We slowly made our way down Chile - a country some 4300km long and 756 000sq km in size and were looking forward to visit Valparaiso, whose Historic Quarter on Cerro Concepçion is a World Heritage Site. Since 1844 Chile is independent. Wir freuten uns auf Valparaiso - eine Stadt, welche durch ihre geschützte Altstadt und auch auf Grund seiner bemalten Wände und Graffiti bekannt ist. Allerdings gibt es dort keinen Campingplatz. Next stop on our southbound route was P.N. La Campana, a park with the high Chilean palms (Jubaea chilensi or the Chilean wine palm) and quiet, shadowy camping spots and walking trails. The park is 60km east of the city of Valparaiso which was next on our agenda to visit to see their prolific street art and murals. Valparaiso did not have any camping site and we ended up camping in the one-way street outside Villa Kunterbunt, known for hosting many bikers that pass through Valparaiso (they also offer a service of receiving and shipping motorcycles from here). most devastating fire in a hundred years and it would rage on for the next 14 days and would make it difficult at times for us to skirt around. Pichelemu on the coast –a town known for its excellent surfing wave ( at Punta de Lobos). The town was busy and abuzz with surfers and other holiday makers. Parque Naćional Radal Siete Tazas – a stretch of rough dirt road ending in a beautiful wooded park area with many camping spots and the scenic seven pools ( 7 cups) where the Rio Claro drops down. We camped at Siete Tazas amidst holiday activities, but had no problem finding a spot to camp, then moved on for two nights to the quieter private San José de Frutillar camping y cabanas where we camped on the forest edge and enjoyed watching the parrots.
Every day a new surprise. Who would have thought a national reserve existed for rodents? The Chilean Parque Naçional Las Chinchillas takes care of a species close to extinction. Manch einer mag sich an die Modewelle der Chinchilla Pelze erinnern. Auch hier hat der Mensch eine Tierart an die Grenzen der Ausrottung gebracht. Ein einzigartiger Park in Chile überraschte uns mit seinen Anstrengungen, die wenigen Chinchillas zu retten, die es noch gibt. Our route took us back via Huasco, then via Valleñar on Ruta 5 to Serena and on to Coquimbo, which afforded a shopping opportunity at the Lider Supermercado. For the night we drove towards Guanaqueros, where we camped at the well organized and clean camping site Mar Azul, run by Hernan. We parked less than 100m from the sea and spent a quiet night. Puclaro dam and took a stroll along the dam wall, strong winds prevailed. Although no kite surfers were active, it apparently is a very suitable expanse of water for this sport. Pisco Elqui, a town wit its own pisco distillery and an abundance of little eating places. At our camping site Camping Refugio del Angel adjacent to the clear cold Rio Claro, we met our friends from Iquique New Years Eve party again – Laima and Mindaugas. This was a good opportunity to enjoy a pisco for sundowner and a joint supper among the shady weeping willow trees. Parque Naçional Las Chinchillas - the friendly staff gave us special permission to stay for the night in the parking area. We were not aware of this reserve beforehand and it highlighted the plight of the Chinchilla to us: There used to be 20 million animals before it became fashionable to wear pelts made of the fur of this little, nocturnal rodent. Today, they are almost extinct save for the small 20 000 population cared for in this reserve. Boris, the guide, took us into the nocturama – a underground cavern which houses a number of different rodents from the reserve and that can only be seen during the dark of night. However, the little Degú can be seen at dusk and dawn and it gave us the opportunity for a few closeup photos.
San Pedro de Atacama reflected the vibe of this desert -desolate yet vibrant. We started here and finally ended on the coast in a national park. Das höchstgelegene Geysir Feld El Tatio war etwas mühsam zu erreichen -aber doch beeindruckend. Wir setzten unsere Reise durch die Atacama fort und wurden immer wieder von einsamen, tollen Landschaften begrüsst. Alles andere als langweilig, wenn man Wüsten liebt. Ansonsten kann die Einsamkeit bedrohlich verlassen wirken. Naçional Pan de Azúcar where we camped at the Lodge Pan de Azúcar with many camping spots and a kitchen lapa and warm showers. PN Llanos de Challe known for its cactus landscapes. We found a quiet camping spot behind a rock amidst all the holiday activity prevailing. Atacama desert. This post covers 3rd to 7th January 2017
We were ready to explore the next country: Chile. Although Peru has been a wonderful country to visit, the amount of rubbish everywhere started working on us and we had heard Chile to be quite different. As we started along the Pan Americana we realised that this country was organised and clean -what a pleasure. What surprised us, however, was the sheer size of the Atacama desert. Was Chile uns wohl bringen würde? Es war an der Zeit,in ein etwas besser strukturiertes Land zu kommen, wir freuten uns auch auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit,auch eine breitere Palette an Produkten zu bekommen. Wir wurden nicht enttäuscht, jedoch die Ausmasse der Atacama Wüste überraschten uns. From Arica we started right in the north of Chile along Ruta 5. Soon we reached three modern petroglyphs, the “Presencias Tutelares”, representing Aymara beliefs and were created by the Chilean artist Juan Díaz Fleming, honouring the ancestors of this region. th December 2016 to 2nd January 2017