Life Surrounded by Mountains in Central Chile

Rachel and Jake are garnering huge amounts of attention in Reñaca.  People know that they are pitbulls, and they appear to like seeing that they are friendly dogs who are well socialized.  It's fair to say that they are embassadors of their breed. Reñaca is a well-known beach to Chileans and Argentinians.  It has steep hills encrusted with homes and mostly high rise buildings.  We walk along this stretch every evening to watch the sunset.

Yea but people come from all over the world to marvel at the traffic on Valley Street in Maplewood.

What a wonderful adventure! Please keep blogging your "homecoming!"

Yes, keep blogging and sharing pix, copihue! these are beautiful pix!

Just wanted to say that I read everything, shaking my head at the stupidity (!), and holding my breath for the outcome.  I'm so glad things resolved positively and await your further adventures.
 Boy, am I missing the emoticons!

(Any chance of travel to Patagonia?)

Yes, I will be going to the Chilean Patagonia as well as the North of Chile which is a very arid desert that looks like a moonscape.  Where I am now it is 70 degrees Farenheit, and it is Mediterranean climate.

Musicmz, you thought that selling my home and shipping my belongings in a container to Chile while being aware that there was a prohibition from the airline to transport my two pitbulls was a stupid risk to take?  I really do want to be with my family, the dogs are part of my family, and I had a plan B. 

American Airlines doesn't fly non-stop to Santiago from JFK, and they will not board any animal if the temperature in Miami, where the plane stops to pick up passengers, is above 85 degrees.  The plane leaves Miami International at night for Santiago, but in order to make that flight, I had to board the plane at JFK at 2 pm, the height of the afternoon heat.  They measure the heat when they accept the dogs.  I would have had to make multiple trips to JFK hoping that the temp was below 85 degrees, or better yet, to fly to Miami, stay overnight, and board the plane to Chile the next day where the flight would be non-stop and the temperature would be much lower. 

The complications didn't end there.  The required cage size for LANCargo: a height of four inches above the head when the dog is sitting made the cage requirement for Rachel 32 inches.  It was a ridiculous requirement that would have required a huge cage.  I bought one that was 30 inches.  But American will not take crates above 29 inches in height.  I would have had to return the cages, provided that they allowed it, and purchase new ones; or take them in the cages that I had bought and pay 2.5 times more for their flight which was already twice the cost of my ticket.

My dogs are pretty and well socialized, but they are obviously pit rescues.  I believe, and I have no proof, that people at JFK  wanted me to succeed in taking my dogs.  My vet, not the USDA licensed vet, gave me medical records that called the dogs a patterdale/vizla mix and a lab, and the LANCargo employees decided not to challenge the obvious. 

Your success shows it wasn't a crazy risk to take!

(I don't think musicmz meant YOU were stupid. I think she was referring to the vets and the airlines.)

kthnry said:

(I don't think musicmz meant YOU were stupid. I think she was referring to the vets and the airlines.)


Oh, I agree that it is a very bad policy, but many airlines have it.  They are not aware of the problems that it creates for people.

Oh no!  Not you, and your dogs and stuff! (I marvel at your bravery in starting for a "new" country with your things and I wouldn't dream of ever leaving pets behind.)   I meant the vets & regulations were pure stupidity. (I don't think that prohibiting breeds is smart.)  I just read everything today, and if I was following you from the beginning, I would have warned you about Dr. Johnson.  She's been bad news for us. 

You did a great job of explaining your situation and all the pitfalls (pun intended!) I guess I didn't do such a great job in making myself clear. grin

The Polish Redemptorists that staff the Manville church I work for have been or currently are assigned to the Argentinian side of Patagonia.  I saw marvelous moonscape photos and have an invitation to visit.

I don't know how to deliver a PM, does anyone know how to do it in the new system?

Whenever I take Jake and Rachel for walks I am fascinated by the vegetation which is so different from what we have up north.  It really lets me know that this is a very different environment.  Here is a sample.  The first photo is of the trunk of a eucalyptus tree as is the second photo.  The eucalyptus trees are at least 80 ft. high, and one if blocking a complete view of the ocean from my cottage.  I admit to having many mixed emotions about this last one.  But the most spectacular trees are the araucarias, and I haven't been able to take a good picture of one from my iPhone.  I may have to wait till I get my Nikon working. 

Copihue, PMs are now called Conversations, which you find up in the black bar near where your name is. Once you get Conversations, you'll see a pencil in top corner; that's how you start writing your PM.

oh oh

Copihue said:

I don't know how to deliver a PM, does anyone know how to do it in the new system?

 Look at the header (white text in black background at the top of your screen).  On the right hand side you will find the word "messages" just to the left of your user name.  This is the link to the new PM system Joanne mentioned.  The small box next to messages will tell you how many unread messages you have.  Click on messages to get to the page on which your PMs are stored.  To read a PM, click on the title of that PM and scroll down if needed to get to the message you want to read.  To send a PM, click on the pencil icon Joanne described.

So how is it that we change a title thread?

Copihue said:

So how is it that we change a title thread?

I don't think you can yet, but it is on the list of fixes and enhancements that they are working on. 

You can ask Dave/Jamie to change the thread title or you can just start a new thread.  At the moment, an OP does not have the ability to change the title of a thread they started.

What do you think your new name will be?  I like "Copihue: Chillin' in Chile"

That tree-size pineapple is amazing. I've never seen anything like it.

I will wait until Jamie and Dave get that issue working, but I have a new thread title.

You may have wondered what ever happened to Copihue.  Copihue has been eating and drinking, eating what she's missed for the past fifteen years since she's been here.  My favorite "restoran" is the Pica de Juan Segura in Higuerillas in Concon.  It is located in a fisherman's neighborhood where no tourist will ever find it.  Tonight I had Caldillo de Congrio, an eel soup, which was made famous by Pablo Neruda's ode, but honestly, the poem is better.  What is amazing is the consome, made of fish and seafood that is as rich and flavorful as well as their clams which are as delicate as gossamer. My favorite dessert, which is not available at my favorite restoran, so you need to go to the countryside to get it is papayas al jugo.  They are simply Chilean papays, which are smallish, in a juice base; people add cream to them, but I think it is an unnecessary addition; they are wonderful by themselves. Of course diner came with a Chilean white wine that my cousin ordered that was wonderful, and the waiter treated me to an after diner liquor of araucano which is a native people's drink that is spicy and slightly bitter, excellent. 

But it's hard getting there, fortunately, or I would eat there every single day at every meal.  Mostly we go to the local cafes until my container arrives next week with my cooking utensils.  Getting my container out of customs without drayage costs is another scavenger hunt.  One of my cousins has a trucking company, and he knows the folks in San Antonio, the port where the cargo ship will arrive.  So I went there with him earlier this week, and it is a small town and port with very high tech equipment that buzzes with activity.  There is nothing quaint about this town, and it is dustier than most, with many unpaved roads.  My cousin hates it, but I liked it.  Our agent is this crusty woman that I fell in love with.  She raised her kids on her own, her kids are all professionals, and she is practically the one woman with the yellow fluorecent vest and the hard hat in a sea of men. 

Not only have I been navigating the obstacle course of customs, but I am getting my rental home in shape. This week my painter walked out on me leaving me with a house full of dust, opened paint cans and wet brushes and the dogs complaining about being left outside all day long. He got mad because I mentioned that he made me buy the wrong color for the bedroom.  I bought a bunch of testers that were very similar, and he was careless.  He wanted to come in and paint, but I am not painting my abode white, and I wanted to see how the colors reacted to the light.  They are not used to it, so I had my first culture clash.  It was very stressful, but I contracted another painter, and everything seems to be back on course. I am ready to get the container into my house.

ps that last picture was the dessert, but we got to the photos too late:  lucuma cake.

I'm so glad things are working out so well for you.  The crossing guard at the corner of Valley and Baker misses you and sends her regards.

I love your descriptions, Copihue. It's a window into another world. smile

And your clash with the painter made me smile. That painter wouldn't last a day in SOMA! LOL.

She's a wonderful, warm heart.  Please say hello to her from me.

joan_crystal said:

I'm so glad things are working out so well for you.  The crossing guard at the corner of Valley and Baker misses you and sends her regards.


I love these trees; I have never seen anything like them.  They are called araucarias, and they are conifers.  Today on my walk I think I found a young one (middle photo) and the droppings of an older one.

They are gorgeous! Keep posting photos, please. I'm fascinated by all of this.

I visited Chile when I was working for a travel trade magazine and Continental began offering service to Santiago. So the airline gave the press a little four-day taste of the area, with a trip into the mountains to see the ski areas, to a winery, and to a local craft market. But I know I only got the barest glimmer of the city. I went out on my own the first day there, to a museum of pre-Colombian culture, and walking around was amazing, even though I ran into a few locals who were vocally anti-American. I'd love to go back some day, and see much more.

Thank you, PeggyC, and you are most welcome to come to visit.  Tonight it is my first cold night though, 50 degrees. 

Our Norfolk Pine and Moreton Bay pines are very very similar to those trees; I believe they're related.

We grind the bunya nuts into a flour and use it for bush tucker recipes.  Do you have recipes for the nuts?

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