No Wrong Turns!
Chile - the long thin country - grabbed my attention from the beginning. Hearing the news of the upcoming wedding settled it - I would go, to support my dear sister and to escort her down the aisle, yes, but also to see for myself this land of enchantment - this wonderful land shaped by its geographic features and its people into a uniquely beautiful place.
It was fitting that the center of our activity there - the wedding and the new home for the nueva pareja (new couple) - was Valparaiso. The name, formed as a contraction of the Spanish phrase "Va al paraiso," means "To go to Paradise." And nothing I saw in my ten days there would dislodge that image. The people, the land, the city, the food, the music, the language - all played a part in making this land a little slice of paradise.
Let me share here the journal notes recorded each day during this too short visit. Personal reflections these, filtered through my own "lens," but heartfelt and honest. My hope? That the reader of these notes - those unable to themselves visit - will gain a sense of the place and the people - of this paraiso that my sister and her new hubby will someday call home.
Chile, as tall as the United States is wide (2,880 miles), occupies the southwest border of South America, lying due south of Boston.
The capital (Santiago - located about in the middle of the country) is as far south of the equator as Georgia is to the north in the USA. The climate varies from hot dry desert in the north to the cool and humid marine climate of the south. Most of the 15 million Chilean people live in the Santiago-Valparaiso-Viña del Mar locale, which has a Mediterranean climate.
The country is bordered on the east by the continental divide of the Andes Mountains, only 200 miles from the coast in most parts. The Chilean Andes contain many high peaks and volcanoes, the highest being Ojos de Salado (22,539 feet). There are many swift rivers running from the Andes to the sea, creating picturesque valleys running east-west which contain not only beautiful scenery but also crops for food or wine production. Several dams have been constructed for power production or crop irrigation. Copper mining in the north has long been an important part of the Chilean economy.
Now if you care to join me on my journey to Chile, click below for my first journal entry...