27.01.2017 - 14.02.2017
Chile must be the nirvana of baby boomers in outdoor clothing. They are everywhere. They are grey. They are wide on all sides around. They look like they are ready to go bear hunting. Nothing like us, clearly. We just for a beer and a glass of wine.
In Argentina, every bank, government building, and street corner is guarded by heavily armed men in uniform. There are regular road blocks where somewhat less heavily armed men, and some unarmed women, run identity checks and inspect your luggage. Not so in Chile. Here you do not need to carry an ID. Here people congregate by rivers, in parks, on squares, and chat. This may be my naiveté: their Dutch is much worse than my Spanish, after all, so they may well be planning to rob us or depose the immensely unpopular national lady in chief, but it just doesn’t feel that way. Instead, in a restaurant without a menu, four of them gather at our table and patiently try to explain what they can prepare for us. Usually we wind up with “salmón” because it is the only word we recognize and, this being fjord country, we trust them to know how to cook fish. The salmon isn’t half bad, either. In many ways, despite its fairly recent violent dictatorship past, Chile is more like the New Zealand of South America. You know: New Zealand of four seasons in one day, where they do things differently, and the most dangerous animal is the sheep. I like it here, in other words, and so far the weather is really nice, too.
Yesterday was the ferry ride through Fiordo Comau. Actually two ferries:
A big one:
With views like these:
And a small one:
And then on to Chaitén, a town wiped away by a massive volcano eruption in 2008 but slowly getting back on its feet again, where today we took a hike in Parque Pumalin.