August 2006

Valle de la Luna - ChileValle de la Luna - Chile

Pisco Sour

We have tasted Pisco Sour, the national drink, rather soon after our arrival. Ingredients: Liqueur distilled from grapes, lime juice, raw egg white and sugar. Available with 10, 15 or 20% alcohol. Should be drunk when cold - highly addictive!

Tire 14.00 R20 XZL

Since our tire had been torn at the beginning of our trip in Argentina, we have heard only negative remarks from other travellers about the possibility of buying and the availability of tires of our size. A few days ago, we contacted Michelin Santiago Chile and reported that we needed a tire and would like to register a warranty claim. Brigitte was not satisfied with the answer (nobody speaks English, let alone German), that the delivery time was up to 3 months or till the end of the year. With the promise, that they were going to look whether there was a tire of the desired kind somewhere in store in the country, we were happy for a few days. After all our enquiries did not show any result, Brigitte nevertheless managed to get a positive answer: Yes, there was a tire in Iquique and would be brought to Antofagasta for us (this city was closer to our route).

We couldn't wait. In fact, we finally got our Michelin tire. With regard to the warranty, we still need to contact Michelin at Santiago in person. Well, after all, we have got two spare tires again, and that for a price, which is certainly acceptable.

South of Antofagasta, we found our camping site for the night. There were also Chileños at the beach. A small car approached, the driver got out, pushed away small stones and backed up to a big rock. And what did we see? He opened the hood, the trunk, cleaned the windscreen. We heard a tinny clattering sound - indicating that rubbish was being disposed of.

The family was already about to leave again when Brigitte approached them. She asked them how they felt about their action and whether they liked rubbish on the playa, whether they thought of their children's future. Upon these questions, the family quickly collected all the rubbish, put it back in their car and left. It is really a shame the the Chilean beaches are covered with rubbish, bottles, glass sherds - caused by such short-sighted behaviour.

The sun was shining, a cool breeze. We visited the "beach restaurant" (garden restaurant, two tables with six red Coca-Cola-chairs). Unfortunately they did not serve fish and we went back to our kitchen and cooked goulash from beef fillet, when a vehicle from the Chañaral hospital with three nice gentlemen arrived. Whether we were eating clams or the like, they wanted to know. In that case, they just wanted to inform us that these were poisened. We thanked them for the warning and enjoyed our goulash even more.

The next day, they served fish at the restaurant, with a Cientovente 120 (dry white wine) and home-made French fries. We are still very well!

At a camping site in a lonely bay, we had nightly visitors: 6 fishermen set up their tent at a distance of some 100 m to us. In the morning, we watched them fishing from the shore with their fishing nets. They were quite successful, so that when they had their lunch break and ate their freshly-caught fish, they sold us some. Like buying at the deli shop, the difference being the absolute freshness. Absolutely delicious!

Swiss cheese cake - burning hot

One day, we were having a Swiss meal for a change. After 10 minutes baking time, Brigitte heard a persistent knacking sound coming from our panel. Edy interrupted the outside electricity flow. We noticed a burnt smell but were not able to localized the fire. It was definitely not our cheese cake, since it was not yet dark enough. We then both returned to doing our things, but suddenly, Edy shouted for a towel. The mast in a distance of 15 m with the plastics socket and our intermediate plug were on fire. Our internal electrical installation runs perfectly, but here in La Serena, it seems that the camping fuse for the low average of the site was too high. It seems that our oven sucks too much electricity, which at least the two plugs could not cope with.

The cheese cake turned out beautifully brown and baked using inverter electricity and tasted wonderful ...

Jumbo supermarket - food paradise

An ultra-modern, recently inaugurated Jumbo supermarket has greatly impressed us. The product range is huge, with items from countries all over the world, even cheese fondue from the Fromalp company in Zollikofen, wholemeal bread in vacuumed tins from Germany, enormous fruit stalls. At the check-out counters, the goods are packed into bags, while car park attendants on bicycles and quad four-wheelers make sure that the parking area is safe - a little bit like in the States.

Wake-up call

Sometimes, in the morning, there are birds twittering, chirping or whistling. Woken by a great number of different birds, by their various sounds and songs, is something that we greatly enjoy. The chrome steel ledge seems to be their favourate stage to perform their special morning concerts.

 

Hasta pronto

Edy and Brigitte

Photos

Chile: August 2006