Chile, the Pacific strip
A window onto the Pacific. A long strip of ocean, mountainous, where you can decide, for example, to visit the country only via the houses of the poet, Pablo Neruda, dispersed throughout Chile. Or, if the visit is long enough, you can take a trip to the growth in the middle of the ocean that is Easter Island, a salty curiosity that tells of the distinctly maritime history of the country.
In a forgotten Indian dialect, the word Chile means “there where the earth ends”. A good summary for a part of the world with a deep-rooted charm. You cannot imagine any other way to travel in this corridor-country than from north to south. From the most arid desert on the planet, to the rocky rooftops where the Condor, a bird with a mythical aura, sits. You can get there by bus… on steep mountain roads. You can cross the cities, like Valparaiso, the biggest port of the region. Santiago de Chile, the capital that, strangely, moves away from the shore, is inevitably a choice stop. With an architecture where the colonial churches compete, literally side-by-side, with the glass-eyed skyscrapers. The wine bars too, that you can visit to taste the local produce, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Syrah. Winemaking in Chile has made so much progress in the last 15 years or so that the appealing reds rival their European competitors. Crossing through this territory at the end of the earth, where mining machines hunting for rich veins of copper meet with astronomical observatories, you get the impression that you are in a splendid no man’s land. A feeling that is quickly contradicted by the Chilean people, amongst the most welcoming in this region of the world, who receive the traveller as they once received the news-bearer: with care and generosity. But the geological resources and the warm hospitality are not the only riches of the country. With one of the largest fishing industries in the world, Chile overflows with lobsters, anchovies, hake and seafood. Gold from the aquatic depths that further encourages the Chilean odyssey.