A Travellerspoint blog

Watch out San Francisco...there is Cape Town!

overcast 49 °F
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I expected the city to be beautiful. It is. I expected the city to be interesting. It is. But i was unprepared for how much more there is. Now into our fifth day, we are enjoying this city like few others that we have visited. Luckily for us, we found a self-catering guest house, thelionsguesthouse.com, managed by Anthony and his family. they couldn't be more accommodating. They gave us a cellphone for our use while in SA and helped us with all our arrangements. It's in a vibrant neighborhood, with tons of good restaurants and shops. Here's a view of Table Mountain from our room:
0B671E052219AC68172D24599A3D4261.jpg. And her is one of the cafes that we enjoy:

It is a city with an active harbor flanked by mountains (the most famous are Table and Lion's Head). An example:

There is also a beach, train ride away. And the town center has a mix of modern, dutch and British colonial buildings. Here's the Parliament:

When you walk through the markets you hear many different languages (there are 11 nationally recognized). People come in so many shades (throw out your crayolas)! Their history is found in the museums of Robben Island, (Mandela's cell for 18 years: 0CB086A02219AC6817C6788A96D7D98D.jpgthe Slave Lodge, district 6, the mosques and the synagogues. And then there is the art and design you see throughout. It should be noted that Cape Town been chosen as the World Design Capital for 2014.

But it is not without its problems: the apartheid legacy, 40% unemployment among blacks, and xenophobia. Based on what we've seen and experienced so far, the city will work through them. For sure, it's a city not to be missed.

Posted by Dayts 09:36 Archived in South Africa Tagged town cape Comments (1)

Adios, Chile

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After spending the last week between the ocean at Vina del Mar and Santiago, Chile's capital and our third time here, we are ready to go to our next destination. Here is Steve dressed to go:

After a month, we leave with fond memories of our Chilean friends and their friends. They are generous, welcoming, and gracious. What we have found about the Chileans in general is that they love their families, their culture, street food (the best meal value), and anything sweet.

We were surprised by the plethora of homeless dogs which are treated really well. We saw them all over the country (including bus stations) and always they were mellow and friendly. (I even saw a Lily). In Colchagua Valley we were guests at the beautiful home of Carmen Gloria, Maria Teresa, and Fernando. They have "adopted" 22 dogs. Here they are with several:

However, they don't hold the record. We understand Luis in the valley has taken in 72 dogs but we didn't verify this!

The economy of Chile is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank ( this is for you, Loriana) and is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations. However, it has a high economic inequality, just as we find in the US. We saw both sides. There are those with beautiful homes and live-in or daily help. There are others that sell all types of things just about anywhere and are treated by all with repect. While we saw homeless dogs, we saw almost no homeless people.

It's been said in many other sites but worth repeating, the buses are the way to travel. From the airport to the major train station in downtown Santiago which is a 30 minute ride, you pay about $2.65. Why anyone would take a cab is beyond me. In fact for the entire month we traveled by bus thoughou the country. We found accommodations to be reasonable but not cheap. Alcohol consumption seems to be controlled (although we tried our best to break the rules). In many locations you can't order an an alcoholic drink without ordering food. (My Delaware friends will recognize these rules). Lunch
is served fom about 1 pm until 4 pm and dinner is typically eaten at home. What surprised us was that the restaurants had LA prices...expensive!! (I think that's why many eat food from the ubiquitous street vendors). Speaking of food, I heard that Chileans' favorite restaurants were Peruvian because they had more spices! I tried one and here is my dish of arroz con camarones and a side of Chilean salad.

We are now having a respite here in the Buenos Aires airport...which is fabulous! Having arrived on an Air Canada first class two hour flight, all I can say is I can't believe it gets better. After a five hour layover we are onto South Africa. In the meantime we are in the Star Alliance Lounge. Many animals were harmed in the making of this...space!

Posted by Dayts 10:55 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

Leaving Pisco Elqui for Ovalle

sunny 60 °F
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We decided it was too beautiful in Pisco Elqui and a change was necessary. That wasn't before we went for an afternoon horseback ride in the mountains. here is our new best friend Ramon Luis of Monte Grande, Chile.


He is a cowboy philosopher. He loves to share information on his country and its heritage as he takes you up and down the foothills of the Andes.

9CA5BECB2219AC6817A175A070FBD3C4.jpg9CAFF2CB2219AC6817BE542AD325278B.jpg9CB8DBED2219AC6817DCCCC770D8AD34.jpg. The conclusion of a lovely stay in Valle de Elqui. Now it is onto parts unknown.

Posted by Dayts 07:03 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

La Serena to Valle de Elqui

300 days of sunshine

sunny 77 °F
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We left Serena on the day it was cloudy. The day before I did a little exercise along the beach...

The evening before we departed we had an interesting experience. Since restaurants are not open for an evening meal and we had a little kitchenette in our room, we decided to go to the super market and get some sausages for dinner. The lines were really long and an employee said we should move to another line. it was just as long as the one we we in so we resisted initially but finally did. Then several minutes later, he moved us to the front of the line. He kept saying "prefer" something. We were embarrassed that we were moving in front of all the other people until a young lady behind us told us in English that we were preferential because we were old!!! She did it in the sweetest way. Here I thought it was because we were foreigners or only had one item. It neve occurred to me that it was because we are seniors. LOL!!!!

So off we went further north to this beautiful valley called Elqui. W choose a town called Pisco Elqui and those of you that are following this blog can figure out why. We arrived at a hostal we found on the Internet. We were told would have to share a bathroom across the path, but it didn't matter because there was no water. The water main was being repaired down the street. So off we went to find another hostal. And find, we did..El Tesoro owned by Kristine. This is what we found...


I don't think I want to leave. Yesterday, I took the tour of a pisco distillery and now I know everything there is to know about this distilled wine. (Should it ever be necessary). Then in the evening I took a trip to an observatory with a young astronomist to see the night skies. Steve chose not to go...his mistake! Incredible, awesome, marvelous, wonderful. I saw the Southern Cross, the Milky Way, nebulae, constellations and other stuff but the best was Saturn and its RINGS. No one needs more of a reason to visit this part of the world than to see this.

Today we waked from our village to several west of us. Here are some photos...



Posted by Dayts 16:06 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

North to La Serena...and sun!!

sunny 70 °F
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A seven hour+ bus trip from Santiago brought us to this seaside city which is said to have the clearest skies in the Southern Hemisphere. 180_79AE3F0F2219AC6817F296C3A3CD8E52.jpg

Here we enjoying my favorite new drink, a pisco sour, and for Steve a schop (draft beer). It's been over two weeks here and these are the only words we know in espanol!

Posted by Dayts 15:25 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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