Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vacation - Part 2

Some great photos from our South America tour. There are over 5000 photos from this trip, and so many stories and events that we cannot begin to wrap our arms around it all. Suffice it to say that our trip was excellent and these snapshots are a quick skip through some of the places. We would also like to introduce Cristian and Vanessa, our two favorite people on the whole continent!

A Mapuche Indian woman gives us a blessing of good fortune using young eucalyptus leaves. She approved of Hanmi and I picking up Cristian and Vanessa hitchhiking and all of us traveling together. By keeping the blessed leaves in our wallets, "money would soon replace it." I can say that the leaf dried out and fell apart, but everyone who got my bills after that got some sweet-smelling money. Overall, we did feel blessed with a wealth of new experiences.

Our 2-room cabin, complete with wood stove and running water. This was our home for 3 days of the trip. It was both beautiful and sparse.

In the tiny fishing town of Bucalemu, Hanmi and I strolled along the promenade, soaking up the sun and the quaint images.

Vanessa, Cristian, Hanmi and I practice some slacklining with a climber friend's gear. They were passing through for the night and decided to set it up on the trees. It was tough!

Sunset in the busy town of Pucón. This was a waypoint for a lot of tourists, but it had some nice restaurants and we restocked our camping supplies. Very much like a Chilean version of Jackson, Wyoming. It was too touristy for us to stay overnight, though.

Some beautiful mountains peaks (we have dozens of shots of all kinds of peaks) along the border between Chile and Argentina.

Swimming in the "termas" (hot springs) that warm the snow melt from Mt. Villarrica, several miles away. Portions of the valley held natural steaming-hot pools, and this one was just captured water from the rushing river, built from logs. Very relaxing!

Vanessa's pet tarantula. Hanmi didn't mind goofing around with it. I almost fainted just holding it. Not a fan of spiders on my skin.

Some beautiful relief work done along an old, almost abandoned shipbuilding town in Buenos Aires

Relaxing after a cold swim on one of the nights of our Chilean adventure. Cristian and Vanessa shared their favorite foods with us (hot dogs!), and we tried to show them how to cook potatoes in the fire.

Some colorful and fun bike-based merchants in the farmers market in Chillán, along the route between Santiago and Pucon.

The four adventurers return back to Santiago after a long drive. Cristian and Vanessa's families were both very nice, hosting us and making us feel very welcome. We will be visiting them again in 2007, I think!

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