“Pic of the Week”, November 6, 2015: La Chocolatta, Puenta Arenas, Chile

Chocolatta1

Situated on Chile’s southern coast, just north of Tierra del Fuego, the small city of Puenta Arenas is well off the main tourist paths in South America.  The city is the capital of Chilean Patagonia as it is a gateway to Torres del Paine, and is a port for tourist ships that cruise the Patagonian fjords, the Beagle Channel (and some ships even go on to Antarctica).  Puenta Arenas is a frontier town and a tax haven (to encourage migration and its growth), so it offers lots of shopping.  Many Chileans travel here for the low prices.

We weren’t much interested in shopping for toasters or jackets, and had just a few hours to explore Puenta Arenas before taking a memorable …

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“Pic of the Week”. April 25, 2014: Gauchos at the roundup

2014 17a April 25d Gauchos at roundup, Torres Del Paine

In scenes reminiscent of the Old West, these gauchos are rounding up the herds of horses at Torres del Paine National park in Chile.

Trail riding is popular in Chile, and the hotel where we were staying had a large stable of horses for hire.  In the evening the horses were turned into a large pasture to graze and in the morning they were rounded up and brought back to the stable.

While young, these gauchos were very skilled and the horses respected and listened to their commands.  It was fun to watch them work!

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

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“Pic of the Week”. April 11, 2014: Paine Massif, Torres Del Paine National Park

2014 015a March 13a Paines Massif, Torres Del Paine

I love mountains and perhaps the most amazingly shaped mountain I’ve ever seen is the Paine Massif in Chilean Patagonia.  Very distant from major cities, the Paine Massif is about 2000 km (over 1200 mi) south of Santiago.  The park in which it’s situated, Torres Del Paine National Park, is one of the treasures of the natural world.   There are two very worthwhile mountain formations to see in the park, one being this peak (my favorite) and the other being the three towers the park is named after (Torres Del Paine).  These two formations are in quite close proximity and from the right angle you can see both in one field of view.

I’d been aware of this region for …

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