A Glimpse of Chile From Above

Do you often take pictures from your plane window seat?

I’m an incurable photographer, so I always have some sort of camera at the ready. And it was a really good thing on our flight through Chile down to Patagonia!

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We were blessed with completely clear skies on that day, so the farther south we flew, the more stunning the landscape below us grew!

We passed snow-capped mountains and teal-blue glacial lakes. But the real treat was the glaciers!

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The first one was impressive, but then we saw Viedma. It actually looked like a river of snow from above! I’ve never seen anything like it!

But the real treat was flying over Torres Del Paine National Park. I’m a bit surprised the plane didn’t list to the side when all passengers swarmed to the left side, vying for a glimpse of the scenery below.

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I was thankfully already in the window seat, so I could snap a few coveted pictures of the famed Torres from above before pressing myself back into my seat to let others look out.

We later hiked to those spires, but from above, they looked so small and unimposing!


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A Glimpse of Cerro Cárcel

Where have you found the coolest repurposed spaces?

Atop Cerro Carcel, a hill in Valparaiso, sits a beautiful park. However, this place used to be a prison. The white building no longer houses prisoners, and the old yard has been transformed into a walkable garden.

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Flying Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

After spending time in Patagonia seeing glaciers and beautiful mountainous peaks, we headed to Ushuaia. In our time there, we had to check to see if there were any last-minute deals on cruises to Antarctica, and managed to find one. It was a dream come true, as we have always wanted to visit the seventh continent. Our boat was booked and all we had to do is wait about a week, rent some gear, and go. As coronavirus became more widespread, we started worrying things might get canceled, but continued to be hopeful and optimistic.

Then things changed dramatically, and our entire world trip was canceled. We had to go home. This is our story of flying home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ushuaia Shipwreck

The End of the World

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A Glimpse of Valparaíso Street Art

Where is the best place in the world you’ve found for street art?

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We saw lots of street art in Porto. We stumbled upon an entire painted alley in Ghent. We spent a day exploring the colorful streets of Shoreditch. We even have many murals sprinkled throughout our hometown of Portland.

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A Glimpse of Valparaíso

What city have you found that has some unique culture?

From the moment we saw pictures of Valparaiso, we knew we had to check it out! Known as a city full of remarkable street art, it has amazing character.

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It was once a vibrant and rich city, frequented by ships on their way to the west coast of the United States. However, with the opening of the Panama canal, the city’s economy plummeted, and the wealthy left for greener pastures.

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Now, the city looks a bit ramshackle, but in the most charming way. Instead of looking rundown, each building fits into the haphazard puzzle of a city, adding a unique chapter to the story. And it’s all woven together with extravagant murals.

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We fell in love with this city of hills and pastel-painted buildings as we navigated the many stairways that connect each neighborhood. And we even found some kitties wandering the streets!

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With so much to look at, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sit at one of the many restaurants that overlook the bay.. with a couple of pisco sours, of course!


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A Glimpse of Viña Del Mar

Which cities do you think have the best coastal views?

After our relaxing cat-sit in Las Cruces, El Tabo, we made our way up to Vina Del Mar. There, we stayed with a modest gentleman in his house on a hill surrounded by four dogs. He cooked us breakfast, and we barbecued in his large backyard with him, his cousin, and a fellow couchsurfer.

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A Glimpse of El Tabo

How do you relax while traveling?

For those of you who have been with us for a while, you know that our favorite way to travel is with cat-sitting (if you want to learn more about it and other ways we get free accommodation all around the world, you can check it out here). We miss our kitties at home, and this is a great way to stock up on some much needed purrs.

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Coming to South America, we knew our ultimate destination was Patagonia. However, we decided to explore Santiago and some of the surrounding areas first! And landing a cat-sit at the coast was a perfect way to do it!

In El Tabo, we slowed down a bit, completing some work and even hanging at the beach! We also found THE BEST pisco sours at a local restaurant and befriend the bartender (the only one there who spoke English, which she was happy to practice).

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And we loved the house we were staying at. Located in a quiet neighborhood (aside from the noontime traditional siren), the modest house was surrounded by a massive garden. We also had a (very comfy) hammock and a fire pit at our disposal!

And of course, we had Chispo to keep us company!! He loves loves loves to go outside on his leash, and we happily obliged while watering the garden. He even kept us company while we worked outside on the porch. He’s also a next-level kneader, fluffing the blanket with all paws and a corner firmly in his teeth. We loved his little chirps.

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Funny thing.. voice-to-text does not know what to do with the word “Chispo.” Instead, it’s converted to words like “cheeseball” or “cheeseboard.” So we started taking to calling this lovable floof “Cheeseball” or my personal favorite, “Chispo con queso.”

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And yes, there are three pictures of him in this post because he’s just that photogenic. Besides, it’s all about the cats!

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Experience Santiago Chile: Like a True Local

While traveling, it is important for us to understand the culture, politics, and history of the places we visit. We have always believed that travel is more than just sightseeing, and there is always a human element. During our visit to Santiago, Chile, we had a unique chance to see how the locals lived, even in the poorest of neighborhoods. The family who hosted us barely spoke English, and even with so little resources, they gave us so much. It is fascinating to see a family live so happily on so little, while also being so generous at the same time. We viewed Santiago from a completely different perspective.

Host family in Santiago Chile

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A Glimpse of Fitz Roy

Another week gone by, and we’re just as active as before!  We’re still hiking all over Patagonia, and yesterday, we hiked a half-marathon – straight up a mountain!  The views were absolutely incredible, though, and completely worth it, so we won’t complain… even if our feet are.

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A Glimpse of the Torres Del Paine

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We are currently exploring gorgeous Patagonia instead of sitting behind our computers, so forgive the lack of a full post this week.  Instead, we bring to you a glimpse of the iconic Torres Del Paine!  We hiked 10.6 miles up about a net 4000 feet to this beautiful spot so you don’t have to. 🙂  Expect a full post on this gruelling hike soon!  We are also sharing more pictures and videos of this stunning region on social media, so come join the conversation there!

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