Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Welcome to Llama Land
Here we are - mainland Chile, also known as Llama land. I call it Llama Land because they have a lot of llamas in the north. Right now we are in the central part of Chile, in Chillan. Before we came here, we were in Santiago for one day.
The first thing we did in Santiago was get on the subway to historic Santiago. Once we got there we walked around the government buildings and plazas. Here in Chile, there is usually a main plaza and a lot of smaller ones.
After that, we took the subway down to the fish market where we had lunch. Avocet thought it smelled bad! Soon, we headed down to one of the smaller peaks in the Andes Mountain Range. The Andes Mountains surround most of Chile and border Argentina. We took a funicular up to the statue of the Virgin Mary at the top.
There is also a zoo there but we heard it was really wild!! The next day we took the 5 hour train headed to Chillan to see our friends, Amy, Andrea, Dave, and Luz.
(The following paragraphs of Chile were taken from my friend Andrea's school books and translated from the original Spanish)
Chile announced their independence from Spain officially on February 12, 1818. Chileans celebrate their independence day on September 18th. It's like our 4th of July. Just like America, Chile had to fight for independence, and there were two main sides - the royalists (who were faithful to the Spainards) and the patriots (who wanted independence). The Chileans got their idea for independence mainly from the United States and their victory from Britain and also for the same reasons as the colonists in the United States: political, social, and economic.
Chile is called a tri-continental country. This is because Chile owns land in three different continents: South America, Oceania, and Antartica. The land in Oceania are islands like Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) and Sala Y Gomez, and they are more then 3,000 kilometres apart from the mainland. Chile has a big share of Antartica along with many other countries. They have 4 basecamps, the third largest amount.
Chile is host to the driest desert on Earth called The Desert of Atacama. Chile has a mountainous terrain that stretches out from the north of Chile and lessens towards the south. These are the Andes Mountains. Not only do they border Argentina, but also Bolivia, Ecquador, and Peru. In the Summer they are very dusty, but in the Winter, some places get very snowy and make for good skiing!