Skip to main content

Elqui Valley

After one of the best sleeps that we've experienced in a long, long time we had breakfast and drove out of La Serena and headed due east in to the Elqui Valley. First though, we had to let 4 of the hotel staff fawn all over Kirsi and Aidan, the vigor of which put shy Kirsi between my legs.

The Elqui Valley is known for many things: grapes for pisco sour (a popular, traditional alcohol here in Chile), fruit such as papaya, astronomical observatories because of the clear skies and a magnetic energy because some believe that this is the magnetic center of the world (it used to be in Tibet but apparently moved here on a whim).

The Elqui River itself is quite small this time of year but has been dammed up further upstream to genereate electricity for the area. The drive itself, from La Serena to Pisco Elqui is a little over 100 km but it passes some beautiful scenery and several quaint little towns.

At first, the day started out very cloudy but it cleared up as we headed inland. The valley narrows and the mountains become steeper as you head away from the Pacific Ocean. Up the dry mountains, vineyards have been planted every where but past the vines, it is nothing but short brush and cacti. It is the land of a million cacti, easily.

We first stopped to get a view of the dam. Nothing like Manitoban dams but it was big enough. Then we made our first stop in Vicuna, a small city with a beautiful Plaza de Armas. We stopped and walked around there for an hour or so. By walking, I mean Dana feeding Aidan and Kirsi running every where...the girl is like Forrest Gump: she likes to run. Run Forrest, Run!

We stopped at some small artisan booths around the plaza and ended up picking up some nice artwork of a couple of the aboriginal gods. The region here is known for their interesting gods as they all look very UFO alien like.

Then we continued our drive inland climbing higher and higher into the mountains. All of the towns were small and centered around the Plaza de Armas and the town church. Most houses were small and made out of brick, plastered and painted bright oranges, yellows, blues or greens.

We went as far as Pisco Elqui before returning to La Serena. Kirsi had her nap in the car so the rest of the afternoon was a driving tour!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Monkey attack, Maid & hired help, Food, and Day 1 in the Books

Dhobi
The doorbell rang this morning and a very shy, humble young man in his 20s introduced himself as Vineet. Vineet is our dhobi.

Every Monday and Thursday morning, we leave our laundry outside our door. Vineet takes and washes, irons, and folds the laundry and returns it to us by the end of the day.

Kirsi, Aidan, and I are having him do our laundry. Dana is doing her own. This service costs us $70 CDN/month.

For all of the sweating that we're going to do here, we feel it's worth it.

Sujata
This afternoon, we met Sujata, who will be our maid. We had phoned her months ago while still living in Canada and arranged to hire her when we arrived in New Delhi.

She seems very nice and the family took to her immediately. She has worked for AES staff before so she knows the ins and outs of campus life.

Her main duties will be cooking and cleaning. She took cooking classes in Vietnamese, Thai, and Mediterranean cooking. She, of course, can cook Indian food as well. We gave her some rupe…

A Day of Firsts at an International School - Geckos, monkeys, and humidity oh my!

We arrived in New Delhi late last night to a warm welcome from the admin and support team from the American Embassy School New Delhi. It was nice meeting the people that were helping us get here in person. They've been very efficient and helpful in navigating the sea of paperwork of applications and visas.

Jet lag had me up at 4:00 in the morning and I immediately checked out the Hindi Devotional playlist on Google Music. I'm really digging the mellow, groove. Click on the link, turn up the music, and keep reading. Aidan is really digging the music, as well.

So far, it's been a day+ of firsts.

Kirsi and Aidan's first long international flight as independent children. They did a great job of navigating all of the steps involved in international travel and are pros now.Our new apartment is really nice - a video tour and pictures to come. Kirsi "loves our apartment, it's awesome."A gecko on the balcony at 1:30 in the morning sent the kids screaming to the sa…

Lodi Gardens & Kirsi's Soccer

Here is what our Saturday has looked like so far: Dana and Aidan Dana and Aidan went with the school group named HOPE at Lodi Gardens. There, they worked with the rest of the staff and students to offer activities to students from a local school. It's an amazing program.
Aidan said that it was "really awesome" to be able to work with the students and that Lodi Gardens was beautiful. 
Dana came away with some amazing photos.
{pictures below}