Thursday-Friday- Pisco Elqui Adventures

Posted by Lisa on April 29th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

On Thursday, we left for an overnight in Pisco Elqui. On our way, we stopped in Vicuna for lunch and to walk around the artesian shops. We tried to go to the bug museum but it was closed, do we decided to continue on to the domos. We got to the domos around 5 pm and checked in and arranged for a night time horseback ride to see the stars. We went to dinner at our favorite german run restaurant and then went to Ramon’s house where we started our journey. The ride was 3 and a half hours long and was phenomenal. We all had a great time looking at the night sky, chatting with Ramon, and just enjoying the solitude. We got back to the domos around 1230 am, and went to bed. Steve was able to get a picture of the view through the domos of the night sky, which I thought you would all enjoy. The next morning we got up went to an artesian village, walked around pisco elqui, saw Ruperto the drunken donkey, went to cavas del valle (a vineyard), went back to Vicuna (bug museum still closed), then went to the zoo. We then went to Rob and Joanna’s house for a scrumptious dinner of fillete, corn pudding, salad, bread, wine, and banana foster for dessert. Afterwards, we went up the recinto to a party and stayed until 2 am. We came home and crashed. It was a long and exciting 2 days!! Overall, we had a week jammed pack with activities. Jon really enjoyed himself and hopes to come back before we leave. I know it sounds like we did a ton of things, but Jon has called me the “best tour guide EVER”!!!! I can’t wait for him to come back!

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Wed- Isla Damas here we come

Posted by Lisa on April 29th, 2006 — Posted in Uncategorized

On Wed we went to Isla Damas for the day with a group of friends. There was 7 of us from the science community and then 2 nice men joined the group who were from Europe. Our tour guide was great and we had a fantastic time. Jon got to try for the first time Chorros- which is some kind of orangey slimy mollusk- sounds appetizing! We left at 8 am got back around 6 pm, I made a quick dinner of quinoa and black beans, then I went off to book club for a little bit at 8 while Steve and Jon were hosting a poker game at our house. The poker game ended up going into the wee hours of the morning. The last people left around 330 am. Yours truly, won 2 games, hurray!!!

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Tuesday- Day around town

Posted by Lisa on April 29th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

I have been running Jon ragged with all of our activities, so I haven’t had any time to update. Unfortunately, Jon is leaving today (Sat), so I’m trying to do a quick update. We’ve had an amazing time hanging out and catching up and exploring the surrounding area. On Tuesday we decided to explore the town with my friend Joanna. We started off by going to La Feria- the open air market, then to downtown for a traditional chilean lunch, walked around and went to La Recova, then to an awesome bakery, then the mall, then home for a little bit. We ended the night with African Dance, which Jon seemed to enjoy. Originally he was going to drum for it but we convinced him to join in dancing. While we were at dance class Steve made us a yummy mexican casserole!!! It was the perfect ending to a great day.

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From Enchanted Forest to Enchanted Valley

Posted by Lisa on April 25th, 2006 — Posted in Activities, Your Guest Host Steve

While Lisa and Jon are staying ever busy with their travels across the countryside, I’m stuck at home on the couch not feeling too well. Since they barely have time in the day to actually go everywhere they want, I’ve been asked to fill in and post yesterday’s activities.

The first stop was Tortorollio, a beach area to the south of La Serena. While the weather has become decidedly fall and not normal beach weather, no visit to Chile is complete without a trip (however brief) to the beach.

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They then traveled to Fray Jorge (Parque Nacional Bosque De Fray Jorge) , a small dense “Valdivian cloud forest” surrounded by the desert. Moisture is provided by the dense and nearly ever-present fog, the camanchaca.

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After that, they traveled inland a bit to Termas de Socos where they enjoyed a bite to eat and had a look around at the thermal pools.

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Finally, they visited the Enchanted Valley, home of many petroglyphs and petrographs (as seen before).

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I guess I shouldn’t have said finally because after all that they went to a birthday party of a friend and didn’t get home until around 3am. At least that is when I think they got home since the puppy and I went to sleep at 10:30pm.

Today’s fun is more around town. Trips to the market, La Recova (everyone’s favorite shopping destination) and lunch downtown. Hopefully I’ll be back to work so Lisa can tell you all about it.

Sunday adventures

Posted by Lisa on April 24th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

On Sunday we drove into the valley where we first stopped at the dam and walked across it. Much to our surprise there was a wind harp in the corner. I had never even heard of one, though Jon had red about them but never seen one. Afterwards Steve took us to the observatory which was awesome as always. In Jon’s words “it was magnanimous”. We then went to the hosteria in Vicuna for a late lunch where we met up with some friends, then caravanned to the Mamalluca Observatory- which is a observatory for the public with 2 telescopes with 12 inch mirrors that we were able to look through and see sirius, orion nebula, open star clusters, saturn and the rings, jupiter and it’s moons, mars, small and large magellanic clouds, the southern cross and more. The tour was in english and was phenomenal. We also got to see a meteorite- vaca muerte (dead cow)- which was found in the atacama.

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Jon J. Gilson has arrived…

Posted by Lisa on April 22nd, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Today, my friend Jon came to visit for a week. I’ve been looking forward to his visit and have tons of stuff planned. Today after coming home from the airport, we went out to lunch to Tololo Beach where JOn had his first Pisco Sour. In his words “fue deliciosa”. He also atried for the first times- locos (probably his last) and reineta (a little salty). Afterwards we walked along the beach then went to Coquimbo to Cafe del Fuerte- which is the coffee shop at the tip. Today, the rock in front of the coffee shop was full of sea lions. Usually it has just birds. We then walked around the artesian markets and the fish market. We then took the 5 pm boat ride around Coquimbo. I was thinking that we may go out to dinner and to the jazz club tonight, but I’m exhausted, so I know JOn must be as well. We’ve decided to postpone it until later. Keep checking back for daily updates! Tomorrow we’re off to the telescope!

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The La Serena Zoo

Posted by Lisa on April 18th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

On Thursday some friends and I went to the zoo. We weren’t expecting too much, but it was actually a ton of fun. There were monkeys, a tiger, lion cubs, llamas, emus, wart hogs, birds, goats, sheep…. The scary thing was the cages. I’m used to the united states where there are strong bars and cages surrounding the animals, but as you’ll see from the pictures, really only wire was separating us from the beasts. There is also an area in the zoo with tons of tables and grills and 2 pools to swim in with monkeys and birds all around. I can’t wait to go back and spend the day with a book, the sun, the pools, and the animals!

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Posted by Lisa on April 11th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

I’ve never had this problem in the states, but since moving to Chile we’ve had numerous birds fly straight into the windows of our house. Recently one hit the window so hard it left this…
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Yesterday, this hit our glass door…
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Chile is a strange place!

Days 18-20

Posted by Lisa on April 9th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

We got home from our Argentinean trip on Tuesday. Mary Jane and Terry only had a few days left with us. We spent the remainder of the time hanging out together. We went for drives around town, went shopping, hiking, out for drinks and in our friends hot tub. We all had a wonderful time together, and were sad to see them leave. Here are a few pics from then…

our cool new wall hanging….
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Pictures from around town (sorry about the lighthouse, I can’t get it straight…)
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Last time for pisco sours on the beach
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IN the hot tub drinking wine enjoying the sunset
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The town of Jachal

Posted by Lisa on April 9th, 2006 — Posted in Travel

The town of Jachal is 45 km away from Pismanta. We had to go there on Monday to buy a new tire before driving back Tuesday to Chile. There was a wonderful man there who helped us. He owned his own used tire shop, but unfortunately didn’t have the tire we needed. So he went to the local used tire shops, didn’t find one there so he ended up finding us a new tire, and then drove Steve and I in his car to go pick it up. It was definitely an experience. There were no road signs or stop lights in town and he would just honk his horn when he was close to an intersection. There was no right of way, but surprisingly it worked. In the end for all his help he only charged us 5 pesos (which isn’t even $2). He basically spent half of his day helping us. Even though it was somewhat of a headache to go through, I’m really happy that we did. We got to see a part of Argentina that we would never have seen, and we got to meet some truly wonderful people.

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Pictures from the drive to and from Jachal
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