Lovely Chile: Our last cycling weeks in Latin America
We can imagine no better country to spend our last cycling weeks and get prepared to return back home to Germany. Even without going to the famous South “La Patagonia” we are amazed by the beauty of Chile! The sea and the mountains are so close together that you could go skiing and jump in the ice cold Pacific in one day!
We spend a few days on gorgeous Isla Negra, a peninsula South of Valparaiso, and visit the Neruda House there. Pablo Neruda was the most famous Chilean poet and author who rebelled against the fascism. Superinteresting, worth to visit!
We are in spring time, the colours of the flowers are amazing, the climate just perfect for cycling and camping. Everything is easy in Chile and sometimes even really similar to Germany. Signs for Kuchen lead us the way and we even find German products in the supermarkets. Many German influences here, unfortunately not only the good ones: When we pass the little village of La Cruz, people tell us that Dr. Josef Mengele lived in a Nazi colony near by for some years and his daughter is still here. The good thing is, most people in Chile know more about our history than in other countries like Bolivia and Peru. There we had to explain quite often that we are definitely not proud of the German history and Hitler is a real “malo“.
The Chilean people are supernice, everybody is willing to help us, sometimes inviting us to camp on their properties with access to the lake etc… Wild camping is difficult though, only high up in the mountains you will find land that has no fence – that sucks! But anyway, we feel like on holidays in these weeks!
And unexpectedly, we really like Santiago, especially because of the great company of Christobal and his friend Vero who lets us stay in her apartment. Santiago does not seem very Latin American, it is super modern, forward thinking in many cases and we come across many nice ideas like putting pianos in open spaces and inviting people to play them. We also encounter the first white bicycle in Santiago. These so called ghost bikes are set up as memorials for cyclists who were killed in the traffic by irresponsible drivers. We heard of this tradition before but never saw one on the whole trip.
Santiago is biggest city (6 milllion inhabitants) we have cycled into on the whole trip. This is only overtopped by Buenos Aires where we arrived yesterday – but by bus. Now it is time to enjoy the very last days in Latin America - sun and asados!
See you soon!!!!!!!