View Full Version : Additions to your travel wish list

Kent A Bathurst
10-12-2012, 11:24 AM
Just returned home after ~ 3 weeks.

Santiago, Chile is a very interesting city - unbelievable boom city - nice enough architecture, big, big buildings going up everywhere - offices, apartments, gov't.

Mendoza, Argentina. One word: Malbec. 'Nuff said.

Patagonia region. Google Torres des Paines - that was the view from our room for 4 days.

Punta Arenas. Very interesting city, on the Straits of Magellan. Big history - the coffin lid was nailed shut, though, when the Panama Canal opened. Still a bustling place, but in the "back when", it was the gateway between the oceans. All the seagoing traffic called there for resupply, etc.

55 South: Puerto Williams. The farthest south town in the entire world, on the Beagle Channel.

A trip in a small plane to 'Round the Horn. The End of the World. Ever since I was a little kid, reading the Aubrey/Maturin adventure novels, I have always wanted to round the Horn. Of course, back then, I wanted to do it in a square-rigged sailing ship. The plane was a much better choice. Plus - a day trip on a boat down the Beagle Channel, and then into the Murray Channel - which is the water connection to Cape Horn.

The town has relatively large Navy base - but the town is only 4,000 or so population, so the base ain't all that large, and it mostly seems to be tasked to stare across the Channel at Argentina - you never know when they might try to sneak from their middle-of-nowhere territory to the Chilean middle-of-nowhere territory. If you want to go out on the water in that region, you need to get permission from the Navy. A ship. A small boat. A kayak. Anything on the water. They keep close track. Pretty funny, actually.

Talking with the Argentinians and the Chileans about each other is pretty funny as well - no love lost there. The conversation are, on the surface, fairly benign, until you start to pick up the small, subtle digs. For example - all of the Chileans I talked with said they really had no opinion on the Falklands-Malvinas dispute......but you NEVER hear Chileans refer to it as the Malvinas - they always call it the Falklands Plus, both groups of citizens don't like Peruvians at all. And the Brazilians I talked with sneer at all three.

And the last stop - in local dialect, it is called Rapa Nui. To us, it is referred to as Easter Island. Jaw-dropping is the only way to describe those 4 days. The history, culture, and religious structure of the ancient society were as fascinating as the famed Moai statues themselves.

And - wouldn't you know it - I get back home and the Sanding Fairy apparently did not get the memo, and the two table tops I had sitting on my bench did not get touched in my absence. The Real World is back.


Ken Fitzgerald
10-12-2012, 11:33 AM

Sounds like a fantastic trip. No pictures.....didn't happen.....you know the rules!

Kent A Bathurst
10-12-2012, 11:36 AM
Fair enough, Ken. I was not, however, the Carrier of the Camera. It will take a bit for the digital process to work it's way to my laptop, if history is a guide.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-12-2012, 11:43 AM
Kent.....I Googled "Torres de Paines" and it was what I thought it was. I have dreams of fly fishing in Patagonia! Gorgeous country!

Kent A Bathurst
10-12-2012, 12:16 PM
Yeah - fly fishing was a topic of conversation for us as well. Turns out that [a] the season does not open until this coming Monday, and our travel window was kinds of restricted; and [b] it was either the fishing or Easter Island. Both were my wife's interests, and she made the call, because she has wanted to see Easter Island for as long as I have wanted to Round the Horn. Having been there, I would have to say that if I could only choose one, I would take Easter Island.

But - the fishing.....people running our lodge in Patagonia talked about 24" trout and 20 kilo - KILO - salmon.............arrrrgh!!!!