04/14/2007 - 04/17/2007
Hello from the bottom of the world.
OK, not quite, but as far south as either of us has ever been. In the last few days, we´ve gone from the tropics of Panama City to Lima, Peru via Miami and then on to Santiago, Chile and down to the rather chilly Patagonian cities of Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. Tomorrow, we begin a four-day hike through Chile´s Torres del Paine National Park, and are hoping that it won´t snow again so we can access all the trails.
Going from nearly 90 degrees to less than 40 has been a bit of a shock, but southern Chile is lovely despite the weather.
During the lesss than 24 hours we spent in Lima, we did dine on less then appetizing guinea pig but also visited some beautiful churches and the Larco Herrera museum, which had possibly the most amazing collection of ceramics I´ve ever seen. All were pre-Columbian pots, some sporting amazingly sophisticated scenes, colors and glazes. And the storehouse of extra ceramics not on display is jaw-dropping, with row upon row of perfectly preserved jars arranged by topic: scenes of bats, monkeys, one bird, two birds, husband and wife drinking in their house, and so on.
The museum even has an entire wing devoted to erotic art, including several scenes that would make Hugh Hefner blush and a section of skeletons, um, doing the nasty.
Whereas parts of Lima seemed like a never-ending U.S. suburb, I´m sure that Chile´s Puerto Natales would remind us of northern Europe if we had ever been there. The fairly modern city lies on a pretty fjord with snow-capped mountains in the background. It´s also rather colder than we were expecting, but we´re excited to have a closer view of the beautiful mountains starting tomorrow. Stay tuned ...