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Travel Pictures - CHILE - 1995

All images Ron Miller

     The moment I arrived in Chile, I was completely at ease and felt as if I had just returned home. That is the effect this nation has on many travelers. The Chilean people were courteous and revealed an unassuming character that I much admired. Traveling from Santiago down to the southern tip of the nation at Punta Arenas was very much like traveling in the opposite direction along the west coast of North America (from California to Alaska). The peaceable people and dramatic scenery make Chile very satisfying to visitors.

Before traveling south from Santiago, I ventured across the border to see the highest summit in the Americas (the snowcapped
peak in background). These Japanese-Brazilians gave me a lift from the Chilean lowlands into the Andes -
Aconcagua, Argentina (near Chilean border)

Close-up view of the roof of the Americas from the base camp at 13,000 feet -
Aconcagua, Argentina (near Chilean border)
Chile's beautiful Lake District and the majestic Volcano Villarica -
Pucon, Chile
While staying at this hostel in the Lake District, all of the guests began to work and socialize much like a commune. Unlike large institutionalized hostels where people are usually reticent, the home hostel is small enough for everyone to socialize freely.
By combining our resources and talents, the meals we prepared each day were exquisite.
Pucon, Chile
If Disneyland were to make a ride featuring an active volcano, this smoking mountain would be the model.
Villarica is perfectly symmetrical and constantly emits a steady stream of smoke -
Volcano Villarica; Pucon, Chile
Climbing to the active volcano's snowfields with a Chilean family. The mountain's lower slopes become a ski resort in winter -
Volcano Villarica; Pucon, Chile
In addition to the magnificent mountains and natural lakes, Huerquehue National Park contains forests
that sport the fascinating Pehuen or "umbrella" tree -
Huerquehue N.P., Chile
The Pehuen trees are thought to have been around during the time of the dinosaurs, and they are covered
with dagger-like leaves designed to thwart the appetites of 80-ton herbivores -
Huerquehue N.P., Chile
A close-up of the anti-brontosaurus protection system -
Huerquehue N.P., Chile
The city of Castro is located on Chiloe Island - the largest island in the Chiloe Archipelago. Here in the extreme
southern hemisphere, similar to towns in the north Atlantic at the opposite end of the planet, most buildings are brightly
painted. The San Francisco Cathedral and the Obelisk stand tall and colorful on Castro's Plaza de Armas -
Castro, Chile
The long row of stilted homes, or "palafitos," accommodate the large tides common in the area.
At low tide, the boats become grounded like a fish out of water - 
Castro, Chile
Vista from the southeast coast of Chiloe Island looking across the Gulf of Corcovado to the snowcapped peaks on the Chilean mainland.
The island is 118 miles long and 40 miles wide. According to Wikipedia, the most widely cultivated variety of potato worldwide is indigenous to Chiloe Island and has been cultivated by the local indigenous people since before the coming of the Spanish -
Chiloe Island, Chile
The craggy peaks of Cerro Castillo (Castle Mountain) tower to 8,776 feet on the Chilean mainland -
Cerro Castillo, Chile
A windy scene from the ferry that transports passengers across the glacially-carved Lake General Carrera.
The boat travels from Puerto Ibanez in Chile to Chile Chico near the Argentinean border.
The landscape is much dryer on the leeward side of the Andes -
Lake General Carrera, Chile
The charming village of Puerto Natales sits on the Last Hope Sound (Pacific Ocean) and is surrounded by glaciated mountains.
The city is popular as the gateway to the nearby Torres del Paine N.P. -
Puerto Natales, Chile
The caretaker at my hostel is preparing fresh salmon for dinner -
Puerto Natales, Chile
Eager trekkers arriving at the entrance facilities to this popular park at the southern end of the planet.
The nearly 9,000-foot-tall granite pillars can be seen towering above the pampas in the distance -
Torres Del Paine N.P., Chile
While trekking alone in the park, I came upon these two rheas - close cousins to Africa's ostrich (and just as intelligent) -
Torres Del Paine N.P., Chile
A cliff-top view of my final destination, a trekkers hut beautifully situated near the shore
of the psychedelic lake Pehoe (the water color is due to glacial silt) -
Torres Del Paine N.P., Chile
The icy tongue of Glacier Grey flows from South America's Southern Icefield,
which is the largest icefield outside of Antarctica and Greenland -
Torres Del Paine N.P., Chile
The wind in Patagonia can be so violent that it actually lifts water up from the lakes and, on occasion, lifts hikers off their feet! -
Torres Del Paine N.P., Chile

More colorful dwellings at this very southern city (southernmost city of it's size) on the Strait of Magellan -
Punta Arenas, Chile
In the absence of any public transportation traveling south from Punta Arenas, I voyaged across the Strait of Magellan to
the island of Tierra del Fuego and took my chances hitchhiking. I was very fortunate that my sad and lonely posture awakened
the empathy of these tourists in their rental jeep, as there were very few vehicles entering the desolate landscape -
near Porvenir, Chile

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All images Ron Miller
For authorized use of these photos, please contact Ron Miller at TheHappyCannibal@gmail.com