Chilecito to Santiago de Chile Part 2

The day after the Really Good Day got off to a good start. Lucho's dad dropped us off at the last petrol station on the outskirts of Mendoza so we could start hitchhiking to the border. There were already a few hitchhikers at the service station and we evaluated our options - and our feelings. … Continue reading Chilecito to Santiago de Chile Part 2

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A Really Good Day: Chilecito to Santiago de Chile Part 1

In September friends had extended an invitation to visit them in Santiago de Chile for the Fiestas Patrias - the national holiday of the year, celebrating Chile's independence. Due to several other commitments in Chilecito (confusingly in Argentina) we left only two days before the fiestas began, and 1300km to cover hitchhiking - but with … Continue reading A Really Good Day: Chilecito to Santiago de Chile Part 1

A day trip to Guanchin

Guanchin is a small village, about 20km from Chilecito over a winding pass. Whilst Chilecito is arid and surrounded by semi-desert, Guanchin is nestled between the mountains and has a much more temperate climate. It still gets hot, but it also gets more rain so it's verdant and fertile. Plants that are generally found in … Continue reading A day trip to Guanchin

Traveller’s Recipes: Torta Viajera / Traveller’s Cake

My Torta Viajera has gone through various permutations since I've been here, and rarely do two turn out the same. That said, it's an extremely forgiving cake and it's always delicious even if different than expected! Eggs and dairy are expensive and difficult to keep whilst travelling as they break easily, melt or go off. … Continue reading Traveller’s Recipes: Torta Viajera / Traveller’s Cake

Mining for gold in La Rioja

Soon after I arrived in Chilecito, my Couchsurfing host took me to the ruins of a nineteenth century smelting works and told me about the problems of mining in the area around Chilecito. The surrounding mountains are rich in minerals and many international companies want to take advantage of what's here. This is a repeat … Continue reading Mining for gold in La Rioja

The Trading Experiment Goes International – Part 3

In April/May, I spent nearly a month volunteering in an organic vegetable garden near Temuco. It was in the heart of Chilean Mapuche territory (the Mapuche are the indigenous people of the south of Argentina and Chile), and I really enjoyed listening to Mapuche music. I wanted to get hold of a mouth harp - … Continue reading The Trading Experiment Goes International – Part 3