Saturday, 31 March 2007

Thoughts On Chile

Tomorrow (Sunday) I head over the Andes to Argentina, where I will spend most of April. After this my plan is to head back over into the northern part of Chile, and a little of Bolivia, before dropping back down into northern Argentina once more.

So after just over two weeks in Chile what are my thoughts.

Of course 6 nights of my 2 weeks were spent on Isla Robinson Crusoe, a remote and wonderful place, but one where opinions on a whole country should not be made. But I have also been to the capital, an Andean vilage, Valparaiso, and a village in the coastal mountain range.

I certainly did not expect to see Chile as developed as it is. I would say this country is already first world, or at least is approaching it fast. It definately feels European. Everything works efficiently well, the public transport system is quite fantastic.

The people are efficient and honest, and appear to work hard. They are latin, but not loud. Social attitudes appear to be modern, they have a woman president after all. There does appear to be a respect for the law.

There are a lot of street dogs and cats. But they, on the whole, appear well nourished and healthy. My guess is that dog owners just let them lose during the day whilst at work.

I knew Chile would be quite expensive. It´s certainly cheaper than Europe, but I would not describe it as a cheap destination, more a moderate cost destination. Argentina should be considerable cheaper than here.

The food here has been excellent, particularly the seafood. Although the food I have had here has been pretty basic, no grand meals out, and I have taken the advantage of the lunchtime menu del dia's. The fruit I have bought has been deliscious. Apparently Chile is one of South America´s market gardens.

Santiago's pollution levels are high, Chileans aspire to clean this up.

What will Argentina hold? Watch this space. One thing for sure I will not be mentioning the Falklands War on Monday (which ironically is an Argentinian holiday day, start of Semana Santa week)

Here are a few pics not yet posted.