Santiago airport flight to Calama


Left Valparaiso by road for 1 1/2 hour trip to Santiago airport. Then 2 hour flight to north Chpile and drive through Atacama desert to hotel Alto Atacama. Then 4 hours in the desert.

Sunset over valley of the moon.

Atacama desert

Atacama desert



* Santiago 

* Valparaiso

* San Pedro de Atacama



Avianco flight to Bogotá Columbia 9 1/2 hours. Connection to Santiago 5 hours. Walked around city centre. Shanty townson outskirts and graffiti everywhere.


Sunday  8th September 

Tour of the city.  Avoiding political demonstration we saw La Moneda  Presidential palace. Adjacent to  it there is a statue of Salvador Alllende. Quite wrong as it  was his mis-government  that lled to the military coup  and  to 17 years of  dictatorship.

Then on  to Place of the Armies, the Cathedral  and San Christobal Hill. The hill has great views of Santiago nd the backdrop of the Andes.

La Moneda


View of Santiago from San Cristobal Hill

Valparaiso port from 1883 funicular railway

Anglican Church of 1858 in Valparaiso

Arrived here by road from Santiago. There is a flat port area but most of the city built on hills. Access from the port to the surrounding hills provided by 7 funicular railways: the oldest dating from 1883. It is fascinating and unique cityscape, Many of the dwellings are perched perilously on the edge of hills. There is a lot of street art, with much painting on walls of all kinds of buildings. Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

10th September. Started at the Pablo Naruda house La Sebastiano, high in the hills above the Port. The Poe became a Chilean Senator and won the Nobel Frize for Literature. He had arranged 80 years ago: to rescue 2,000 Spanish republican refuges at the end of the Civil War; chartering the ship ‘Winnipeg.’ The house was rather quirky, set over 5 floors but offering a panoramic view of both city and bay.

We also enjoyed a walk down the hills and through the city centre, using 3 of the 7 now elderly funicular railways. We also visited the Naval and Maritime Museum, and the Fine Arts Gallery.

Cochrane was a British naval war hero during the Napoleonic wars. He later commanded the Chilean fleet during that country’s war of independence fro Spain. Elected to Parliament he espoused the case for electoral reform.

Kari Gorge walk in the Atacama desert

Thursday September 12th

Walked with local guide through Atacama desert, including the valley of the moon, salt flats and the Kari Gorge. Challenging in parts.

Kari Gorge


started 6.30 am for 90 minute drive into the Andes. Stopped at geysers site. Very cold and below freezing most of the time. Highest point 4640 metres: cf. Ben Nevis 1345 metres.

Andes geyser.