Category: Chile

On my way north, I stop at the beautiful Elqui valley with its vineyards producing some of the best pisco in Chile. Pisco is a specialized form of brandy produced in Chile and Peru. Mixed with juices it is pretty tasty and can be bought widely across Chile. In the Elqui Valley, the desert is announcing itself. The valley floors, with irrigation, are fertile but the hillsides are dry and barren.

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Easter Island is small. Shaped like a triangle it is about 25 kilometres long and 13 kilometres wide at a maximum. At 163,6 square kilometres it is about the same size as the country of Liechtenstein. But unlike Liechtenstein, which sits right in the middle of Europe with connections in all directions, Easter Island is one of the most remote places on earth. The nearest inhabited land with around 50 residents is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres away; the nearest town with a population over 500 is Rikitea in French Polynesia that is 2,606 kilometres away; The nearest point in Chile, to which Easter Island belongs, is 3,512 kilometres away. […]

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I have to start with a confession: Despite calling this post Central Chile I am still, at least at the beginning, in Patagonia. My next stops, the island of Chiloé, Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas and Pucón are all south of the Bio Bio River which marks the end of Patagonia. I grouped them into the Central Chile post as for me, personally, I had left Patagonia behind as I was crossing from the Carretera Austral to Chiloé. And anyway, my post on Patagonia contains enough highlights. 😉 […]

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Punta Arenas is the world’s southernmost city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Established in 1848 as a tiny penal colony, it was a modest harbour that served ships crossing between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. Before the opening of the Panama Canal (1914) the Strait of Magellan, along which Punta Arenas is located, was the easiest way to cross between the Oceans. A gold rush in the late 19th century let the city grow and a bit later the sheep farming boom on the Patagonian steppe brought prosperity. Several mansions in town are reminders of that era. […]

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