Monday, July 20, 2009

Last day in Chile

Ok, now I really dont know what is on the horizon. This time, it will probably be sometime before I return to Chile. I have decided to bring all my stuff back and not leave anything at my friends house. Even though its a pain to bring my guitar back and stuff, I dont have to return to Chile at some point and get it....Still its strange to leave this place, since I know the culture, the country and everything...

Back to warm weather!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Photos from the North of Chile!!!

Old Saltpepper mine

In the town of Humberstone....

One of the old mines....

Trust me those tires are way taller than me!

Looking into the mine

A Church from the 1500s...

Downtown San Pedro de Altacama

The old town where the miners used to live

Salt Flat

Eating Lama

Driving back at Sunset


Valley of the Moon

Valley of the moon

Valley of Death...

Trying to climb a sanddune..This dude was sooo steep I had a hard time walking out for the pic!

Photos from Easter Island!!

You probably have seen this pic before.....

We ran into some traffic....

Atop of the crater at Sunset

It was great, we had the whole place to ourselves

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back from the Desert

So the other half of a sweet vacation has come to a close.....Me and my friends started the journey by flying to Calama (a city in the north of Chile), and renting a car to explore the area. The thing is that, its the desert and temp difference between the day and the night is huge! And of course there is no heat in the hotels or hostels! It was usually below freezing at night and then about 60 or 70 during the day. It made for some very cold mornings, I am glad that I brought my sleeping bag. So the first day, we drove to San Pedro de Altacama, a huge desert area in the north with several attractions, including valley of the moon, valley of death, and huge salt flats. We also took a tour that left at 4AM to explore some of the gysers in the area (it was a 2 hour bumpy car ride). The town was neat, but a bit touristy. After seeing some great scenery and sunrises and sunsets, we drove to the beach town of Iuique, which is about 5 hours due west. Stopping along the way to explore what we wanted. One of the first cool stops was to take a tour of the worlds largest open pit mine which is still in production. So, I got to look into a mine pit that is a 1 KM deep. And to see huge trucks with tires as big as my head. This place was a huge operation, almost 20,000 people work there. It was quite neat......

After that, we drove up the coast to our hotel, which we couldnt find and it took us about a hour to find it at night, once we had gotten into the city. We really didnt do much in Iquique, it was pretty much just a launching point. On the forth day, we drove back into the desert to explore the ghost towns and ghost factories of Humberstone (A huge production in nitrate and saltpepper in the early 20s). Now it is just a huge pile of rusted tools and buildings in the middle of the desert. It was really neat and unlike the US, there are no fences or signs really, so it really feels like you stumbled onto the place by yourself.

The 4th day we drove back into the desert and saw a few more roadsign attractions. One involved seeing a rock display made about a 1000 years ago. After seeing the display, we wanted to drive and see these distant sand dunes in the distance. Well, everything was going fine until our truck got stuck in the sand.....I mean there was nothing for miles! Luckily, after a couple pushes and using the mats as traction, we got the truck moving again and were able to continue on our path. I didnt think it was too scary because the main road was about a couple miles away and we could of flagged a car down or something.....

The last day, we drove back to Calama and stopped at more roadside things. We discovered a bunch of old mines, which are totally left open. We didnt go too far as we didnt want to become a headline story....Today, we arrived back in Santiago for one more night of fun before my friends have to leave...but a couple of cool stats:

I saw or experienced:
The worlds most remote place (Easter Island)
The worlds dryest place (San Pedro de Altacama)
The worlds deepest open pit mine (CHUQUICAMATA)
The worlds biggest goyciphical structure (I know that is spelled wrong)

Not bad for 2 weeks!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I know its been a while.....

So I am back in Chile....Well now, I have been back for about 2 weeks now. I arrived on July 26, exactly a year from when I arrived the previous year. It was strange to be back at first, Chile has a smell to it and I remember that same smell when I arrived the first time in the winter.....Its interesting to be back in a city where I had so much fun, many friends and many experiences. Now, I look in my phone book and about 80 percent of the numbers dont exist. So I am glad that I decided to quit my job there and find another country to live in. Chile just wouldnt be the same and I dont want to start all over from the beginning again....

But on a different note, my friends arrived the day after I arrived and we started our adventure. We went to Easter Island last week and it was amazing.....To see the maui (the big head statues) is really impressive and to think that I am only one of 55,000 people to make it there every year is a cool stat. I am lucky as well to have the money and the time to go there. It was a long flight, almost 5 hours. We arrived on the first day and decided to rent a jeep as that is the best way to explore the island on your own. We spent the next couple of days, exploring the island, the maui, and caves by ourself. As this is the winter season, the island was empty and so we had the ruins pretty much to ourselves. That in itself was a neat feeling. Not suprisingly, the island is really expensive and a regular place, meals run about 30 bucks, so we actually ended up cooking food in the hostel a couple of nights. So then we returned to Santiago the other day and I lead my friends around the city for a couple of days, seeing the sights. Now tonight, we are headed to the north of Chile to explore the salt flats and the desert areas. Another aventure to be had!!!

But after my friends leave on July 12, I have no idea what I am going to do. I havent heard from anything about my job application, in which I was planning on returning to the states for that. But I cant just wait around for that. But I dont want to stay in Santiago as it dreary, cold, and I only know a handful of people. So I think that I will go to Peru for a bit and explore. I have some other plans of traveling with friends, but we will see if those pan out.

Pics later of Easter Island.

Off to the airport!