Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Old (Odd) Travel Memories (1990)

For almost 30 years, I have been a driver for someone who does historical reenactments.  At the time of this event, he was attending a Revolutionary War reenactment in Wayne, New Jersey.

I would help pack the van to the gills with reenacting equipment (tents, tables, desks, flags, etc, plus a lot of equipment for overnight stays at a local hotel/motel). Then I would start driving soon after midnight, driving carefully south through the greater Metropolitan New York area to reach Wayne, New Jersey, by 5-6 AM, so that I could help in setting up the Rev War camp. After the camp was set up, I would then drive to an accommodation in the area and finish the task of unloading several suitcases of clothing, wedges for sore backs, applique equipment, and the Cpap bag (which carries a machine for the purpose of sleeping at night).

After checking into the large chain hotel, I began the task of unloading the car and carrying the many bags into the room.

By this time, I was exhausted, so I switched on the TV and laid down for a rest.
The door flew open, and a man (the manager of the hotel) rushed across the room, grabbed the bag you see below, and raced out the door, screaming, "We don't allow cats at this hotel!!!"
After a short time, he returned with the opened bag, asking, "WHERE'S the cat?!"

Note: After entering hotel rooms now, I secure all available bolts before resting.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Valparaiso, Port City West of Santiago

One of the most important port cities in Chile is Valparaiso.
I would encourage you to explore the links on this page. 

The residential area is built on hills overlooking the harbor.
It is possible to drive into the hills, but it is time-consuming.
In order to create a more efficient way of accessing the city from the residential area, ascensors have long been  utilized. Click the following link to see images.

Street Market

In April 2014, a fire destroyed over 3,000 homes on the hills of Valparaiso. Click here for images of the fire.

We're off to Santiago!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Departing Scenes from La Serena, Chile

 Parks, Architecture, Flora, Fauna, and Port Scenes
(Click on photos for closer view, then click on larger photo to change to next photo.)

Independent, but happy, local dog

Domesticated llama entertaining restaurant patrons

Holland America's Veendam waiting in the harbor

Thank you for the beautiful music!

Final harbor views before heading into international waters.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Vineyards West of the Atacama

Traveling from La Serena to the Valle del Elqui, one sees beautiful mountain scenery and valleys which have been irrigated by La Laguna Dam, enabling productive vineyards to thrive. It was interesting to see what was being accomplished on this land so close to the very dry Atacama Desert. I had seen the vineyards which lie between Santiago and Valparaiso.  It was a nice surprise to see the vineyards in the north as well.

The mountains are quite arid.

The dam.

Elqui Valley winery

"When the roses are healthy, the grapes will also thrive."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Nazca Plate, Earthquake Zone

Since I last posted to this blog, there was an earthquake just north of La Serena (closer to Iquique). Click on this CNN link to see photos. There are frequent earthquakes in this zone, due to the location of the plates. I lived for over 35 years  in California on the western coast of the United States, so the earthquake phenomenon was always of interest to me. We had a hanging chandelier in our dining room in San Diego. Whenever there was the slightest tremor, the chandelier would swing quietly back and forth.  One day, when I had little else to do, I counted the small tremors throughout the day, stopping the chandelier between tremors. I realize this isn't exactly a scientific way of measuring earthquakes, but that day I stopped counting when I got to over 100. (The earthquake plate extends all the way up to Alaska and back down to Japan and further south off the coasts of Indonesia, Fiji, and New Zealand. There are apps one can get to keep track of earthquake activity around the world. I have one, and check it daily.)

(File photo)
(File photo)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Glimpses of La Serena, Chile

This museum map will give you an idea as to the location of La Serena in northern Chile. It is directly east of Easter Island (which belongs to Chile).
La Serena is the 2nd oldest city in Chile, after Santiago.

The trunks of these trees are quite interesting.

I cannot read the inscription on this statue, but I believe it is Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia, a Spanish conquistador from Extremadura who was first Royal Governor of Chile. (Closer observation--it may very well be Francisco de Aguirre, also a Spanish conquistador, who was influenced by Valdivia.)

Archaeological Museum

Whaling Boat

Working on board the whaling boat

Azulejo tile on the seat in from of the museum

This is the friendly city dog who welcomed me to La Serena by licking the lens of my new camera as I had it focused on him to take his picture. This is the dog photo after I cleaned the slobber off the lens.