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My Journey Round The World » Chile

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Feedback Chile

2010-02-chili best

Better later than never… Little feedback about Chile where I unfortunately didn’t stay long enough and where I wish to go back!

Even regarding the sad earthquake event – where I’ve never been so scared of my entire life! - Chile stay one of my best memory and I’ll come back for sure.

Not only the landscape – which I didn’t see much! – is amazing but people too! From the Don Baldo crew where I spent 4 days, cruising for free with Anna & Laia on the Routa Cordillera to the friendly bus driver from Valparaiso to Santiago as well as the lady to whom I gave my last postcard to post – no mailbox as the airport was upside-down. I’ll never forget:

  • Juan Carlos who picked me up in the middle of nowhere as I missed the bus stop to Puerto Varas and arrived in Frutilla!
  • Carlos who kindly hosted me at his place on the Parque National Puyehue where I was desperate to find a place for the night! I’ll definitely come back to enjoy the hot water natural pool while watching the stars :)
  • Victor-Hugoone of the bus drivers from Osorno to Valparaiso during the terrible earthquake – that I was so glad to meet again and spend some time with in Valparaiso the next day. Pity I missed the chance to go back to Santiago with him!
  • The Couchsurfer ambassador who make sure that all travellers he could find on the website where safe! Thanks to him Cesar - a peruvian guy leaving in Santiago – kindly hosted me before I could get on my flight for NZ from the devastated airport.

I also keep in mind my nice meeting with franco-chilian couple Regis & Veronica I met at Entre LagosI hope to see you in Europe this year! - as well as Felipe which I was really glad to help with my spare change at the airport. Thanks for the postcard Felipe!

Who said that Chilean people aren’t friendly? It seems it’s the reputation they have and that I also heard from time to time… NO WAY! I’ll never met so friendly people as well as their Argentinean neighbour  :) I look forward to beeing back soon…

Santiago and tonight – hopefully! – fly to New Zealand…


So I missed my flight… But this time this isn’t my fault! ;) I reached Santiago on time but couldn’t go to the airport: closed! No way to go there… I ended up standing in a queue in front of LAN office in order to get information about what to do… When I could finally speak to someone, she said to me that I needed to go to Qantas but they are now close, wait until tomorrow 9am.

I needed to find a place to sleep, didn’t feel like doing anything, kind of waiting for a miracle… Thing is, miracle never arrive when you need it! So I went to internet and sent a message on CouchSurfing – CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit. http://www.couchsurfing.org/ – after one of the Ambassador sent me a message, asking if I was safe and giving me a link to the Chile & Santiago groups if I needed help! What a surprise and realease to receive this message!!! So I sent my request and after not even 2 hours I got 2 replies and one really close from the Qantas office I needed to go the next day… Ceasara Peruvian living in Santiago – welcomed me and helped me to get info for my flight! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I’m suppose to leave tonight – Tuesday March 2 – for New Zealand!

What an adventure… I have to say that beeing alone during this travel was sometimes hard but manageable… Yes, I was missing a lot Ariane & Gregoire after they left Perou but nothing compare to that… Beeing all alone after my first – and I hope my last!!! - earthquake was the hardest thing I experienced so far - hopefully nothing worse would happen! I never felt such a fear in my life! I guess I can even say I was absolutely terrify! Such a weird feeling!!! As I said, I didn’t feel the earthquake, even if we were so close from the epicentre - lucky me! – I was sleeping. Waking up in the bus with such anxiety was strange, seeing cracks on the road, houses and bridge completely destroy was impressive but somehow fine… I was more worried about what the media would say to scare the rest of the world as I couldn’t contact anyone…

However the next day was a nightmare, even if I was safe!

  • Feeling the aftershocks at 8am and later on during the day & night, in a house with all the cracking sounds was scary,
  • finding out that I might not be able to travel was alarming,
  • beeing in the city bus when someone scream that a tsunami is coming was absolutely frightening!!!

At one point, I found myself not beeing able to do anything else than crying… Crying for what?!?! Don’t ask! I’m still wondering… The only thing I wanted was to see a face I know… I was so glad to meet the bus driver
- Victor! It was a realease!!! When he was called to drive back to Santiago on that evening, he even offered me to come with him! An angel in a middle of this mess!

Where I was, nothing too bad happen, mostly materials problem. However all around Concepcion city is a disaster area! And I can tell you that medias are the same everywhere… Informing yes and alarming too…



Short night under a roof… Finally I felt more secure in the bus! What a strange feeling to feel the aftershock - as this time I felt it! – even if it’s not much compare to 8.5… I just don’t know what to do… Don’t feel like visiting the city, even if I forced myself a bit after lunch. I was happy to visit the market, see people living as if… and find a comedor as in Peru and Bolivia but even food didn’t help to feel better… The only thing I wanted is to meet a face I know… So when I saw one of the bus driver from yesterday, at the bus station, I just went to speak with him, such a release for a few moment… We are supposed to meet tonight, for me not to be alone! The airport is supposed to be closed for 72 hours… I’ll see tomorrow if I can get there…

Valparaiso – todo bien… por ahora!


Valparaiso – Chile… After 24 hours stuck in the bus… But hey, better than stuck underground! It seems that we were really close from the epicentre and it moved  quite a lot… but I didn’t feel anthing… I was sleeping!  Still it was impressive to see that…

Hope to be able to leave Santiago on Monday for New Zealand!

Chile Ășltima visita: Puerto Varas – Saltos Del PetrohuĂ© & Lago Todos Los Santos


With all that, I didn’t had time to show you this… But you cannot miss this amasing view of the Osorno Volcano who remind me so much of the Fujisan in Japan – what do you think about it my Japanese trip partners? :)Puerto Varas is a lovely city – it seems that they felt the earthquake too! – and the nacional park next too it is also beautiful. Only thing is that it’s much easier to go there if you have your own car!


Carretera Austral


Believe it or not but thanks to Anna & Laia, we went on a 3 days cruise along the Routa Cordillera from QuellĂłn to Puerto Chacabuco for free… Invited by the Capitain of the Don Baldo and his officers, we could stay in the cabin as much as we wanted and even had diner in the Camara Oficiales with them from time to time! Unfortunately weather wasn’t really good for the view of the fjords – and the second night my stomach gave up after more than 2 hours of wind intensity 8 as I didn’t want to take a pastilla… - but still, it was really interesting to see the life of a boat going to pick up or bringing people in the middle of nowhere or only bringing food or any other valuables to small villages on the way. We could even see dolphins – too quick to take a picture!

Well I have to say that after 3 days, I was happy to be on terra firma and to reach Puerto Varas, even if I had to take shortly another ferry to escape ChiloĂ© island :) Ok, I missed Puerto Varas stop – 3nd rules: always ask the driver where you are instead of a passenger… – and went up to Frutillar. Lucky me, I didn’t even had a chance to reach the bus stop – in the middle of nowhere! – that someone picked me up and brought me back to Puerto Varas! Who said that Chilean arent’t friendly?!

Desolate Chaitén


Pretty hard to wake up after such a short night to jump on the bus at 6am! What a little shock also to arrive to ChaitĂ©n… I wasn’t aware of the volcan eruption that happen more than a year ago… And as the town is still under continued threat from the ongoing volcanic activity the view is quite desolate… No more bank or post office, some supermarkets with electricity generators for light or even hotel are still working, but the city look really dead… Some people left, some other stayed, fighting to still live here and hoping for the best… Impressive to see!

We could have a short walk around the city before taking the ferry to QuellĂłn. The bus driver said to us to come back at 12pm but he changed his mind and decided to leave before that: “things are changing” as he told us later on! In this circumstance, I met Anna & Laia - 2 Spanish girls travelling in Latine America for a year ; funny as we were in the same dormitorio in Esquel, cross the border together, were in the same hostel in FutaleufĂș and finally taking the same boat to QuellĂłn ;) - while watching the bags of 2 Israeli girls who weren’t as lucky as us to catch the bus in the city center… Girls finally arrived just on time to take the ferry![/lang_en]

FutaleufĂș: rafting!


After 1 month in Argentina, I finally cross to Chile on the 15 of February after a great evening spent with Yvonne – from Germany – & Jo – from the US – whom nearly convince me to follow them to El ChaltĂ©n in south Argentina… But I have to say that 30 hours bus didn’t really helps  - Yvonne confirm later on that it was a nightmare!

So I moved to Chile taking a bus from Esquel to the border and another Chilean Colectivos to FutaleufĂș.

After finding a hostel room – which look more of a closet than a room! But for 1 night it was fine and I could even watch the stars while laying down! - I went to pick up info to take the ferry to Puerto Montt – which ended up to be QuellĂłn on the ChiloĂ© Island, as they didn’t had any boat before the next 4 days… and FutaleufĂș is lovely but really small. So small that you meet all people with whom you cross the border! When going to pick up something to eat, I came accross Walter, a German guy who convince me to come for rafting with him and David from Switzerland. Actually I wasn’t that hard to convince as I always wanted to try it and while in Esquel I had a chat with another German guy – it seems to be my German period :)who told me it was amasing to do it there as he tried it the week before… As 1 person was missing, Donalda passionate US fisher, actually teaching English in Santiago – decided to join us.

What a great advendure!!! I loved it! Such an amasing landscape that you hardly have time to see as you have to concentrate on paddling… But still you can enjoy it everytime you have a short break… It was really great! I’ll do it again for sure :) Even after the good snack we had when arriving at the end of the trip, we where starving and went all together for a great salmon diner!