Sunday, January 04, 2009

Update: NYE and Coyhaique

Guest blog entry written by Marisa...

You'd think that one million people, twenty minutes of fireworks, and truckloads of cheap beer and pisco would be a bad combination, but New Year's Eve in Valparaíso was stunning and surprisingly calm. We watched the fireworks from the terrace of Casa Carrasco, a residencial on Cerro Concepción (photos forthcoming!), and then joined the throngs in search of live music at 3 AM. We didn't have much luck, but we were amazed at how many people there were in the plazas - a human sea of revelers, drinking and wishing each other a Feliz Año Nuevo.
Just as amazing was the clean up on New Year's Day. We ventured back to Plaza Sotomayor about 7 hours after we left, and it was as if nothing had ever happened, save for some stray confetti in the gutters. Of course, this speaks to the hard work of Valpo's cleaning crew (photos forthcoming!)
New Year's Day was spent doing laundry, packing, and resting in Santiago, so we were ready to head out the door at 7 AM on Friday. We flew Sky, Chile's only national airline, to Balmaceda Airport, which serves northern Patagonia. From there it was about an hour's drive to Coyhaique, where my host sister and her husband have chosen to start their newlywed life. The landscapes are unbelievable here - snowcapped mountains, sheep and cows crossing the road, crystal clear rivers, and lush green valleys. The four of us hiked through Reserva Nacional Coyhaique yesterday and walked around Laguna Verde. We fittingly rewarded ourselves with a Patagonian parilla (dinner of meats!) afterwards.
Cerro Mackay (Mackay "Hill") and Río Simpson (Simpson River) from Coyhaique

Carretera Austral, outside of Coyhaique

I've put more photos on my Coyhaique Flickr set.
There's not much to do in Coyhaique on Sundays, so we'll go with María Inés and Joksan to church and then hang out around the house -- tomorrow is our flight to Punta Arenas!

1 comment:

Jon said...

Marisa and Gil: Happy new year! Sounds like you're having a wonderful vacation, and look forward to seeing you two in February at the red egg party! Laurie & Jon