The beach dominates much of Viña’s life – both in terms of tourism and attitude. High rises front the coast along Calles San Martin and Jorge Montt. The city has done a magnificent job developing the beaches with beautiful stretches of parks with biking and walking paths along the entire stretch from Muelle Vergara to the amphitheater at Playa Marineros, enticing locals and tourists to come out and enjoy.   Graffiti adorns concrete blocks buttressing Muelle Vergara   High rise apartment buildings overlook Playa El Sol’s sand and sun seekers.   The sign says “Beach not suitable for swimming” – but the water’s too alluringRead More →

We stopped off in Quintero on the way back from Caleta Horcón – just a hop, skip and a jump down the coast. Quintero is a Peninsula with a rocky coastline. We drove to the Playa Los Enamorados and walked a trail with beautiful sea views down to the Playa Las Conchitas.     Walking from where we parked the car, we came by the ruins of something, not sure what, but made for interesting pictures.   Playa Los Enamorados   Contemplating what to do next on Playa Las Conchitas   Grima snapping away, unfortunately with some graffiti marring the scenery   I wish weRead More →

Horcón lies 43 kilometers north of Viña del Mar. If you drive to the end of the avenida Principal you’ll find yourself at one of the most picturesque coves in Chile – Caleta Horcón. On warm summer days, the small beach is littered with sunbathers intermixed with old, colorful fishing boats. Lining the beach are a host of restaurants featuring typical Chilean seafood and other delicacies.     Restaurant row   Beachgoers among the fishing boats   Ad hoc wiring – seems to work   Beach cacti   At the south end of the cove is the “Puente de los Deseos” (Bridge of Desires), adornedRead More →

Leaving the summer heat of Santiago, we travelled back to Viña del Mar, about 73 miles west of Santiago, where we stayed in an apartment on the 15th floor of an apartment building on Viana and Quillota, a block and a half from the Plaza Vergara. I’m not generally fond of tall buildings, especially in a city known for violent earthquakes. We were calmed somewhat by the fact that Chilean’s have learned to construct some of the best earthquake ‘proof’ buildings in the world. But, to our unease, we could feel vibrations from time to time from the construction of a large building next door.Read More →

When I first arrived to Chile in 1966, the downtown was the place to be, center of culture and business. It’s still a bustling, busy downtown, but much of the glitter has worn off somewhat and moved more to the East of town, into the Providencia, Las Condes and Vitacura neighborhoods. Lately there has been a considerable wave of immigrants to Chile from other countries in South America, changing the typical ‘Chilean’ character of the downtown area.   Riding past the Fine Arts Museum on Ismael Valdes Vergara   Hanging out on the steps of the Fine Arts Museum   Tourist photographing statue of theRead More →

On New Year’s Day we accompanied Grima’s brother, Victor, and his wife, Silvia, along with Silvia’s mother to place flowers on Silvia’s Father’s grave. Santiago’s general cemetery is located in the community of Independencia, north of downtown and is populated by presidents, generals and other distinguished families of Chile, along with the common population. It is enormous and contains architectural symbols of Chile’s past, and a very interesting way to spend an afternoon wandering the aisles and passageways.     Flower vendor at the West entrance to the cemetery   Siliva with her mother   Victor with his mother-in-law contemplating the past and future  Read More →

December 25th in Chile is in the summer – the same as June in California. It can be a little disconcerting for those of us used to Christmas in the winter. Some of the traditions from the North have made their way down here. Lights and Christmas trees are seen in many places.   Lit trees adorn Calle Pedro de Valdivia in Providencia, Santiago.   But there’s more adherence to the traditional Christmas celebrations of the birth of Jesus. Manger scenes are plentiful and the baby Jesus doesn’t appear till Midnight Christmas Eve. Manger on the right, Christmas Tree on the left of the ProvidenciaRead More →

After a whirlwind trip we came to the final day in Chile for Michelle, Andrew and Canaan. The flight left close to midnight giving us time to do a little more exploring around Santiago. We took them to the Costanera Center in Providencia, an upscale community of Santiago. It’s the largest shopping mall in South America. From there we went to the Parque Bicentenario just a little ways away in the community of Vitacura. A wonderful way to relax in the summer sun and a beautiful end to their trip to Chile.   When I visited Chile in 2007 I took this picture of theRead More →

Prior to Michelle and Andrew’s departure from Chile. we all got together with family at the house of our nephew, Mauricio. Mauricio and his wife, Nicole, had returned the previous year from a stint in the US while attending Stanford. Mauricio received his doctorate Nicole her Masters.  I remember vividly a previous trip to Chile where I helped Mauro with the application process to get into Stanford. It was very gratifying when he was accepted into the program and came to California, just a short drive from out home in Roseville. This was a chance for most of the family to reconnect with Michelle andRead More →

Temuco is the center of the region known as ‘La Araucania”, the base of the Mapuche indigenous culture in South America. Victor and Silvia have lived there for over 40 years and were they raised their family. We stayed with them in their apartment in Temuco and also in their house in Pucon, at the base of the Villarrica Volcano.   Volcano Villaricca as seen from the tourist town of Pucon, Chile. This is one of the volcanoes that erupted a month after we returned to the US.   The apartment building in Temuco where Victor and Silvia live. We stayed with them for aRead More →