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Travelog for: Sweet Mimi

Queule, Chile - 30th October 2011

By: Leslie

Hey mum!

We came to relax to Leslie's summerhouse for the long weekend! :D It's in a small fishing village called Queule which is surrounded by beautiful hills and beaches!

This is the view from the balcony! Very nice isn't it? You can see the whole river mouth of Queule river and back there is the ocean!


In the garden there were many plants, but I'd never seen this one!
It's called nalca (Chilean rhubarb) and it's very big!
Leslie told me that some people eat their stems with salt! But she didn't let me try it, she said she wouldn´t break her plants' stems.  :rolleyes:


The nalca was surrounded by some very nice forget-me-nots. :rolleyes:


These are the flowers of a plant called chilco. They're the hummingbirds' favourite meal! :p


Then after lunch we decided to go to the beach! To get there you have to walk for about 40 minutes up and down the hill! So we started walking!


Can you guess the name of this rock? A clue, it's the king of the jungle ;) ...king of the jungle with some trees on his back!



This is the beach we were walking to! It's called Ronca beach. The word ronca means "snore" and the beach is called like that because of the loud sound of its waves! They really do sound loud!



We went down to beach and walked next to the sea foam and the waves :rolleyes:


Bobi smelled this seaweed from far away so we came to see it! It's called cochayuyo and guess what, it's edible! Although it didn't smell very inviting to say the less...  :thinking:




See what the wind has done to the trees in front of the sea!!  :o


Leslie told me there was a fire in this forest some years ago... but as you can see nature is recovering nicely :rolleyes:


There are many burnt tree trunks still standing.


Then when the sun went down we went back to the summerhouse.
It was a very nice day!


* Posted Nov 2, 2011, 11:14 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Queule, Chile - 31st October 2011

By: Leslie

Hey mum!

Today after lunch we went down to the waterfront to see the old wooden docks and the fishing boats from closer! None of them had brought fish recently so we didn't really see any "action" or crazy seagulls fighting over the guts!





Then we walked up to a view point called "el tope" from where you can see the whole peninsula and see the vultures flying right in front of your nose! Do you like the view?


Here, behind me is Los pinos island. The beach is called La herradura (the horseshoe) because of its shape and it's 9 kilometers long!  :stare: I wonder how many blisters I'd get in my foot if I walked along it!?


This is almost the whole town of Queule, see? it's quite small.


After about half an hour of walking up and down the hills we got to "agua de las niñas" beach, which means "water of the girls" in Spanish, what a weird name! I think its called like that because of the shallow depth of the ocean here, which makes it very safe for kids. :rolleyes:


Nearby there was a big rock full of holes everywhere! Do you know what might have caused them? Maybe the aliens! :stare: ...or just the erosion.  :thinking:


Nah, I'll go for the aliens!



A little later we moved to one of the hills nearby to eat some of our halloween treats watching the beautiful view!  ;)


And later on we walked back to the summerhouse.


What a cool day!  :D
See you!

* Posted Nov 7, 2011, 3:07 pm Last edited Nov 7, 2011, 3:08 pm by Leslie [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Temuco, Chile - 17th November 2011

By: Leslie

Hello mum!

Today I visited the most important hill in Temuco, Ñielol hill. By the way, I like the way the "Ñ" letter sounds, it's somewhat between N and I :rolleyes:
Some people say that Ñielol hill is an extinct volcano :o I hope it isn't, because I would not like to see it active since it's right next to the city! :o

We went up (by car - we were feeling a little lazy) to the main viewpoint from where we could see a big part of Temuco!


A little close there were this four very tall Mapuche totems!  :stare:
They are called "chemamulls"
In the middle there is a "canelo" tree, a sacred tree for Mapuche people.  :rolleyes:



Near there was a poor fallen one, he was too old and was kind of rotten  :thinking:


Then we moved to a lower viewpoint from where we could see a little more of the city to the west.


Do you see the closest roof? That's a small natural museum :D


In the museum there was an embalmed condor! It is the national bird of Chile and also the largest flying bird in the world!! It has a wingspan of about 3.2 m (10.5 ft) and can live up to 100 years! :o What an amazing bird!


This is a south american rodent called Coipo, it's like a mix between a beaver and a rat, a giant rat :stare:


This is a map of the 9th region of Chile, "La Araucanía" which where I am now.
I learned that just in La Araucanía there are 7 volcanoes! And in Chile, more than 2,900!!! which is the 15% of all the volcanoes in the world :o


Here I am inside of a "piñón" which contains hundreds of seeds of Araucaria tree (monkey puzzle), the national tree of Chile  :D


I hope you're having a good time!
See you!

Sweet Mimi

* Posted Nov 17, 2011, 9:59 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Puerto Montt, Chile - 25th November 2011

By: Leslie

Hi mum! How are you?

We came to a city 6 hours south called Puerto Montt, but for a very short time and even though Leslie didn't have much free time to take us out, we managed to go on a little tour through the waterfront from the centre to the famous Angelmó port ;)



This very big and famous monument is called "sentados frente al mar" (sitting by the sea). They even have their own song!!


This is Angelmó, an international port where turists from all over the world rive in their fancy cruises to taste typical chilean sea food and fishermen and big ships come and go :rolleyes:


In the restaurant galleries and could see panoramic views of the harbour :rolleyes:


This sea lion seemed almost trained! He didn't stop posing and swimming around for us! :)


There were some very old looking fishing boats! :stare:



Right there in the Angelmó port there is a big craft market :)


I'd like to have one of these beanies in my size ;) I wonder how would I look?



These two guys weren't so handsome but they were friendly enough to let me take a photo with them! :rolleyes:


I found these mysterious Moais from Easter Island on a shelf! :stare:


These jewels are made of a rather rare semi precious stone called Lapislazuli that is only found in Chile and Afghanistan :stare:


This nice couple lent me a woollen beanie ;) How do I look??


Late at night we went up to a viewpoint to see the light of the city! Very nice!  :rolleyes:


...And the next day we came back to Temuco.


I enjoyed this trip and hope you enjoyed the pictures! ;)


* Posted Nov 26, 2011, 1:42 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lonquimay, Chile - 8th December 2011

By: Leslie

Hi mum! How are you?

I know it's been a long time... sorry about that! We were on a trip, a very nice trip! But you'll see photos of that later, now I want to show you a trip we made to the Andes mountain range and a small town called Lonquimay the other day :rolleyes:

On the drive we stopped more than a few times to admire the beautiful landscapes by the road, so we took quite long to get to the mountain range :rolleyes: But that's what trips are for, aren't they? :rolleyes:

This bridge is very very old! :stare:


But don't worry, I didn't cross it! I'm standing here on a new bridge built next to the old one ;)


I really liked these high mountains as a background! :rolleyes:


Look mum! A suspension bridge! :stare: And I was brave enough to cross it! B)


It moved a lot and it was somewhat scary, but I'm sure it wasn't me the one who moved it the most! After all I'm quite fit and my weight isn't enough to move such a thing! B) I think it was Leslie who did little earthquakes in every step :o


This is beautiful waterfall is called "the falls of the princess" I think it's amazing how so much water falls and falls and doesn't run out! :D
I would like to swim here, but the water was really freezing!


...Another river... As you can see there are a lot of rivers coming from the mountain range to the ocean in this zone... a lot.


There were thousands of lupines by the road! Some were pink, purple, yellow and even blue! :rolleyes:



Here we started going up the Andes mountain range! Even though it's spring, up here it still seemed like winter!



The view was amazing! And I should mention as well that it was rather freezing!


We kept going up and up until we found snow! :D Snow in spring! :) So we went to play!! :rolleyes: But just for a short time... none of us wanted to catch a cold!



Everytime Leslie stopped to take pictures we would run back to the snow :D


Then we found what looked like a baby Araucaria and went running to climb it, but Leslie said that this one must be about 50 years old or more! :stare:


So I guess this one must be about a thousand years old!


After crossing a part of the mountain range we got to Lonquimay! There was nothing interesting as it a small town, but in the main square I found these two nice sculptures of Mapuche people :rolleyes:



We were very close to the border with Argentina! These signs say Argentina to the left and Chile to the right! :) I would have liked to turn left and take a sneak peek in Argentina, but for that we would have to cross the entire Andes mountain range... so we just turned right and started returning home.


On the road back to Temuco we crossed the longest tunnel in South America! :D Túnel las Raices - The Roots Tunnel. It's 4,527 meters long! :stare: There was a moment when we could see nothing at all! The entrance had already dissapeared and we still couldn't see the end! :rolleyes:



It was a fantastic day! :rolleyes:
Hugs from the sunny Chile!


* Posted Dec 8, 2011, 3:09 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Puerto Domínguez, Chile - 14th December 2011

By: Leslie

¡Hola mamá! ¿Cómo estás? - Hi mum, how are you? :)

Days here have been sunny and the temperatures raising quite fast, bordering the 30ºC these last days. :) I hope you are not freezing yourself back at home mum! I would like to send you some chilean warmth if I could! :rolleyes:

On one of those very rare cloudy days we went to a small town called Puerto Domínguez on the shore of Lake Budi, the only salt water lake in South America! :)

There were big sculptures of mapuche people, like this guy riding a horse...


Back there, behind the big fisherman, you can see the lake! :rolleyes:


This is it! Lake Budi, the only salt water lake in South America B)


A little later we went up to a small cemetery with a nice view to the lake :)
Many many old and not so old tombs had one of Leslie's lastnames written (she has 2), she told me it is because she's descendant of the Spanish guys who came to conquer this area back in the colonial times :stare:


Now the sun is shining outside so me and the others are going to go out to play ;)

Many kisses for you!

Sweet Mimi

* Posted Dec 14, 2011, 3:17 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Temuco, Chile - 20th December 2011

By: Leslie


Today we went to the main craftmarket of Temuco to see some Mapuche handicrafts. There were many strange musical instruments, clothes and souvenirs... I liked these "kultrún", mapuche drums covered with leather :rolleyes:


These are "trapelakuchas", jewel pieces made of silver worn only by mapuche women who have important ranges in their community. :stare: They are very heavy!


Then we went to a shopping centre and saw a magnificent giant christmas tree! :D The whole place had christmas decoration and they were playing christmas carols in spanish, it was a lovely atmosphere!


When we came back home we sat in front of the christmas tree to admire the lights listening to christmas carols :rolleyes: It's really nice!



I hope you're having a good christmas season mum!


* Posted Dec 20, 2011, 7:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Temuco, Chile - 23rd December 2011

By: Leslie


Today we were at home doing nothing productive... Chrissi and I were reading a book while Fiona, Petunia and Bobi were folding origami animals :rolleyes:


...When we heard someone coming! It was Pato wearing a Santa costume and bringing something!


It was a christmas tree and a bag of presents! :cyclops:


But he didn't bring any decoration for the tree... So Petunia, Fiona and Chrissi went to the big tree to stea... I mean borrow some :D In the meantime Bobi, Pato and I started helping with the tree :)


When the others were back they brought a big load of bells and other things :D


We hung the decorations on the tree while Pato was singing christmas carols to cheer us :rolleyes:


When we were done, we added just a little details. Fiona hung a bell on the wall, Leslie gave us a little manger to place under the tree, and Chrissi found a Santa figure that Zandy sent us! :D


And here it is!! Our own christmas tree! :cyclops:


I can't wait until christmas! :)
And I wonder what's inside Pato's bag! :rolleyes:

* Posted Dec 23, 2011, 6:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Temuco, Chile - 25th December 2011

By: Leslie

Hohoho! Merry Christmas from a 30ºC christmas day!

On Christmas eve, in the afternoon we had a lovely dinner with the family, the sun was still shining outside as you can see, since it's one of the longest days in the year! :D


Then, when we were done eating, we went to check our tree to see if Santa had passed, and yes! There were presents under our tree! :cyclops:


We euphorically opened them...! :D



There were candies and chocolate for everyone! :rolleyes: And we enjoyed them until we could eat no more! :p

I hope you had a beautiful christmas too mum!

Many kisses

* Posted Dec 28, 2011, 4:03 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Queule, Chile - 1st January 2012

By: Leslie


We came to celebrate to the summer house in the beautiful fishing village of Queule once again :rolleyes:

At midnight it was time for "3... 2... 1...!!"
As you can see we had a very good time ;) and we stayed up late in the deck watching little fireworks and people playing with sparklers. Our neighbors had good loud music, so we also danced a little ;)


The next day when we woke up (which wasn't precisely early...) the sun was shining and the sky was all blue so Pato and I went to the valcony to see the nice view and breathe some fresh sea breeze :rolleyes:


Later after lunch we walked to one of the beaches nearby, well, not so near, about 40 minutes walking up and down the hills :rolleyes: But I have no problem with walking, it's good excersise to prepare my body for the beach season :D


We all rathered playing in the sand than swimming, so after a little while the game was in action! ;) Petunia, Chrissi and I were the trapped ladies locked up by a dragon while brave Bobi and Fiona came to rescue us crossing the dangerous suspension bridge! :stare:


It was a very fun day! :D
I wish you and everyone back at home a very happy 2012 mum! :D
And as they say in spanish... FELÍZ AÑO NUEVO!


* Posted Jan 4, 2012, 2:17 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

La Serena, Chile - 11th January 2012

By: Leslie

Hey mum!

We started a journey to northern lands :rolleyes:
We slept on a bus for 8 hours and woke up in Santiago, the capital of Chile! But we didn't see anything there because we got off the bus and inmediately got into another one to keep going north :) Another 7 hours north!

Here we are leaving Santiago at 8 am...

As you can see the hills near Santiago have different vegetation than back south in Temuco... it starts getting more desertic, there is less vegetation here and you can even see some cactus! :stare:


Then, after about 4 hours on the second bus we started seeing the sea! :stare:


The bus made a stop to stretch everyone's legs in a little Town called Los Vilos. There was literally nothing to see there but one single cactus, so Leslie, desperate to get me good photos, made me sit on it and pose!!! :mad:


With my butt full of little red dots we went back to the bus and it started moving again...


And after a total of 15 hours on buses, we got to La Serena! :D
Mum, don't surprised if you find my butt a little flat when I come back home... This is why.
But traveling is never a pain, so as soon as we got there we left our baggage in the hostal and started walking a long long street that leads to the bech :rolleyes:

There were many monuments along, but I found this one specially awful, they are 2 condors (the national bird, remember?) hunting a poor rabbit! :stare: :o Who on earth can sculpt such a horrible scene!! :mad:


Then there were no more sculptures but road, just many blocks of road to the beach... surrounded by nice palm trees


And then, finally, after walking about 18 blocks we got to the beach! :cyclops: we were starting to feel tired but as soon as we saw the sea, it took all our tiredness away!

The first thing you see when you get to the beach is a nice lighthouse which is the most known icon of La Serena :D


We stayed here the whole afternoon :) relaxing after so much traveling and walking...


You'll see more La Serena soon mum, and so will I ;)

See ya!

* Posted Jan 11, 2012, 2:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

La Serena, Chile - 18th January 2012

By: Leslie


Another sunny day here in La Serena! :) In fact most of the days are sunny here and fantastically it only rains a few days a year! :D

In the morning ("morning" in holidays never means earlier than 9 am here :p...) we went walking to the centre, wich is just a few block away from our hostal and we found this church called Santo Domingo which was built in the year 1700 and something...


Inside it was cold and they had nice music playing which gave a nice and calm feeling :rolleyes:


Then we went out and just across the street we found the biggest and main cathedral of the city, Catedral de la Serena. It was built around 1800. :)

We were lucky to find it almost empty because there was a big "no photos" sign :thinking: I didn't mean to be disrespectful but such a nice construction must be photographed, right? :)

Next to us there was another tourist with his camera under his jacket, taking photos whenever he thought no one was looking! :D of course he never imagined there was a little toyvoyager bunny watching him from between the big pillars! haha!


Then we went out to the street again...

Haven't I told you mum that in La Serena most of the constructions keep a colonial style? In the centre, for example, they can't build anything bigger than 4 floors height, and most of the contructions have tile roofs :stare:

Anyway, we were walking in the street and found quite a nice building, but it belonged to some court or something like that so we were just trying to sneak near the door, but a nice guard found us and invited us inside to take photos! :D

Inside the building there was a beautiful patio!


Then out in the street again we found this cool tile bench where we sat to rest for a while :)

I was distracted looking around and talking with the others when Leslie got us all into a cab...


...and took us to a Japanese garden! :D


It was really peaceful even if it was surrounded by two of the main streets of the city! :) You could barely hear a noise other than the water and birds.


...And talking about birds... I saw black necked swans! :D


And then we all climbed this japanese sculpture to get a grupal shot ;) Of course I climbed higher than the others B)


It was quite a fun day!
I hope you're having fun back at home too, mum!

See you soon!


* Posted Jan 19, 2012, 1:53 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Coquimbo, Chile - 18th February 2012

By: Leslie

Hi mum!

The photos you're going to see now are from the day we went to Coquimbo, a city next to La Serena, literally, like 10 minutes away :)

When we got there we walked for a while through the coast where all the fishing boats were... back there you can see the desertic hills!


There was a monument of Saint Peter :)


Then we went up to the highest point in the city.



Here I am at the feet of the Third Millenium Cross, a giant monuent - view point inagurated by John Paul II in 2000 :D
Do you see the little windows in the "arms" of the cross?? Well that is the viewpoint! :D


We went up by an elevator... And this is the wonderful view from up there!! You can see the whole city of Coquimbo and its gulf :)


The Pacific ocean! :D


And back there you can also see La Serena city.


Under the cross there was a small cathedral and a religious museum but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside grrr... I saw some of John Paul's belongings, like clothes, chairs and other things... And I saw Michelangelo's La Pietà! :D And this I was allowed to take a photo with! :)


After the Cross, we went to a fortress used to fight the pirates back in the day!


What a nice day, mum!
Hope you're enjoying the winter back at home :)
Hugs from the sunny sunny Chile


* Posted Feb 18, 2012, 9:00 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Valle del Elqui, Chile - 20th February 2012

By: Leslie

Hola mamá! ¿Cómo estás?

Today I'm going to show you photos of the day we went to the Elqui Valley (valle del elqui). It is the place with the clearest sky in the world! That's why there are many obstervatories around these hills :)
Actually this was already a while ago but I haven't had many time to do updates because we've been traveling quite a lot :D

The valley is crossed along by a river, and can you believe there is a whole town under it!? :o One day in 1996 the inhabitants of Gualliguaica town were told they had to leave their houses because a dam was going to be built nearby and the next day their whole town was under water! It was rebuilt nearby but there are people still sad about it, specially old people who lived all their lives in their original town...


After about one hour going into the valley we got to its first town, Vicuña. This is the old city hall used around 1800 by the mayor and other politicians :) Now the main room is a museum where you can see pictures of the important guys who used to attend meetings there. I wonder how was this place when they were alive? how were their lives...? I bet they were very different to the traveler life I know so far ;)


Then we took another bus to go deeper into the valley to a small town called Pisco Elqui :)

As we went further into the valley it became nicer and nicer! The mountanis were bigger and the fields greener! :D


Mum, this is the place with the clearest sky in the world!! :D


Leslie made me sit on a cactus! She said her excuse was the funny name of this cactus... although I think that's a pretty lame excuse! One of these days I'll put a cactus branch on her seat... let's see if she likes it!
Anyway, this is called "mother in law's cushion" (cojín de la suegra) I'm pretty sure that name was made by a mean man! :p


I'll write again soon!

PS: my bum still hurts :mad:

* Posted Feb 20, 2012, 4:14 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Temuco, Chile - 3rd March 2012

By: Leslie

Hi mum!

Today I started getting ready to go back home, and when I was gathering my belongings to pack, I found this flag of New Zealand! :D Leslie told me she used to live there, and as it's one of my life missions I was very impressed! :)


Then I said goodbye to everyone at home!


And got ready for my trip!


Mum, here I come! B)


* Posted Mar 3, 2012, 3:41 pm Last edited Apr 7, 2012, 4:54 pm by Leslie [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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