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Updated Nov 18, 2006......................................................................................

Chile

10/4/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 1

The hotel where we stayed in Santa Cruz was beautiful—colonial, complete with a cobble-stone court yard. The drive out of Santa Cruz was equally as beautiful, past little stone cottages with flower trellises with vineyards in their backyard and mountains in the background—the poor farmers with the million dollar views. It was the picture of what I expected rural Chile to be—really pretty.

We left Santa Cruz around 10:00 am since the girls slept a little late due to our late arrival last night, and the two-hour time difference. Fortunately, the girls were really great for the whole eight-hour drive since we let them watch movies for much of it, and they took a nap along the way. We also stopped several times and discovered incredible service stations along the highway with great food and free wireless internet. Everyone we’ve met has been so friendly. They may be getting a chuckle out of our really poor Spanish, but they’re smiling regardless of the reason. Chile is great!

We arrived at the farm around 6:30 pm and were planning to go back out to pick up some food for dinner. The owners, Ian and Maggy, were such gracious hosts. They brought us some snacks and drinks for the evening, hosted us for dinner, and gave us some food for breakfast in the morning. We felt instantly at home. I’ve been looking forward to coming here ever since I found the farm on the internet, but it’s so much better than expected. The owners are incredibly friendly and interesting, and the cabin is gorgeous. The owners left England and spent several years sailing around the world, and ultimately stopped in Chile, wrote a Chile sailing guide book and have developed a beautiful farm. It’s so great meeting interesting people on the trip.

10/5/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 2

We went into town this morning to get some groceries. We found almost everything we needed but they didn’t have peanut butter and jelly—apparently they don’t have that in Los Lagos, so we have to drive further into the city. The people are so friendly—two people came and asked us if we needed help while we were going around—I don’t think they see too many tourists around here. I love it!

We came back and went horse-riding with Maggy for 2.5 hours in the afternoon. The girls did really well. Both of them rode their own horses, with someone leading them. We rode all around the farm, through the cow pastures, along the river, back up through the timber farming, past the bee hives. They really are making the land very productive. It was so much more interesting than a trail ride in the U.S. because the horses could trot in the open pastures. We also saw the real life of a farm with one calf that had to be rescued from a fall, and one that had unfortunately met an untimely end, and the vultures were circling above. We made sure we looked alive for the rest of the ride. Maggy was really great with the kids. I think Annette really likes her since she talked the entire ride. It was really cute to listen to her: “Ms. Maggy, I love my horse…. Ms. Maggy, I like your hair in a pony tail…. Ms. Maggy, our dog Aspen died…. Ms. Maggy, I’m going to be really sad to leave here….” The girls have already said they’d like to stay more than six days here.

cute girls
Dominique riding
Annette riding

10/6/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 3

We had a laid back day today since we were still feeling the need to recover from the travel day. We hung around the lodges and did some arts and crafts and read some of the books that Maggy lent us. It was a beautiful day, so we played soccer, climbed trees, visited the kittens and horses, and played with the dogs. It’s so easy to feel relaxed here since it’s so pretty and very comfortable.

Annette in tree

10/7/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 4

We took about a one-hour drive into Valdivia today, which is the largest town in the region. The main reason for the trip was to go to the large supermarket to pick up things for dinner that we couldn’t get at the Los Lagos store. We also took a little time to see around the town. We got back early to try to let the girls have naps—that worked for Dominique but not Annette.

In the afternoon, the girls made cookies for tonight’s dinner. We also went to feed the horses carrots and to visit the kittens. We cooked a southern meal of chicken and grits for Ian and Maggy and their other guest, Olaf. It’s so nice to be able to socialize with other people. The girls were so excited to be there, they were great.

10/8/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 5

We were going to go horse riding today, but it started raining before we went out, so we changed plans. Ian suggested that we all go to the hot springs, which are a couple of hours away, so we did that in the afternoon. The springs were very cool. They used cold water from a waterfall to keep the hot pools at reasonable temperatures, so we spent the rainy afternoon in the hot pools. It was very relaxing in a really unique environment. Unfortunately, it was another late night for the girls on top of an early morning, so they’re really in need of a nap. They’re really excited about being with Ian and Maggy on the farm, but at some point, we’ve got to get them back to sleeping again before they start acting like they’re sleep deprived.

hotsprings1
hotsprings2
hotsprings3

10/9/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 6

It stopped raining so we were able to go horse riding. The girls are having the best time since they get to be involved in the entire process. The horses were caught in the field and brought up to the tack shed, which is right by our bungalow. Then the girls watched and helped to brush the horses and get them ready. Maggy is so great about letting the girls get involved and teaching them about the process. The girls have been riding “Chocolito” and “Coral”, so they’ve become attached to their horses. The ride went really well. Dominique rode a portion of the ride without being led by Darren, so she’s increasing her confidence. When we got back, the girls helped to clean off the horses and led them back to the fields. The girls really love being here and they’re learning so much. We put them to bed early tonight since they’ve been missing their naps and they really need one. They’re super when they’re around the horses, but they’re showing that they’re in need of some sleep in the evenings.

Annette grooming
dominique grooming

10/10/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 7

It was a beautiful day today so we were able to go riding again. The girls helped to get the horses ready, and then we rode down through the pastures and had a picnic by the river. Dominique rode the entire way by herself. She really did a great job. She got nervous at one point because she couldn’t get the horse to move forward, but other than that, she did a great job making it go the way she wanted. On the way back we stopped to visit the lambs and the girls got to hold some. The girls helped to clean off the horses and put them away, and then went to help Miss Maggy to feed the kittens.

Annette lamb
Dominique lamb
picnic

10/11/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 8

It rained all day today so we used the time for a catch-up day. We did laundry, caught up on some e-mails, and the girls took a great nap. The girls had a great time playing, reading and doing arts and crafts all day.

We’ve had such an enjoyable time at the farm, we’ve decided to stick around for a few more days. Ian and Maggy are wonderful and the girls really love everything about being here.

10/12/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 9

We had a great time today. In the morning, the girls helped Ms. Maggy search for snails in the garden to give to one of her friends. Annette was great at it. Dominique was too scared to touch them—not because they were dangerous but because they were ugly and slimy and she didn’t want to get dirty—whose daughter is this? So Annette and I ended up collecting the snails and Dominique proudly displayed the snails “we” had collected. She’ll be good in sales one day.

We had another great nap day, so we’re making up some lost ground on sleep. After naps, we went to the corral and saw the cows being moved from the pasture to the coral to get vaccinations and to replace missing tags. It was really cool to see how the cowboy was able to move all the cows by blocking the escaping ones with his horse. It was also cool to see how a real farm works—you don’t see all that dirt when the cow is served on Styrofoam trays in the supermarkets.

Ian and Maggy hosted us and Olaf for dinner again this evening. They’re wonderful cooks and we had a delicious meal. I’ve really learned to appreciate cooking with fresh ingredients since we’ve been traveling. Meals used to be an inconvenience that I had to do, but I’m really enjoying good food now. It’s also been great getting to know Ian, Maggy and Olaf with each time we spend with them. They’re such nice people.

snails
cattle watching

10/13/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 10

I’ve started doing yoga again after taking a break in Tahiti and Easter Island. There’s no TV here, which is what the girls used to watch when I was doing it in New Zealand, so they decided to do it with me. They were so funny. They actually did a good job, although it probably wasn’t as focused a session as it was supposed to be—there was lot’s of laughing.

We were trying to go horse riding today but the rain was intermittent all day, so we changed plans. We toured Ian and Maggy’s honey production facilities, which was very impressive. I really had no idea how much goes on besides the bee going to the flower and to the bee hive. I’m such a city slicker, and I really never considered myself one.

The girls had another good nap, after which they went to Maggy’s house to make paper mache horses, and they both did a really great job. After that, we visited the horses and the kittens.

yogo
Dominque bekeeper
paper mache

10/14/06— Puerto Varas

We had to say goodbye to our wonderful hosts today and head further south on our way to Chiloé . We’ve been so comfortable at the farm it would have been great to stay, but then we wouldn’t have seen more of Chile. It’s certainly a place I’d come back to.

Our drive was uneventful and we stopped along the way at one of the great gas stations which offer free wireless internet to get our e-mails. We found a cabana in Puerto Varas overlooking the lake, but it was very aged—but we’re here only for one night. It just makes me appreciate even more what we had on the farm since it was the same price.

10/15/06— Chiloé—Day 1

We left the hotel right after breakfast and took the ferry to Chiloé to stay at a guest home of friends of Ian and Maggy, Marc and François. Marc met us part way to lead us on a bumpy road to the house. François used to own a restaurant and is a great cook, so we had an incredible lunch and then strolled down to the beach to take a tour of the bay with Marc and François. They built their house about a year ago on the tip of an isolated peninsula which was only accessible by four wheel drive along the beach at low tide while they were building it. They had to carry each piece of timber, their windows, bath tubs, everything, on the top of the jeep—that gave me an appreciation for every piece of wood and all the nails and fixtures in the house. They only brought electricity to this area within the last five years, and even that’s a little shaky. Chileans use raw timber to build houses because the contraction of the wood makes the nails tight—it also leaves gaps between the pieces of wood. Still, Marc and François accept that as the way of life in Chile, so now they’re filling in the gaps. They’re wonderfully laid back—of course, you have to be to tackle such a challenging building project.

We had a late dinner since we had a late lunch. The girls were great (thank goodness, since we’re in their home), despite no naps, but Annette finally decided that she was too tired to eat dinner and she put herself to bed—she’s so independent. Dominique, on the other hand, was so enthralled about being the only kid with the adults, up far later than she should have been, so she was in heaven. She’s such a ham.

10/16/06— Chiloé—Day 2

We followed Marc and François into Ancud today and Marc showed us a couple of sites and explained more about the fishing industry since he’d been a commercial fisherman in Chile for several years. One of the fishermen brought the girls some crabs to look at—people here are so nice to the kids. We had lunch sitting in the plaza and then returned to the guest house to give the girls a chance to nap. Fortunately, the girls both had great naps, so they were really good for the rest of the evening. François cooked a great dinner and the girls loved it, especially the dessert. They’re going to have a hard time adjusting to pasta for dinner and no dessert when they leave here.

crabs
Dominique crab

10/17/06— Chiloé—Day 3

We went exploring to see the penguins and sea lions today. The drive along the coast was very pretty and we ended up going across a stream and driving along the beach for the final portion of the trip. Good thing we had a 4x4 vehicle. Marc recommended a person to take us to see the penguins and sea lions but he wasn’t there, so we went with another fisherman who agreed that he would take us out on his boat to see both penguins and sea lions. We saw the penguins, which really were not impressive compared to what we’d seen in South Africa, but Marc told us that the sea lions were the most interesting part of the trip, so that was OK. When we asked about the sea lions, he said that they weren’t there, but for twice the price, he could take us to another colony. I refused to go out of principle so we missed the sea lions—but the girls thought it was fun anyway.

After the boat ride, we went to the Museo de Prehistorica, which was a small selection of animals and whale bones that an old fisherman had collected over many years. It was really great—quaint and authentic. I should have taken a picture of the fisherman since he was exactly what you’d expect for a weathered Chilean fisherman, but I didn’t—hopefully I’ll think of doing that before I leave next time.

We spent the rest of the day back at the house, wandering on the beach searching for shells and playing with the birds. We had another great dinner by François. It was also great to just sit around and talk to Marc and François—they’ve lead such an interesting life. They’ve done so many interesting things, I can’t begin to capture their interesting life, but some of the highlights were living 15 years on a barge in a canal at the foot of the Eifel Tower, moving to Chile from France when the kids were 8-11 years old, scoping out a race circuit in the Sahara, and traveling all around the world—oh, and they’re a laid back French Count and Countess! The greatest thing about our trip has been meeting such great people. It makes doing interesting things seem like the norm. I love it!

penguin tour
beach drive

10/18/06— Chiloé—Day 4

We went back into Ancud today to get some groceries for Darren to cook Chicken and Grits for dinner tonight. Marc showed us a good place to get some nice crafts, so I purchased a nice woolen shawl, a woolen hat for Dominique (a spontaneous purchase since she looked so cute in it—I’m such a sucker), and a couple of knitted bags for the girls (again, a sucker)—all for $30. We had our standard lunch of cheese sandwiches at the plaza, watching the people go by. After town, Marc took us to see an abandoned church and graveyard for the English and German settlers, a small village, and to see the wooden boat that is being built by hand by one of the villagers. There are no commercial signs here, so you find places like the mechanics, fisherman and boat builders just by word-of-mouth—it’s great.

plaza lunch

10/19/06— Chiloé—Day 5

It rained all day today so we decided not to go exploring. Marc and François invited one of their neighbors to the house who has a four year-old son. The son was at school, so they invited the girls to go to the school to play with the other kids for a while. The kids had fun and Dominique stayed at the school by herself for about an hour. She didn’t understand anything except a few words the teacher spoke to her in English, but she asked if she could go back again tomorrow. The parents who moved here not speaking any Spanish said that their kids were fluent within the first couple of months, while it took the parents years to learn. I can see that Dominique and Annette won’t learn too much Spanish while they’re traveling with us on this trip since we speak to them in English and they’re not immersed in the language, but it’s good for them to hear that people speak languages other than English. We’ll have to come back again some time and stay for a while.

We had another enjoyable evening hanging out with Marc and François and eating another delicious dinner. They’ve been such entertaining hosts. The girls have also been really well behaved while we’ve been here.

We’re going to be sad to leave tomorrow. We’ve had such a good time seeing how laid-back the island life is on Chiloé.

10/20/06— Puerto Varas—Day 1

We decided to leave Chiloé and head back to the main land to spend some time in the Lake District. So, we said goodbye to our French friends and took the ferry back to the main land. We drove through Puerto Montt but after spending such a laid-back time in Chiloé, it seemed like too much of a big city to us, so we drove on to Puerto Varas. We found a cabaña with incredible views over-looking the lake and the volcanoes, so we decided to stick around for three nights. Unfortunately the place is only heated with a small wood fire, so I spent the evening tending the fire—the wood was damp so it wouldn’t stay lit very long.

10/21/06— Puerto Varas—Day 2

It was freezing in the cabin when we woke up, so I spent the morning trying to get the fire going so that we could move again. By the time I had the fire going, we decided to go into town and explore. Town was more touristy than I had hoped, and our lunch was not very good. I really like when we can get out into the more rural towns and avoid the tour buses.

I spent the afternoon trying to rekindle the fire with the damp wood. Since the temperature dropped so quickly last night when the sun went down, I wanted to get the fire going well before it got too cold. Darren complained about the heat since it wasn’t very cold while I was working on the fire, and he thought the hot coals that I had were all we needed. He was even less happy when I asked him to get some additional kindling, but he went to the office to get some. The hotel staff brought the kindling and made a roaring fire—it was even too hot for me. I thought it would die down soon but it didn’t. It also didn’t get any cooler outside, even with the sun going down. So now I was responsible for a roaring fire that made our tiny cabaña as hot as a sauna. And I had to listen to Darren’s complaints, “I told you so”, and heat-related jokes all evening. I’m not going to live this one down.

10/22/06— Puerto Varas—Day 3

It rained all day today so we didn’t do anything interesting. Darren took the kids to the grocery store and to the hotel’s hot tub, but other than that, we stayed in and played and read all day.

10/23/06—Frutillar

We drove around Lago Llanquihue to see the beautiful views of Volcán Osorno and the quaint towns of Ensenada and Puerto Octay. Unfortunately it rained all day and our visibility was very limited, so we couldn’t see the volcano or the great views of the lake, but I’m sure it was pretty. We stopped at Puerto Octay for lunch and had pollo con arroz (chicken and rice) and pan con queso (cheese sandwich) since that was the only thing I recognized on the menu. Much of the drive around the lake was on dirt roads with lots of pot holes, so it took several hours to get around. We stopped at Frutillar for the night to give the kids a break from driving. The good news is that Frutillar is less touristy than Puerto Varas. The bad news is that since there are fewer tourists, there are fewer big signs for places to stay, and several of the places that we found were closed for the season. We finally decided to check into a hotel rather than a cabaña since we couldn’t find a decent cabaña. We let the girls watch TV all evening since Dominique has started to come down with some kind of bug and she was really tired—it’s really the first sickness of the trip, so we’ve been really lucky. Fortunately, we had wireless internet access in the room, so we were able to do some research on where to stay in Argentina. It also gave us a chance to start looking into schools and properties when we get back to North Carolina—it’s great to be able to do that research from anywhere in the world.

10/24/06—Valdivia

We decided to head north to a bigger town than Frutillar since there wasn’t much to do there, especially staying in a hotel, so we came to Valdivia. Valdivia is supposed to be one of the prettiest towns in Chile, and it is quite nice right on the river, but the buildings are quite run down, and the bad areas blend into the good areas, so I wasn’t impressed. We searched around for at least an hour for a cabaña but the ones we found looked really run-down, so we then changed our search to hotels. Even then, we found it really hard to find hotels. We saw a lot of hostels, but they also looked run down. We finally found a hotel (Villa del Rio) on the river between two industrial shipping yards—not a place I’d normally stay, but we couldn’t find anywhere else. When I checked in, they told me we could have one room for US$136 for the night but when I gasped (that’s really expensive in this part of Chile and in my opinion, totally over priced for the location), they said we could have it for $106. Deal. When I told them I didn’t need a porter to bring our luggage, the reception clerk said in a condescending tone “of course…”. The porter showed us to our room and stood around waiting for a tip. Unfortunately, we’d run out of cash, so we couldn’t give one even if we wanted to, so I’m sure our reputation as the cheap tourists has been circulated. I always find it so obnoxious when staff at higher-end hotels have attitudes—do they train for this or are they recruited? The ironic thing is that we’ve stayed in much nicer places (both in location and lodging), where the people have been much nicer. It just supports my desire to avoid hotels whenever possible.

Darren took the girls out to see the sea lions and I enjoyed an hour or so riding and overlooking the river. The be fair, the view from the hotel was very nice—you can’t see the industrial areas next door, and the run-down areas across the river are hard to see. Nobody wanted much dinner (which was good since we didn’t have a kitchenette in the hotel room) and the kids fell to sleep early since they had no nap and they both seem to have a bit of a bug.

10/25/06—Pucón—Day 1

We made one last effort to find a cabaña in Valdivia. I noticed that the hotel had some although they didn’t have any signs for them, but they were full for the next couple of nights. We couldn’t find anything so we decided to move on to Pucón where it’s more touristy. The area around Pucón and Villarica was really beautiful. We’ve finally found where all the rich Chileans have their vacation homes. The snow-capped volcano towered over the towns and the lake. The towns were really cute—Pucón was definitely more touristy, but with that, we found good signs of places to stay, things to do, and a great selection of restaurants. These towns are much prettier than Valdivia—I’m not quite sure who nominated it as one of the prettiest towns.

The girls took a nap as soon as we arrived. Annette has definitely picked up Dominique’s bug, so they’re both feeling a little under the weather. Darren went out with Dominique for a short time in the afternoon to explore. Annette stayed in to watch a movie since she was feeling bad. The girls went to bed early again this evening, even though they took a nap. This bug is definitely taking a toll on them.

10/26/06—Pucón—Day 2

We took it easy again today to give the girls a chance to recover from their bugs. We wandered around town in the morning and bought Dominique a new fleece pullover (pink, of course) since we accidentally donated her jacket to the school in Chiloé. We went to the park in the afternoon where a guy rented toy Barbie cars for the kids to drive around the park—they were in heaven. A dozen or so school kids (ages 8-10) surrounded us in the park to hear Darren play the banjo and look at the girls. The girls weren’t very playful because they didn’t feel very well and it was pretty intimidating to be surrounded by so many kids, but the kids were really friendly. It was such a beautiful day with a clear blue sky and the snow covered volcano in the background.

We decided to stick around Pucón for the next couple of days, even though it’s supposed to rain. It’s such a cute town and everyone is really friendly. We’ve come at a good time—the restaurants and streets are pretty empty but there’s huge capacity, so it must be crazy here in the peak of summer.

Dominique car
Annette car
banjo star

10/27/06— Pucón—Day 3

We wandered around town for a bit in the morning and found some cute leather bits that the girls can use as saddles and bridles for their paper mache horses. Darren also got his haircut with no issues, even though we could hardly speak any Spanish to the hair dresser. We spent the rest of the day inside watching cartoons and movies since it rained all day, but it also gave the girls more time to recover.

10/28/06— Pucón—Day 4

Today was another day of rain, movies and cartoons. Dominique seems to be about over her bug, but Annette is a day or two behind her. We’ve been really fortunate to be able to be in a good spot to have some recuperation days, and near to the pharmacies. I knew we’d need to do this at some point in the trip, but the timing couldn’t have been better. It would have really sucked if the girls had come down with bugs when we were on safari where I wouldn’t have wanted to miss anything.

10/29/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 1

We decided to stop back in to visit Ian and Maggy at the farm for a few more days—the guests that would never leave! We all love it here, and the girls haven’t stopped talking about Mr. Ian, Ms. Maggy and the horses since we’ve been gone. Annette even made up a game called “Ms. Maggy” where she pretends that we’re going to go horse riding and she has to groom the horses. Unfortunately, when we arrived we realized that we left “Doggy”, Dominique’s sleeping buddy, in Pucón—another donation to the Chilean children. She was really upset for a few minutes until she started deciding what sort of toy she would get to replace “Doggy”—it was a short but sweet mourning period. Annette is still feeling under the weather and now Darren is coming down with a cold, so we took it easy for the rest of the day.

10/30/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 2

The girls and I went horse riding today with Ms. Maggy. Darren went with Ian to go and see the bees. Dominique is better so she rode her horse the whole way without any help—she did a really great job. Annette was still feeling a little under the weather but she went anyway and made it almost the whole four-hour ride but she got tired right at the end and rode with Ms. Maggy for the final stretch. When we got back, Annette took a short nap before we went over to have dinner at Ian and Maggy’s place.

10/31/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 3

Annette is doing much better. She ate some food today for the first time since she’s had the bug. They both still have the sniffles, but at least they seem to be feeling better.

Dominique figured out that it was Halloween today since she saw the candy in the store (it’s celebrated in Chile, but not to the extent that it is in the U.S.). Since it was a rainy, blustery day, we stayed inside and did Halloween-related art projects. They made jack-o-lanterns, and Dominique made a flower crown so that they could dress as Tahitian princesses. Darren cooked stew and brought it over for dinner at Ian and Maggy’s house. Ian and Maggy were great—they bought some candy so that the girls could come trick or treating (not just a couple of pieces, but and entire pumpkin filled with candy for each girl). They also bought marshmallows which the girls roasted on the fire for dessert. It turned out to be a fun Halloween for the girls even though we hadn’t planned to celebrate it.

11/1/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 4

It was another wet and blustery day, so the girls and I stayed in and did arts and crafts. Ms. Maggy brought some clay over so the girls made some things out of clay. She also helped us work on the horses, filling in the cracks and painting them.

11/2/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 5

Maggy made a huge effort to take the girls and me horse riding today since it was our last day here. It was rainy this morning and it didn’t look like it was going to clear up, so we stayed in and completed their paper mache horses. The rain finally stopped late in the afternoon so Maggy saddled up the horses and took us out for a short ride. Even though it was a short ride, the girls loved it. They were really sad to hear that it was our last night here and they asked us to stay for one more night. Darren and I agreed that we’d stay one more night if the weather was good tomorrow.

11/3/06— Fundo Chacaipulli—Day 6

The girls were so ecstatic when they woke up to see sunshine, so we decided to stay one final day. It was an easy decision since we’ve loved staying here. We’re all very sorry that we have to leave. It was such a beautiful day. We stayed outside and played games, went for a walk with the dogs to visit the horses, and just enjoyed the day.

11/4/06— Chillan

We had to say goodbye to Ian and Maggy and head north towards the airport. It’s about a ten-hour drive, so we drove for about five hours and stopped for the night in Chillan. We found an efficiency apartment right next to the plaza, so once we’d unpacked, we wandered around the plaza to enjoy the rest of the day. The plazas in Chile are so wonderful. They’re lined with trees and serve as the social spot for the town. There were a lot of people sitting on the benches, and some people juggling and listening to music. Dominique rented a little go-kart and had a great time zooming around the plaza a couple of times. There were also vendors selling ice creams and cotton candy, so the kids got a cotton candy for desert since they were so good in the car today.

11/5/06— Santiago

We drove another five hours today to make it to Santiago for our flight tomorrow. The drive was uneventful. Santiago was really smoggy, so I’m glad we avoided it as everyone recommended. The hotel was fine but we were all in one room, so thank goodness it was only for one night.


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