Oops, my first big mistake. I trusted
someone... I shouldn’t have.
Actually I ended up at 3 o’clock at night on
the streets of Punta Arenas, after making somebody clear that I did
not appreciate being lied to, being made false promises, etc...
somebody had wrong intentions and it was better for me to get to a
So Antonio wasn’t what he intended to
And I felt hurt, just because I thought it
was true and real and also I invested some ideas and time and energy
in his house/boat/dog. I had a nice time dough, shouldn’t put it all
into the same perspective, because I healed the little puppy dog he
had, being sick, fell in love with me when he saw me (the puppy) and
visa versa. So that was a very good thing. I also met some very
interesting people and went for a trip to a former ghost town.
Puerto Porvenir, Tierra Del Fuego, Chile. A nice boat trip up there,
a couple of hours walking around in that little town on the other
side of the Magellan Straight. Strange how the people are different
when living in such isolated locations, but still very friendly and
Like this, I just left Punta Arena and wished
I had done that a while before, because the place I am visiting
right now, is just amazingly beautiful again... another surreal
environment! Ushuaia, the end of the world, Argentina... much nicer
and more to do than in Punta.
Today I went hiking in the Tierra Del Fuego
National Park, Ice walking, so much snow and Ice...but so beautiful.
Not that cold as I thought it would be... really
It took me about 12 hours to come to Ushuaia
with the bus. Probably will go for one day skiing, and one day more
to see something else... and have to go back to Punta from where I
will visit, Torres Del Paine and than fly back to Santiago... on
Friday the 8th, a change of plans but just a small
I guess Punta Arenas is just not that
promising as I thought, and I feel like seeing more
It is good to learn from the right beginning
that you can’t trust anybody down here... to be really
I will and will be very careful, but I’m
going to explore, that’s for sure.
Santiago, with a cold… fine
weather, different place.
Hello all, I’m half way up
Chile by now. A big city,
crazy traffic and impressive
I’ve been traveling quickly lately, probably to take
as much as I could before flying up
had a wonderful time in Ushuaia. This place is beautiful and has a
great atmosphere. The Hostel I was staying at was super nice (Hostel
went for a day skiing at Cerro Castor in Ushuaia, had lot’s of fun.
Almost no people around, excellent snow and nice slopes, so what
more do I want? The cold wasn’t even that bad. I would have thought
I was going to have a hard time so close to the South Pole, but
actually the cold isn’t bad at all. During the day it was around 5,
at night dough it went below -5. But I was sage and sound in my very
hot Dorm room with nice people around me. My third and last day in
Ushuaia I spent hiking through the centre and around the city, to
get a good taste of it. Who doesn’t want to settle in a place like
this? Pretty special such a city growing in between those beautiful
mountains. You can go skiing whenever for 20$ a day all in, take a
boat to the Sea Lions, hike in one of the most amazing National
Parks. Argentina sounds great and I
already know I have to come back here as
full day it takes with the bus to go back to Punta Arenas (Back to
Chile), Another bus from about 3 to 4 hours strait through to Puerto
Natales, from where I went to visit Torres Del Paine. One of the
famous places in Chile.
don’t wonder why anymore, because I’ve seen it. A National Park with
Guanaco’s, Puma’s, Condors… I saw them all except for the Puma’s…
Fluorescent blue glaciers floating in A Grey Lake, a
mountain range with an unbelievable formation, still growing towers
of 2800 m high were rising up like that.
amazing place, wish I had more time to spend here, now that nobody’s
around. I was told all the trails were closed, but they weren’t.
Nevertheless I had a super day, with 5 other backpackers in a
mini-bus and a cool guide. We went to skate (shoes, no skates) on
the frozen lakes, take close up’s from the condors and see the
waterfalls. Just great!
same night I had to go back to Punta
Arenas, because I had a plane to catch
the next morning.
took me about 5 hours to get back, because all streets were frozen,
the bus had to stop a lot of times to make sure the chains were
holding. Luckily this time I took a Good bus company, because some
of the others I took were just mad. They drove about 90km/h on snow
and ice, with a view of no more than 2 m, because there windows were
frozen???? It’s very impressive to see how these people dare to
drive on these types of roads. For example those in Ushuaia were all
covered in snow and ice, without chains cars and buses just cruise
in the morning I
arrived in Punta, at 6 they came to pick me up for the airport, so I
had about 4 hours to organize and get a bit of rest.
arrived tired in Santiago and I guess that’s why
I got a bad cold now. It’s my first time to get sick in this trip.
Nothing really bad, but still
a lucky girl with an uncle like mine, Paul. He arranged some friends
Castro and Sebastian Allende) of his here
in Santiago to pick me up on the airport, get me to the office Juan
Pablo, where the third box was send to, call me a taxi to drop me of
at Sebastian’s house, where I could stay for the weekend, super
spoiled weekend and guided through Santiago City… Thank you so much
all of you!
Sebastian has a sweet family,
Fernandez, his wife, Tatan (3 year old sun), Amelia and Maria (1
year old twin) and two maids. Having a maid is usual in
Chile. Little baby girls also don’t
leave the hospital without earrings after being born. Schools only
take ½ days, etc… Fernanda is 6 months pregnant of her
4th child. She’s a ballerina and oh so nice! Sebastian
took me around in Santiago and we went to visit a
museum and everything. He gave me some recommendations about the
North of Chile and they just helped me out perfectly!
Today I’m heading on to the North.
I’m going faster as planned because of a special happening next
weekend in La Tirana. There is a kind of carnival happening, which
is quite unique for Chile.
Chile is the most down to
earth country in South
America I think, less dancing, less music,
no specific type of Cuisine or anything. There history with Pinochet
caused this. That’s why this kind of celebration is unique. This
place has been more influenced by
Chile. There is going to be
dances with masks and decorations of dragons and more. It’s all
about the virgin’s offer and all the people ask her for a favor and
will do something in return… (will tell you more when I’ve seen
Anyway, today I take a bus to San Pedro de Atacama,
which will take me 23 hours.
But I will arrive in the desert, to change the
environment once more… beyond the Moon valley lie the well known
salt lakes, the desert, with volcanoes in the
It’s something unique, so … let’s
Tuesday 19 th of July Arica
My last couple
of days in Chile,
I’m in Arica now, which is just an
hour from Peru.
I had a great
time travelling up North.
San Pedro de
Atacama is one of my favourite places in Chile. It is unique in
it’s form because of the way the buildings are made and by law the
materials used for building can only exist out of a mixture of
sand/water/flower/sort of plant material/a bit of cement… which
makes it look like all the houses are a kind of shelter, perfectly
corresponding with the desert around, most of the seats and tables
are also made out of this mixture.
background of this little village you can find the impressive
skyline of the Andes, including
some huge volcanoes. When you try to observe the scenery, it looks
fake, that different. People in San Pedro are different than in the
other parts I’ve visited, they are a little closed up (locals)
because this place is an invasion of tourists and I think the
location is only getting more famous with the day. The local people
don’t appreciate it completely but the little town flourishes
because of it. It has his reasons; Valle de la Luna, which a
moonlike landscaped valley, with dunes and the great Salt lake of
it. Me and to French guys I met on the bus went at sunset time,
which gave the surroundings just unimaginable colours.
The day after I
went on a day-tour-trip to the Salar of Atacama itself and laguna
Chaxa in Reserva Nacional ‘Los Flamencos’. I saw loads of
flamingo’s, a surreal plane with salt-rock formations, unique thing
to see really. The same day we drove up to Laguna’s Miscanti Y
Miniques, which are volcanoes of about 5700m high. The lagoon’s lie
in between these volcanoes and provide the whole area of water, by
Sacred for the
locals, because without these lagoon’s there would be absolutely no
water in these little towns. Even now they cut of the water supplies
at 9pm and at 6
in the morning you’ll have water again.
Electricity similar, you’ll have to take a torch to the town centre
of you’re planning to stay late. I loved it, it was just typical and
that’s what I was looking for.
We visited some
other little ‘pueblo’s’ (towns) in the middle of the desert and
looked up a part of the Inca trail, which goes through the whole of
Chile, from North to South. An amazing day, full of
The same night
I took a bus to Iquique, to make it for
Tirana, the festival I was advised to go and see.
Friday was supposed to be the most important night and Saturday the
actual ceremony of the Virgin took
I arrived early
Friday morning, had to wait for my hotel room until midday, and so
took advantage of exploring Iquique, which is actually a nice
place. This city was the most important economical place in
Chile before (1870-1930),
because of the Saltpetre deposits, which were in those times the
world leading provisions of this
looking houses and buildings make up some of the streets, huge
beaches with wild waves from the Pacific
Ocean. Days are very hot and nights are pretty cold.
guy was going to La
Tirana that afternoon, with some friends so I was
happy to ask if I could join them. Preferably locals to show me what
it all means and what it is about exactly. I had a great time and
was safe from harm of wrong encounters.
families and had the best spot on a balcony around the church plaza
to admire all these people dancing and playing music. More than 50
groups pf people form a band, every group has it own costume and
rhythm. They are all playing and dancing at the same time, parallel
in between the 1000 of people that come to see the
concerns the Virgin of Carmen, which is believed to fulfil wishes
and protect your soul. Around this time people ask the virgin for
help, a favour or protection and demonstrate a sacrificing in stead.
A very religious event where people are wearing
incredible masks full of pure colours. At night these masks
were filled with little lights. The whole place is filled with
little market stands and visitors. Normally this village
contains like 600 people, now 80.000 people were celebrating.
It was worthwhile!
After La Tirana, I went for
another tour in the neighbourhood, because this place is
surrounded with ghost towns, places where people used to live
in a community and all left, leaving behind typical western
looking towns now protected by UNESCO.
The giant of Atacama and the Pintados were also
included in the tour. Huge hieroglyphs conserved in the desert
dunes, dating from the Inca times. I find it very impressive!
A sign of deep believes and desire for rain or a sacrifice for
Now in Arica I
will go to LaucaNational Park. My last
tour in Chili for now, I will take a train to Peru the day after
tomorrow for a little more than
Wednesday 27th July
2005 PUNO (PERU)
Hi all, Things
Park Lauca and Chungara lake were just breathtaking… we had a great
tour all day long and saw some incredible things… We drove from sea
level up to 4500m, again up and down. It is noticeable that the air
and general feeling changes in such different altitudes. Less nice
was that one girl got sick in the bus because of the altitude. You
have to take care if you want to do trips like this, like no red
meat, not to heavy food, no alcohol, etc…
was an amazing trip, with the most beautiful little towns in the
middle of emptiness, volcanoes, and lagoon’s. Chungara lake is a
beautiful lake at 4500m high (the highest lake in the world) and
surrounded by volcanoes and impressive mountain ranges. We visited
Putre and other small villages, with typical churches and small
Than I met up
with Santiago, a nice poet that works in
a travel agency. As I’m traveling without a guide (which is quit an
adventure if you’re not sure where you’re going) I often walk into
these places to get some information. He helped me out big times,
sharing me information of places and tours in Peru, with a nice
sour’(njamnjam) to close of my last evening in Chile.
The next day I
took the train ( well it was just 1 little wagon filled up with
people) to Peru. What a nice trip… I
found out afterwards reading someone else’s lonely planet, that only
the very adventurous travelers go that way to Peru… It was fun, again
the only tourist on that train, with beautiful views and good
conversations. It took about 1.5 hours.
Once in Tachna,
I booked a Bus to Arequipa. I only spent a couple of
hours in Tachna, the only interesting thing in Tachna are the duty
free markets. I had a look there just to find out if buying another
compact flash card (digital camera) would be beneficial, but didn’t
buy anything in the end.
Arequipa was a delight.
The drive up to
here was already making me smile… Peru
is just amazing. Chile is very beautiful, but for my
eyes Peru is the end.
Arequipa is a big city at the foot
of Volcano Misty. 750.000 people, a pretty Plaza de armas and the
haven to start a trekking into the famous ColcaCanyon. I
booked the 3 day trekking straight away and left 5.45 the next
shouldn’t talk about this because it is just to much. Colca Canyon is the 2nd
deepest in the world and you have the most beautiful
panorama’s of Peru an mountain ranges,
filled with terraces, small villages and an
First day we
walked down the valley and spent the night in one of these little
villages in bamboo huts with candles. The next day we walked through
the valley… through some of the other villages to see how they live
and survive… and at 1pm we arrived at the Oasis, where we could stay
until the next day. This place was like heaven on earth. In the dry
(but beautiful) valley, lays a green tropical oasis, with hot water
pools nourished from the mountains.
The next night
we departed at 2.30 in the morning, up
the valley… climbing during 3 hours, we had an altitude difference
of 1,2km… we walked that early first of all to escape the heat but
also to go to the Cruz Del Condor… a place were many condors start
circling around the deepest valley on earth, really beautiful. The
bus ride from the town of breakfast towards this Condor valley we
were accompanied by 30 typical ladies, dressed in the most typical
way, going there to sell the souvenirs and postcards. The bus was
more than full if you know what I mean, but we made
The 3 day
trekking was closed of by an extraordinary visit to the thermal
pools. Pools with water as hot as 40 degrees Celsius. To relax the
well used legs and shoulders we could stay in those pools for 2
hours… I could have stayed for 2 days.
I meat some
great people on this trek, we were in total with 10 (guide
included). Matt, Alex and Caroline were three of them and we stacked
together back in Arequipa. Caroline and I shared a room,
and the two brothers as well.
The next day we
went for a horse trek into the valley’s around the center of
Arequipa.. which was great.
The day after
The brothers and I had a bus trip to Puno, the village next to
TITICACA lake 3500m high.
That’s were I
am right now. Tomorrow is the National Independence day of
Peru and thanks
to Santiago I have a 2 day trip for a
very nice prize to the Islands on
going to spent the night with local
Will tell you
all about it when I get back…
notice; I feel great!
Here in Puno
I’ve been able to witness little kids performing dances in the most
beautiful costumes, walk around and taste some great traditional
trout from the lake.