Chile: Beginning of an End


We entered Chile and headed straight for the coast. Having a bit of an addiction for sea breeze it was time to recharge. We found a secluded surf camp outside of Constitution set next to a pine forest, where finally in flip flops we roamed the beach and the forest collecting a following of dogs happy to join us.

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Shortly after, we ended up in Santiago, where we rented a small apartment for a much needed rest and a chance to fix the car up with some minor things.  Unfortunately things got messed up and our plan of getting the car back in time to pick up Katie and Steve at the airport failed. At least in our own van.

They emerged with impressively small luggage and tanned faces that showed no signs of wear after the 12 hour flight. We jammed into our tiny one bedroom; luckily none of us were shy to share the cosy space or send early morning emails to the next room, inquiring whether coffee was ready.  After a few days of roaming Santiago and the surrounding area it was time to clear our lungs from the smog filled capital.

Santiago neighbourhood
Brett and Steve seem to have a keen eye for food related events. They spotted this food truck feeding fest through a crack in the fence.
The smog of Santiago

Luckily this meant heading back to the coast and double luckily going through Chile’s wine country, where we popped in for a tasting, while Ella caused havoc tied to the fence outside. DSC07807

We settled into our luxurious sea front apartment that had not only one but two heating devices. Covered in blankets and wearing toques we listened to the waves crash while continuing the wine tasting on the balcony.

View of Valparaiso and waves

We spent time getting to know the neighborhood before moving further down the coast for a fresh set of neighbours.

Cheering for Chile on their way to the Copa Americana finals!
Rock Hopping
Wildlife perched on rocks
Other wildlife perched on rocks
Strenuous Dune Climbing
One of many sets of stairs in Valparaiso
Street Art Collage

By the time Steve and Katie were heading home we were all sick with colds or worse, even Astrid caught a bug and would not start, sending us in a panic mode before Brett found the problem.  We parted from our friends heading into warmer lands.  While we headed to the streets of Santiago (well…parking lot at a base of a hill) known as the sleeping spot for overlanders in the city. This would be our last sleep in the strong and fearless van by the name of Astrid.

In the next days we would run around chasing papers and signatures to transfer the ownership to Astrid’s new company. We did not expect to part so suddenly and with such haste, but considering buyer pickings were slim, there didn’t seem to be much choice. So within days and with sad hearts we watched someone else drive off with our dearest Astrid. We only hope he enjoys her company and adventurous spirit as much as we did.

Once of a noble career as a firefighter Astrid left for a life of adventure. Covered with dust inside and out and an extra 44,000 km of mud, rivers, sand and rock, she will forever roam the lands of Latin America.

Here our van adventures come to an end………for now.