Thursday, July 21, 2011

Valle Nevado

On Sunday we drove 46km out of the city and climbed to 3000m above sea level to one of Chile's most popular ski resorts. We had a couple of mishaps involving a fall from a surface lift and one lost ski, but we spent a lovely day enjoying the fresh powdery snow and sunny blue skies of the Andes.

Cerro Carbón

From our apartment we have a partial view of Cerro Manquehue, the highest mountain in the valley of Santiago and an extinct volcano. Daniel has summited it a few times on training runs and on Saturday I joined him for a hike. We didn't make it all the way to the top, but we got as far as Cumbre de Cerro Carbón, the summit of the smaller Coal Hill down the ridge.

We saw several new bird species and evidence of hare and small rodent life. Daniel has seen a chilla (grey fox) on one of his runs. The vegetation is surprisingly lush and we chuckled when we saw specks of snow on the cacti on the higher slopes! At the top, we enjoyed playing in the snow (a bit of nostalgia) and seeing the views across the city. After a day of rain the smog had cleared away and we could see the Andes across the valley.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I went on a day trip with some friends to the port of Valparaiso. Here's a sneak peak of the colourful coastal city. I can't wait to return with Daniel...

Pueblito de Los Dominicos

Daniel and I visited the picturesque market of Los Dominicos, nestled at the base of the mountains on the outskirts of Las Condes. The market is home to all kinds of hand-crafted products, including leather, clay, food and jewellery. The stalls are cobbled together in charming Spanish-style casas, with water features and ornaments lining the alleys between.