It'll be my first visit to South America,
It's the first time I am ever leaving the U.S. all by myself,
And it's my first time going to a place that I know very little about.
When I went to Italy in 2002 and 2004, I had done massive amounts of research and planning beforehand. I knew where we were going, what we were going to see, and pretty much what to expect. This time I am going in a little blind, which may turn out to be awesome!
In speaking with Jorge, my friend whom I'll be visiting, I've got somewhat of a loose itinerary of the trip. Now I am leaving on Sunday the 22nd of December and returning on Saturday, January 4th, so it will be a long vacation. It'll be summer there, so I know I'll have to pack light clothes. Here's some of what we're going to do:
The first day I will be there will be next Monday, and we'll be spending it in Santiago, the capital. I'm only beginning to take a look at places to see and things to do there, and I'll probably save that for a Yahoo piece, but here are some photos of the Chilean capital. Beautiful!
After spending my first night in Santiago, we'll be heading to the El Tabo region, where Jorge lives. Again, I don't know too much about this area either, but from what Jorge has told me, it is a seaside destination for Chileans during the summer. I've never seen the Pacific Ocean, so I'm excited for that! Here are a couple of photos from El Tabo:
We'll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in El Tabo, celebrating with Jorge's family, which should be interesting, and then on Thursday the 26th, we're going on a road trip. According to Jorge, the mid to northern part of Chile is "ugly," but the southern regions of the country are spectacularly beautiful. The trip via car will be around 9 hours long, though from what he says the ride is very scenic.
We'll be ending up at a place called 'El Region de los Lagos,' or 'The Lakes Region.' Jorge's niece lives down there and we'll be visiting her for a bit, but we are also renting a house for the week. From what I've seen and heard so far, this place is awesome! There are volcanoes and other mountains, thermal spas, scenic vistas, and of course, lakes. Check out some pics from here:
Pretty cool, right? I believe we will be staying in Los Lagos for a week and then returning to El Tabo, where I'll spend the last day or so. I tell ya, just writing about this has gotten me even more excited than I've been so far. Of course, my joking friend Jorge told me that one of the volcanoes has been spewing ash the past couple of days, so I need to bring my shovel with me. Haha, very funny Koké! Can you imagine?