Wednesday, 27 April 2011

But it looks so close on a map.

Australian travellers have a certain amount of arrogance.  We take great pride in our deadly animals and the magnitude of the country.   You have to drive for eleven hours to get to my sister’s house.  We knew that South America was big but as Australians we looked at the maps and thought, We’re from Australia, we could walk to Buenos Aires.

We’re border hoppers.  It’s too difficult to get a one year visa for the whole family so every three months we have to cross the border to renew our tourist visas.  Our trip to Mendoza was for the benefit of our passports and we learnt just how big South America is.  It was an eye opener for budgeting and travel time.  We’re planning our next jaunt over the border and there are only a few easy places to cross into Argentina.  Peru is 26 hours by bus (or a second mortgage by air), Bolivia’s crossing is a series of goat tracks marked by landmarks.    Turn right where the Sanchez’s farm used to be.

I think that most guide books are written for single or couple travellers but we’ve since learnt that even though children are smaller they are charged the same as adults for bus seats and beds in hostels.  We are in the process of finding jobs for the kids so they can pay their own way.

We chuckle at the common sense approach to safety here.  ‘Litigation’ is a gringo term and I think it’ll be some time before it enters the Chilean dictionary.  This next photo shows a path wide enough for two to walk abreast but don’t lean on the handrail…  

Indiana + scissors + cereal boxes = a new guardian angel to watch over us.

The streets of Valparaíso are like and ever changing canvas.  We see new art work pop up all the time.


  1. thanks for the comment - that is indeed a good idea - another way to look at it - I am getting better in embracing this new life style and trying to live moreconfidently and I don't know how I would be if I had children to care for -- so I am in awe over you.. so continue to keep safe and I am enjoying reading about your advebture..

  2. read the whole thing...ur sooo funny with ur writing...second morgage by air and jobs for kids!!1 loving the canvas of wall art!!!

  3. An idea for your border hopping adventure - if you plan ahead you can get tickets from santiago to Arica on LAN for $60.000 return (per person), not that much more than the bus, when you consider the difference in time. From Arica catch a cab across the border to tacna for a few days... Not sure if sky or PAL have better deals on flights. With LAN, make sure you use the site as the prices are higher on the .com site.

    Love your blog, nice to see some more Aussies having a great adventure over this way.