Tag Archives: Travel

El Diario: 8 Enero 2015

We are getting close to wrapping up our year in Chile and coming home.  It’s been a great experience that we would both do again.  We’ve learned a lot about ourselves during this last year.  We’ve met some really great people and have been able to do and see some truly amazing places and things.

We’ve made friends who we will make an effort to stay in contact with and hopefully visit or have them visit us in the future.  Yesterday we were able to see some of the cadets that we taught English.  Yup, we’ll miss having that job.  Teaching English is a great way to meet people and learn what a country is really like.

Travel comes to mind first as we prepare to travel to the Lakes District of Chile tomorrow.  We’ve been to Easter Island on Easter, traveled throughout Peru, and just finished a spectacular trip in Patagonia last month.  Wooly is still working at processing photos because he had to switch to shooting in the RAW to save disk space.  Can’t wait to get home to purchase another photo drive and get the current one fixed.

The things we’ve encountered have been fun, at times, awe inspiring, and thought provoking.  One can’t look at a Moai without thinking about of the people who created them.  If you’ve never seen a large glacier up close you need to see one with the realization that they may be gone in the future if nothing is done about global warming.  Penguins are fun to watch in their natural habitat.

We’ve just had 3 tremors (earthquakes below 7.0) in the last two days.  I doubt we’ll miss them after having 29 since we’ve arrived.  Check out the earthquakes tab if you’re a science geek.

We’re looking forward to coming home and re-establishing our friendships but are sad to leave the friends we gained in the last year.


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Relic

Some relics we hate to see go because they remind us of a time when things moved at a slower pace and we didn’t feel so rushed.  Others are better at adding ‘character’ to fields and yards.  Those are probably best left where they are found.  Some become monuments leaving us in awe and wonderment.  And finally some remind us of a past taken from storybook pages.

British Columbia’s Jewel

On every vacation there is usually one place that stands head and shoulders above the rest.   Our Canadian trip was filled with these places and we weren’t able to single out one.  However there were a couple of side trips we took that we would definitely take again – Emerald Lake and Maligne Canyon.

Emerald Lake is one of those rare finds we treasure every time we look at the pictures.  From November to June the lake is normally frozen so you don’t get to see the vivid colors.  Here in July the oohs and aahs aren’t for fireworks, they’re for this precious jewel in the Canadian Rockies.  It’s a wonderful time to visit.  Water laden with limestone rock flour is streaming off glaciers flowing into the lake.  When the sun comes out Emerald Lake shows off her resplendent vivid turquoise colors.  Yes, full sunlight is the final element that completes the picture.

This is one of the reasons Wooly has a love/hate relationship with the sun.  Most of the time he prefers partially overcast days that block the most intense sunlight and makes the skies interesting.  However, when you see a glacier fed lake in full sunlight you appreciate that those colors only really pop when exposed in full sunlight.  In those places the sun is your friend.

Since we had a schedule to keep we couldn’t stay as long as we would have liked.  A hike around the lake is a must should we return as well as renting a kayak to explore the place from the inside out.  We’re glad the sun revealed Emerald Lake’s glory that day so we could fully appreciate the beauty of the place.  Enjoy the photos that make us want to return.

Lemons and Lemonade

In Arles, France and there was a ‘must see’ on Wooly’s list.  In Arles the Roman Amphitheater is still used and considered one of the best preserved in the world.  Les Alyscamps is a beautiful resting place for those who have passed on.  One can picture themselves watching a production played out in the Greek styled Theatre Antique.   Delicious meals in restaurants and narrow cobblestone streets shaded by gigantic sycamore trees appealed to us.  Yes, we saw, tasted and experienced those but the list still had one place to check off.

Wooly prefers Impressionist art and Monet is probably his favorite artist.  However, Monet doesn’t have a foundation in Arles – Van Gogh does.  And that was ‘The’ place.  Hoping for some great shots Wooly was faced with shooting around photography students.  To be honest Wooly was expecting more than atypical souvenir stands and was a bit disappointed but from the lemons came these photos.

I’ve found the places you dream of seeing may often disappoint but if you keep looking you can almost always find a great shot.  While annoyed with photographer students getting in the way of my shots I took one of the best photos of the trip.  What as the subject?  Why of course it was one of the photographers.  Irony plays a key role in Wooly’s life.

Enjoy the slideshow.

Street Life – The ‘Ladies’ of Valparaiso

Every large city has ‘ladies’ that seem to hang around street corners and sometimes dark alleys.  Valparaiso is no different… well, then again, maybe it is.  I could not help but turn my camera lense on them hoping to capture the essence that makes Valparaiso such a fun place to wander around and take in the sights.  I hope you enjoy my ladies as much as Raeski and I have.  We would love to know which lady is your favorite.  Cheers, Wooly and Raeski.

Cerro Barón Street Life

Cerro Barón residents have recently had a hard time.  Their homes ravaged by recent earthquakes and fires, the people still return to rebuild and they may best represent the spirit of Valparaiso.  It’s not the best nor the worst neighborhood in Valparaiso.  It’s resilient and manages to thrive in spite of the hardships.  Homes are colorful and people are friendly.  Here is a taste of street life in Cerro Barón.

Valparaiso Street Art – Cerro Cordillera

Today I take you into an area of Valparaiso where no tourist should venture alone.  When in this area my camera only is visible when taking pictures and I am ALWAYS aware of my surroundings.  In Chile crime is rarely violent, but it is opportunistic and ready to take advantage of a lost tourist.  In Valpo art is everywhere.  Even in low income neighborhoods like this one.  It’s part of the charm of Valparaiso.

Valparaiso Street Art – Cerro Artillería

To understand Valparaiso look no further than the street art.  Considered the Bohemian capital of Chile the art spans a wide spectrum of genres.  Known for its brightly painted homes clinging to hillsides, Valpo is also home to one of the largest collections of street art in the world and residents are quite proud of it.  The entire city embraces the graffiti culture.  Almost every street has art somewhere along its length.  It doesn’t matter if the neighborhood is run-down or appointed with fine restaurants and elegant hotels, street art can be found.  Entire blocks may be painted telling a story.  Enjoy my take on street life taken from the streets of Valparaiso, Chile.  These photos of the artwork are from Cerro Artillería where the Chile’s Naval Museum is found.

Trickster, god, bad omen or opportunist?

Demanding RavenWhen they fly they seem as though they are having fun.  With one of the largest brains of all birds they are known to work out problems.  They are noisy, mischievous, can recognize and remember faces, and above all are opportunists.

They are loyal and mate for life.  They protect their territory and young vigorously.  When used to humans they are somewhat fearless.  While you may see their cousins (crows and grackles) in the city, ravens prefer the wide open spaces.

In different cultures, superstitions, and mythologies, ravens have known as a trickster (one I can believe), a bad omen, or a god.  Wooly just thinks they are opportunists.

A Bold RavenWhen Wooly and Raeski arrived at a trailhead in Canyonlands National Park we were greeted by a Raven.  He? was bold and vocal.  As Wooly pulled out the camera Mr. Raven took a liking to Miss Mini and flew onto her.  Now Wooly knew enough to make sure there wasn’t anything handy for Mr. Raven to make off with.  Raeski on the other hand was more concerned with Mr. Raven scratching Miss Mini’s sensitive paint.  And this wasn’t Miss Mini’s first encounter with ravens.  Apparently her shiny chrome is irresistible!

However Wooly happens to enjoy the decidedly uncommon Common Raven of the Southwest.  When I spoke to this one I got a very vocal CAW CAW back.  My guess is he was telling me, “I know you have food and shiny bobbles in this car, now hand them over!”