Monday, February 26, 2007

Santiago and Vina del Mar - All photos now posted

Johnny Walker lords it over the SEC pubs that dominate Santiago's club strip!

The view of the city from Castillo Hildalgo (but note the smog and the absence of the sight of the Andes). Here is the statue of the native leader wearing a North American feathered headdress.

In the room behind the window above the body of ex-President Allende was found after his alleged suicide following the 1972 Pinochet-led military coup

The statue of St. Alberto Hurtando, S.J., a Jesuit saint, in Chile's national cathedral

Men and women form the elite troops guarding the Presidential Palace - alas, the photo of the female guard twice magically disappeared - if anyone wants to see it, I'll email it to you!

Barbara with our friends from Australia, Ross and Veronica, in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace

Don't you love clean, modern metros? Santiago's has interesting art!

How 'bout these wheels! The now famous Mitsubishi pick-up truck! Hey, it served us well!

The impressive home of Veramonte Winery in the Casablanco Valley (the modern tasting room is on the lower level - awesome wines!)

The vines of the large and well-developed Veramonte Winery unfold into the hills beyond

Shadows along the Valparaiso river bank

The new and impressive Hotel del Mar and Casino (we didn't stay here!)

View of sunset and "the castle" from the Enjoy Del Mar restaurant

We thoroughly enjoyed the Enjoy Del Mar restaurant

Escaping the gated community - our savior on the bicycle leads us out and directs us to the difficult to find Matetic Vineyard

A lovely setting - pond, bridge and the Matetic restaurant in the round

Delicious meal with a great wine - lunch at Matetic Winery restaurant

The longest, highest (and oldest?) of Valparaiso's famous funiculars

It's a long way up!

A tentative nervous smile as Ascensor Artilleria leaves the lower station

Barbara thought the funicular equipment appeared primitive as well as ancient!

A view of Valparaiso from the top of Ascensor Artilleria

The "Ice Runner" is getting ready to depart Port Valparaiso. Hmmm, is this a message about what we can expect as we round Cape Horn?

Bumper to bumper weekend traffic on the way to the best beaches north of Valparaiso
High rise condos line the coast and the beaches.

Photo below shows one of the "hot" beaches north on Vina del Mar. A possible spring break location, Nick and Andy?

Beyond the beaches, the Pacific crashes on the rocky coast

BJB loves those sea lions, even when it's only a statue dedicated to them at Renata beach

To reach the exclusive condos across from the beaches you can either climb the stairs or ride a private, personal funicular!

A nicely presented dinner antepasto in Vina del Mar (note the cucumber skin leaf)

Passing Vina del Mar's famous flower clock on the way Valparaiso and the NCL Crown

Sunday, February 25, 2007

From Cusco to Puno - A Nine-Hour Trek - Note-commentary on this & 4 following sets of photos posted earlier: Peru 3: Puno, Lake Titicaca, Lima

Our guide, Jorge, probably didn't need the mike in our too small Inka Express bus
This wasn't our bus for the nine-hour drive from Cusco to Puno!

The kids had no trouble scampering around at 12,000+ feet; the rest of us could barely breath

We never got tired of seeing snow capped Andes!

The Inka religious sanctuary for the god, Wiracocha

Using traditional agricultural techniques

Hoagies and cheese steaks far from Philly!

Leisurely lunch in the town of Ayaviri

Political graffiti, about the only thing worth noting over kilometers of dusty highway

More political grafitti

We finally reached Lake Titicaca and Puno!

Lake Titicaca's "Floating Islands"

We boarded our Lake Titicaca tour boat at the Puno harbor dock
A channel through the reeds used by the Uros to create "Floating Islands" on Lake Titicaca

Approaching Isla Apu Inti, the "Floating Island" we visited (but one of many such islands)

Our guide, Richard, with the leader of the Isla Apu Inti families

If you jump on the "Floating Island" - as BJB and I did - it moves!

Cooking lunch on Uro's "Floating Island"

The schools for Uro kids

Reed figures guard entrance to Uro home

TV powered by solar panels in Uro home

An Uro boat made from reeds

BJB playing Cleopatra on the Uro's boat