and see the aquamarine blue of Lago General Carrera again, that color that I imagined when I was guided through a post-yega meditation and that almost made me cry the first time I saw it.
I want to pedal the length of the country, and then also its ribs. It’s not that I think that Chile is prettier than all other countries, though it is geographically lucky, with ice and sky and volcanoes and everything in between. But it is where I am now, and it is a place that has (pretty) great public transportation, visitable weather most times of year in most places (gore tex required in the south). Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve been here so long (8 years!) and still managed to see so little, despite “knowing” Chile from top to bottom.
So, where are we going next? And who’s coming to visit?
To your question, I’ve travelled throughout Chile, but even so have only seen maybe half of the country, from picturesque Chiloe and as far north as San Felipe. I’m glad you had a chance to visit Flaherty Wines as Ed (winemaker) and Jen (chef) are pretty awesome and extremely talented and down-to-earth people. Any day you run across a bottle of Flaherty Wines is bound to be a good day, as is any day when you have an opportunity to try some of Jen’s pie (the butternut squash pie is the stuff of legends)…
If you ever get near Temuco, let me know!
Spend some time on Chiloe, it would be a good place to travel on a bike, and then use the bus when needing to cover big jumps. It’s really the Ancud to Castro and Dalcahue area that is the most interesting and full of little back roads. Take the ferry to Isla Quinchoa and visit the UNESCO churches all over.
Just got back from El Tabo.. but missed the amazing graffiti. Where was it all?
It’s on the side-streets that go down to the playa. I don’t know if amazing is the right word, but I like a lot of it. There’s some on those streets, and then also on the way out of town towards San Antonio. http://bearshapedsphere.com/2010/08/19/graffiti-and-veggies-in-el-tabo-chile/ shows some of it. Yeah, maybe not amazing, but pretty, and better than what you might expect in a small town, though I have caught some graffiti from Stgo. artists in other places, including Laguna Zapallar (walking distance from Maitencillo).
Wow, you know more of Chile than I do. Although I have been in Rancagua and the Aconcagua valley 😛
Browsing on the internet I found this FAQ that replies to your question (a few months ago) about how to get and what are the consequences of getting a Chilean passport:
Of particular interest is the pag 6, about “Carta de Nacionalizacion”. It states:
“Al nacionalizarme Chileno ¿Pierdo mi nacionalidad de origen?
No, Chile acepta la doble nacionalidad con todos los países, por lo tanto, no será necesario que renuncie a su nacionalidad de origen.”
That was taken from the web site of the Department of Foreign Affairs and immigration (aka Departamento de Extranjeria y migracion).
Chile, unfortunately is a country I just skimmed during my 2010 trip across South America. I’d love to visit more the next time I’m there.