Tag Archives: hiking

Table Mountain

Cape Town Cityscape

A must-see attraction for Cape Town visitors is the view from the top of Table Mountain. On a clear day, you can see 360 degrees, the coasts and the city. There are a number of trail options to climb up the mountain; however, we decided to take the cable car to save time.

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Filed under Cape Town, City Center, South Africa

Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo

Rio Clarillo 1

Our last hike in Chile was in the Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo, about an hour outside Santiago next to the town of Pirque. The day was bittersweet for me. We are leaving these friends and the spectacular mountains.

Rio Clarillo 2

The weather forecast called for rain, but we only had a few sprinkles throughout the eight hour walk. It was a refreshing day–the air was just a little too cold to stop for very long. But that makes the best walking conditions.

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Filed under Chile, Santiago

Cerro El Roble | The Oak Hill

Top View

It’s becoming Fall here! So strange to be writing about Fall foods like casseroles and chilly weather when so many of you are breaking out your skirts and t-shirts.

I went on another hike last weekend–this one on Cerro El Roble–The Oak Hill–and located in La Campana National Park about an hour and a half outside of Santiago on route five near Til Til. The forest was full of bright orange and deep red leaves.

This is the view from the top.

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Parque Nacional El Morado

mountain-and-trail

I had a low week last week. I’m not normally a superstitious person, and I don’t think horoscopes are credible, but I felt like my cosmic mojo was all off. Perhaps the moon was in the second sun and Jupiter wasn’t aligned with Mars. All I wanted to do was surf the net with a hot cup of instant coffee in my hand. (Alas, we have no coffee machine in our apartment.)

Last Thursday night I decided to watch the movie Yes Man despite my usual reluctance about Jim Carrey.

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Filed under Chile, Santiago

Parque Mahuida

mahuida

On Easter Sunday, Eileen of bearshapedsphere accompanied E. and I on an urban adventure. We hiked in the foothills outside of the La Reina section of Santiago. The park is called Parque Mahuida, and you can take a city bus to its entrance. I was so happy to be able to arrive at a hike without a car. It’s also a great feeling that the park is accessible to so many different people. 

Our trail was quiet because of the holiday. The cacti started appearing a couple hours up. They always seem like lonely sentinels to me.

cactus

The hike up wasn’t strenous–uphill but not too steep–but the walk down was difficult. Very loose and gravelly. Grabbing thorny bushes during the descent–not so smart. I am still sporting several bruises from when the trail took me down. This sign is fitting:

looser

Take a look at Eileen’s beautiful photos of the day. She took a photo of a giant purple winged bug dragging a spider into his den. She also took a photo of a snake which she saved me from walking into. Thanks again!

parched-earth-mahuida

On a different note, Diann at Eat’n Veg’n inspired me to take a photo of a dinner I made the other night. She is always sharing her meal ideas and food experiments on the site. I admire that her writer’s voice is always positive and inquisitive.

I’ve been in the mood for a black bean burger and sweet potato fries, so I did a take on an Epicurious.com recipe. Recipe after the jump.

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Filed under Chile, Food, Santiago, Vegetarian

Parque Torres Del Paine, Chile

Torres Del Paine 8

Our main objective for visiting Patagonia was to hike the “W” trail at Parque Torres del Paine outside of Puerto Natales, Chile. We had incredible luck because it was sunny and dry almost our entire four-day hike. Many hikers are inundated with water through the trek and camping. I spoke to a girl who visited over Christmas, and the area was rainy and enshrouded with clouds the entire hike. She didn’t see anything.

The lakes, glacier, and towers of the park are astounding. The area is a UNESCO site. The mountains and land remind me of the south island of New Zealand.

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Puerto Natales, Chile

mountains

In order to get to the Parque Torres del Paine in southern Chile, it’s necessary to go to the town of Puerto Natales first. The park is about 2.5 hours away from town. Hostels can arrange drop off and pick up if you will be spending several days in the park. For those interested in day trips, bus companies can take you for short hikes and photos.

mountains-2

When E. and I decided to walk around town, we had two canine escorts hoping to get a handout.

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Still Life in Santiago de Chile

thanksgiving-desserts

Last week I met with many of our wonderful friends–for lunch, coffee, a chick flick, and Thanksgiving dinner. Have I mentioned how fortunate I am to have met so many wonderful American and Argentine friends? The pictured dessert spread was the finale of our Thanksgiving night. A generous fellow invited a group of friends for a catered meal with all of the traditional plates–stuffing, sweet potatoes, bread, asparagus with almonds, buns, and cole slaw. The chef even made E. and I vegetarian cutlets with herb butter. By the time I finished my plate full of my old favorites, I could not think of eating dessert. I only had room for a small piece of chocolate cake.

Above you can see membrillo (quince) pie, apple pie, dried fruit bread, and olive oil bread. All this was topped with freshly brewed coffee and a mate passed around the table. I am thankful for all of my new and old friends and this opportunity to live abroad. And, always, I am thankful for our supportive families who I deeply miss.

Part of the reason I am compelled to see as many friends as possible this month is that we are leaving Buenos Aires to move to Santiago de Chile at the end of December. I will be Still Life in Santiago for at least a month. It is time to see a new place since telecommuting affords us some flexibility with living arrangements.

We’ll take a bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, and then bus from Mendoza to Santiago. I have heard that the view over the Andes will be spectacular. After a couple of days in Santiago, E. and I will fly to Punta Arenas in southern Chile–Patagonia. We’ll see penguin colonies and then trek in a several day hike called the “W” in Parque Torres del Paine. After a week down south, we’ll live and work in Santiago in a neighborhood called Bellas Artes.

Information and pictures on Torres del Paine:

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Reserva Ecologica

A view of the city from the reserve

To get out of the Buenos Aires and forget the cloying city life and traffic, I recommend visiting the Reserva Ecologica on the Rio de la Plata. You can leisurely walk along the river bed or ride a bicycle through the paths. It’s possible to rent a bicycle outside the park for six pesos.

We visited the reserve at the cusp of autumn. It felt like we had been transported. Pumping the pedals of my red bicycle, I became a child again.

At the start of the trails, there is a bird sanctuary with hawks and other native birds, including at least one owl. We found green parakeets in the trees, eating giant yellow berries and chattering away in the sun.

When you go, check out the brightly colored, independent parilla stands outside the park with others selling handmade crafts and cakes. One stand offered a marionette show. Across the street from the reserve are a larger number of stands selling artisanal crafts and tea.

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Filed under Animals, City Center