Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Torres del Paine: Hiking the W Circuit


One of the best parts of our travels through Patagonia in February was doing the "W" in the Torres del Paine National Park. It really is worth the hype- the views are constantly spectacular, no matter where you are in the park, and while the crowds can leave you feeling claustrophobic at times, one benefit is the opportunity to meet interesting travelers from every corner of the globe.

There are two main options for long hikes in the park: the "W" or the "O" circuits.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Patagonia

This past February Anna and I spent about 3 weeks traveling through Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia. It was really a dream come true for me, as I've been wanting to go there ever since I first thought of coming to Chile. And for any serious hiker or outdoor sports fan, it's like paradise.

Hiking in the Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia
We flew from Santiago to Punta Arenas and the very next day caught a bus to the little town of Puerto Natales, a bit farther north and next to the border with Argentina.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Travels through the middle south in Chile


Last year during January and February Anna's mom came to visit us and we took a trip to the "middle south" region of Chile. We started in the city of Valdivia, about a 12 hour bus ride from Santiago. Valdivia is a nice little city, famous for its good beer - there is a big Kunstmann brewery in town where you can do tours - and for its fish market on the river, where sea lions hang out begging for scraps.

Valdivia's fish market

The "stray dogs" at the fish market
From Valdivia we took a bus out to a national park nearby. It has a beautiful rain forest overlooking the coast, with short but pretty trails along the crest of the hills.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life in Chile, 2 years later....


It's been a very long time since I last wrote in this blog. A combination of factors caused me to stop writing, the biggest two being the long working hours here and the slow internet connection. But my two year "Chile aniversario" is coming up this week, and it's made me think about my time here.

So what have I been doing these last two years? Mostly working and traveling whenever I got the chance. As I said, working hours here are long- especially during the first 6 months when I was working for an institute. Life as an institute teacher means strange hours- you teach mostly business professionals, so classes can be spread out throughout the day from very early in the morning to very late at night. It's an exhausting schedule, but on the plus side you do get to meet a lot of interesting people. I taught classes at a big newspaper office, the national TV channel, to business executives, etc.

But I was lucky to find a job teaching general English at a university soon after arriving, and that's what I've been doing ever since.