Chilean Observations

If you haven´t gathered by now I positively loved Chile.  I think this may have been enhanced by sharing the majority of my travels there with my parents but regardless of that it was really a very special country.



The people in Chile were friendly, almost without exception.  From the random stranger who went completely out of his way to show me the van hire place to people who served you in restaurants to the likes of staff at Colbun and Felipe and Jose in Santiago, you really couldn´t have asked for a more unquestioning friendliness.  Similarly artisans and store holders wanted to tell you about their crafts but there was no aggression or even perceivable upset if you didn´t subsequently go on to buy something.  The relationship between men and women seemed to be very good and you often saw men taking sole car of children.  The men in Chile were not effeminate and yet they seemed to be very happy to display traits which one may initially assume as being feminine.  The jobs that people did also appeared to be on an equal footing with professions seemingly not being gender specific.  It was common for example to be stopped at roadworks by a woman holding the stop sign.  There was also a lovely thing with the Chilean people both wanting to help you and also wanting to understand you.  This was useful when you were far from fluent in Spanish with a desire to work with you rather than simply switching off being evident, which is not uncommon in some countries.



I´ve already mentioned the dogs but I did think that they were lovely.  If I´m reborn as a dog I want to live in Chile with my little posse of pedigree like pals roaming the streets and taking ourselves where we please.  Note to God, that was not a request to be reincarnated as a dog but, should that be your choice, please can I reside in Chile, or at least have a pet passport!


Other animals

Again I´ve mentioned the wildlife in Chile but it was amazing.  There was a real diversity and animals which I think of as truly special, such as pelicans, were commonplace.  We felt so lucky with the animals we saw from the wild foxes to the endangered sea otter.


Scenery and fauna

I hope this isn´t getting repetitive.  Actually I doubt it is as I expect few of you have memorised every blog entry for the country.  Having said that if you haven´t managed to gauge that the scenery in Chile was something else may I take this opportunity to tell you to go back and re-read?  In one way you expect variation in a country so long and so thin but nothing prepares you for how quickly the country changes.  In the same day you can see arid desert, snowy mountains and beautiful coast.  Infact at some points you can practically see all of them at once!  With such a change in altitude and climate it´s not surprising that there´s real diversity in the vegetation but, again, the plants you see really take you by surprise.  The huge cacti were unlike any I have seen and the huge lush palms blew me away.  It was lovely how even in the driest areas you could find tiny little flowers on plants determined to make a go of it and use any water source they could.



Guidebooks, and other travelers, will tell you that Chile is not a cheap place to travel.  In some ways this is true and in others it is not.  Perhaps compared to some South American countries Chile is not the cheapest but I have met travelers who have compared it favourably financially to the likes of Venezuela and Brazil. Granted there are some things which aren´t cheap such as car hire.  It´s weird actually cars are astronomically expensive in Chile.  According to Christian in Colbun the average car, for example, is more expansive than the average house.  Overall though I don´t think that Chile was a hugely expensive place to travel, particularly for those from the West.  Although I guess travelling with my parents may have helped somewhat here!


Food and Drink

Chile is largely famous for two types of food; its meat (notably its steak) and its seafood.  Mum and Dad both raved about the quality of the steak and the seafood was exceptional.  The food, even in remote areas, always proved to be fresh and of a high quality.  With its reputation it hardly almost seems worth mentioning that the wine was excellent but it was.  A final word of warning here about the spirit measures…..they are BIG!



The weather was amazing when we were in Chile.  It was a great time of year to go as it was lovely and hot but not overbearing.  Due to it being Spring there was also an abundance of flowers.


In summary Chile ROCKS and I would highly recommend it.

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