We arrived safely in Santiago almost a week ago now. Our 30 hours of traveling to get here were surprisingly not too bad and we were luckily picked up from the airport by Garrett (Delaneys brother) in a car. No hassle with finding a room or transportation to it. We were able to settle into the Chilean Sharps backyard here in Maipu. Our bed here is under the apricot tree and grape vines. Its really nice to be in the warm summer weather sleeping under the stars. We can see a few stars here if they arent blocked by the smoggy nightime air.
Our friend from Yosemite, Ned, arrived in Santiago after a three week trip in Patagonia. We scooped him up at the airport and spent a few wonderful days with him and the family in the tiny beach town of Cahuil near Pichilemu. We spent one day exploring an estuary with an area of sea salt production. Very interesting. The next day we headed to the beach, where we made a sweet sand castle with Amaya, played in the waves, and got sunburnt! Ned told us all about his adventures and gave us some great travel tips.
The most fun has been playing with Amaya. She is full of energy and talks constantly in Spanish. She uses English words occasionally, but usually only when she wants her Tia or Tio to do something! Its great to learn Spanish from her and practice talking to her without having any fear for messing up. No judgement from this (almost) four year old. She loves her Barbies and any game that we teach her.
Pamela, her Mom, is gracefully 7.5 months pregnant with a baby girl. Shes due on leap day! When we return from Patagonia baby Maite (the name we are using now) will be a month old. We are looking forward to babysitting Amaya while Pame takes care of the little one. Garrett is a gracious host and has set us up really nice. He is full of great ideas for places to travel, totaly fluent in the language and culture, and seems happy to be able to spend some quality time with his bro.
In two days we will take another plane down to Punta Arenas and from there we will make our way out to Tores del Paine to hike the famous 8 day circuit trek. We are so excited to explore the wilderness! Today and tomorrow we are getting the last of the provisions for the trip, relaxing in the shade under the grape vines, soaking in Spanish vocabulary, and driking Chilean wine. Life is good!