Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Guest Blog - Into the Andes
Greetings from the Hales - guest blogging from a tourist point of view! We have had a great time to date - Laura has posted a few of our adventures with them in and around Valparaiso. And after about a week with them we garnered enough confidence to head out on our own and explore the Andes Mountains. Sunday we headed to "Cascada de las Animas" (Waterfall of the Spirits) in the Maipo River Canyon in the mountains southeast of Santiago. After three buses, two trains and about 6 hours we were dropped at the gate of the resort where we had booked a 2 night stay. Wood burning stoves in the cabins kept us warm on frosty nights but blue skies and lots of sun had us in t-shirts during the day. The snow capped mountains were gorgeous and we enjoyed a few adrenaline-packed activities including a horseback ride that would NEVER pass insurance waivers in the U.S. (The horses climbed up and down rocky ledges within inches of the edge of sheer cliffs.) Needless to say, I was a little nervous (but the kids were fine) and the views were amazing! We also enjoyed a great hike to the waterfall and rounded out the adventure with a zip line trip across the Maipo river. We traveled back to Valparaiso yesterday- with a short stop to see a couple sights in Santiago - in time to avoid the national strike that has shut down transportation around the country. Today we awoke to rain and have enjoyed a lazy day in our PJs, playing games and reading.
We have been incredibly spoiled by Laura and the whole clan who have stocked our fridge, planned adventures, cooked meals, translated for us and overall been amazing hosts. Laura even restocked our fresh coffee supply while we were in the mountains!