We arrive in Chile: A good day in the deep south

SANTIAGO, Chile — Yesterday’s lost day almost forgotten, I awoke in the Santiago Sheraton to a bright sun and temperatures in the 80s. I had almost forgotten, too, that this was spring — the equivalent to late May in the far-away northern hemisphere

With 70 stories, the Gran Torre Santiago will be South America’s tallest building. The residential tower, is nearing construction in Santiago.

Later in the morning I met Brian Pearson, 43. He and his wife, both Americans from New England, sold their house more than ten years ago so they could travel in South America. This included hiking at least 500 miles of the Inca Trail in Ecuador and Peru.

They eventually made their way here to Santiago, where they decided to live and start a business catering to Americans. Of course he needed a website. So he built one, and they came. Santiago Adventures (santiagoadventures.com) now has branch operations in Uruguay and Argentina.

Brian Pearson

Brian said they like the expatriate life even if they are occasionally aware that they lose touch with some aspects of popular culture in the U.S. He maintains there are other good opportunities here for young, energetic and talented Americans who decide to begin life anew in the country considered the most advanced on the continent.

In the afternoon, I checked out one of Brian’s tours in the city. He doesn’t lead them himself any more. Instead our guide was Chris Whatmore, a Chilean who had an English father and who also lived in the U.S. We covered this metropolitan city thoroughly. A highlight was coming across a horse being trained along the city’s race track – this in a population who loved a previous ribbon winner so much they buried it in a nearby chapel. The trainer obligingly brought the beautiful animal over so we could all become acquainted.

A pleasant, unplanned encounter with the horse with no name at the Club Hipico racetrack in Santiago

At only a year and a half old, he was literally a “horse with no name.” He will be named – and perhaps raced – when he reaches the age of two.

Much of the city and the surrounding landscape seemed much like my current home in central California. The profusion of spring wildflowers testified to that. This included one especially bright orange blossom that for all the world duplicated the exact distinctive pattern and color of the well-known California poppy.

Photos by Robert W. Bone 

November 6, 2012

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