Chile’s heart

Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitana, Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins and Maule regions, Chile

Uva ElquiMy second entrance in Chile was quite different than the first one. If the first time I saw a very sparsely populated Chile, exploited by the mining industry, this time, entering by the Agua Negra Pass, I find myself in Chile’s center, a little bit north of it’s capital, Santiago. If the climate is still very dry, the human canalized the water from the rivers to transform the valleys in green little oasis. The Elqui valley is renowned for it Chilean pisco production, so here I am cycling through grape fields until Vicuña.

MontagneuxThe generosity of my hosts and the comfort of their house in Vicuña make the city as a very good place for a resting day. I plan my way to Santiago. Instead of taking the main road along the coast, I’ll take a network of small country roads that will bring me to the capital. Flat roads where quite rare, getting out of the green valleys to climb the dry hills of the Coquimbo region. If cities like Illapel and Ovalle with their industrial look haven’t attracted me, the villages on the way were quite charming. Continue reading