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Sunday Nov 26 – Chilean Andes National Park, Santa Cruz

November 26, 2012

It took us some time in Santiago to get set up with our Alamo rental car in Provindencia. The gods of paperwork needed to be satiated, yet there was only one agent, and a long lineup on a Sunday morning. We had to wait close to an hour to hit the road.

We proceeded to get lost in Santiago. Nothing is straight, nor can you seem to head directly where you would like to go, all of the roads bend. After another half hour or so we finally found the Autopiste – ring road. The car is a Ford Plus. Reverse is on the left hand side, next to “1”. I couldn’t figure out how to get the car into reverse, so on one occasion, I had to get out of the car and push it back. Fortunately it was a light car on level ground, and Julia was able to hold it from the passenger seat with the pull up emergency brake. Eventually I figured out tha you have to lift the cicular knob below the gearshift knob to get the transmission to slot into reverse. It was much easier when I figured that out.

We headed to Rancagua on Rte 5, and then east to the Andes and Los Rio de Cipreses National park. We tried to drive into a large copper mine on the way, but the wouldn’t let us in. Turned out that most of the road was gravel.

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Park Sign

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Our Route

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Park Map

Unfortunately the road was barricaded just past the main campground. We didn’t have a whole afternoon for a hike, so we headed back to civilization.

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The view up towards the Andes

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Peaks and Rivers

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Cacti ready to bloom

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Pretty Orange Lillies

Amazingly enough, we found our hotel without many problems. We are staying at the TerraVina, which grows for a local winery, Laura Hartwig.

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Entry hall an vineyards

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Vineyard at our back window and view of Andes

Sunday is the day of funeral processions. Long lines of cars, headed with a hearse, slow down traffic on the backroads.

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Dusk

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