Monthly Archives: October 2011

Volcano Osorno

There is something about nature at its wildest that strums a cord within me. As a guy, what is life if it isn’t a little wild? An example of this is seen in little boys on their bikes. For the first couple of years, they are contented to pedal and master the art of balancing themselves while their bike….biking? at full speed. (English maestros help me out. Is that the proper word there?) Once they have learned the balancing act, before you know it, they are biking without any hands on the handle bars. For some reason, this is a peculiarity that males often have. If things are too calm and normal, we do something to rough it up. That said, there is one thing that men will not mess with….Mother Nature at her wildest.

From earthquakes that happen miles below the surface of the earth to the force and violence of a volcano erupting and spewing it’s red-hot lava fury heavenward, from towering tsunamis and twisting tornadoes, or the howling rage of a Category 5 hurricane and the thundering majesty of a mid-summer thunderstorm, nature, uncontrolled and untamed, leaves us breathless and standing in awe of a Creator who can with a word either create or abate such displays of power. But God is more than just a thundering superpower. He is a Being who exalts and delights in beauty. This day that is illustrated here is a example of both.

Last eruption was in 1869. When seen from the right angle, this volcano has a almost perfectly conical shape. At this link here, the photos are better. But, since we were only staying in this area for about 5 days, the weather being overcast for the whole duration of our stay, we were satisfied with this view. We set out on Monday to hike this peak but as it’s peak is right around 8,700 feet, we didn’t ascend all the way to the top. But we did go about half way up.

The Chilean flag set against the backdrop of the mountain.

This is a little broken down shack that is used for a shelter. It was a welcomed wind break and also the spot of our picnic lunch. Yep, on a volcano, in the snow and in about 50 degrees.

This was a hoot! Some of us hike along the edge of the volcano and we would come across these big snow cliffs. The first time, I wasn’t too sure. After all, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be walking in wet clothes for the remainder of the day but after our 2 guides, one in his upper forties, the other about 55, jumped over the edge and slid to the bottom, there was no way my manly pride would allow them to do something that I shrank (slightly) from. After all, there could be unknown rocks that could inflict unknown damages upon bodies but we all survived. This cliff here was about 30 feet tall. Later we came across one that was closer to 100 feet in altitude. Again, that was a hoot!! I doubt I’ll ever do something like that again…sliding on a volcanic snow cliff.

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I’m again posting about Chile, pictures say it better than words. I’ll confess, I didn’t keep my battery fully charged and as a result, missed some photo opportunities. But here is a sampling. Fans of Photoshop and other photo-chopping programs can feel free to rip these apart. I don’t have time to do a whole lot of editing and these are pretty much straight from my camera.

Santiago is a very modern city. Universities abound. Modern culture is prominently displayed via fashions and hairstyles. A photo album could be made just of the latter. That lost opportunity is a regret of mine as there were some rad styles. Besides all this, Santiago is very musical. Theaters and music schools are common place. Continually visible is a passerby carrying a instrument case. These 2 guys were ahead of us and reminded us of a pair of turtles or hard-shelled beetles.

Our first glimpse of the Andes mountain range. Granted, this is one of those almost unpostable pictures due to not enough “in-picture” stimuli but it got us excited. Even from here one could, in the midst of the bustling city, sense the pure majesty of that range. No matter what man constructs, God’s works are still impressive.

Now, half ways between Santiago and the South Pole, we’re at a small village on Lake Llanquihue, pronounced yan-kEy-way. This place was gorgeous. The weather was overcast and the view of the volcano obscured for most of the time but ignoring those facts, this place reminded me of a fishing village on one of the Canadian lakes.

This is the house of Dave Goodwin and his family. They have been in Puerto Octay for close to 12 years. The corner of the house closest to us, where the sign is hanging, is the part that they use for their church. The house to the right of Dave’s, the one with the red roof, is the house of Wendall Martin. He was our contact for the trip and we hung out at their place for the majority of our time in Puerto Octay. The morning we left, he cooked smoke salmon for breakfast. THAT was royal!!

Inside the church on Sunday morning. Need I say more? Sorta like any other Mennonite service that was happening in other parts of the world that morning.

You never know where you’ll find you friends. These are 2 young men that we, Jay and I, met in Puerto Octay. Luis on the left, then myself, next it’s Gabriel, or Gabby as his friends call him and Jay on the right.

And for now, good night.


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What gift would you like to anonymously send someone?

This is designed to get *people* to respond.  So you have X amount of money sitting in your pocket, the amount is insignificant as it will be enough to cover whatever gift you will send….what would you send?

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To  my readers, whoever they maybe, you read this blog casually and as a means of finding out the happenings in my life. Fine, here is a happening that occurred about a month ago. 5 of us, the four pictured below and myself, planned this trip for months. It was one of those talked about trips that, BOOM!, was here and we could go. We had talked about going to Peru instead but Chile won out. Maichu Picchu would have been cool to visit but one of us suffers from bouts of allergies and the altitude of Peru would not have been conducive to her health. So we decided on Chile, that thin country on the west coast of South America, as the place for a 2 week vacation. More specifically, Puerto Montt, in thelakes region of Chile.

Going that far requires plane tickets. We bussed into Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay and flew from there to Montevideo, Uruguay with Pluna Airlines. Montevideo has a interesting looking airport. It looks like a clam shell. Maybe later I’ll post a pic of it. But for now, these other pics.

Sitting around waiting on our next flight.

Boarding our plane in Montevideo. It was a CRJ900. A nice, compact plane. Pluna boasts having the newest flight in South America and I’m inclined to believe them. They also brag on the cheapest prices, which could be true as well. Unfortunately, it was our general consensus that their in-flight customer service was slightly lacking. For one, you paid for everything you wanted served to you while you were in-flight. I’m sorry, but if I paid to ride with a company, is it too much to expect free water? *rant over*

We flew into Santiago late Thursday night. Friday morning we walked the streets on foot. Here’s a cute little chapel plunked right in the middle of town. (from a technical aspect, the angle could be better)

Apparently, one member of our party had something to confess. I am clueless as to what because her prayer was silent.

Delightful architecture and great acoustics to boot.

A group shot in a alcove of the church. From left to right: Elsie, Charlene, myself, Jay and Sharon.

That’s that for now. I think I can promise more in the future.


ps: do any other WordPress bloggers have tips for uploading pictures in easier fashion? I refer to the posting from the photo gallery after one has already uploaded the pictures. Thanks for any hints, tips and helps.

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A Tip

To those who have traveled internationally as well as to any who have aspirations of doing so…..remember this when standing on a street corner, waiting to cross. Most drivers have no desire of running over a pedestrian. So take courage…..and cross that street.

Some observations and comparisons with Paraguay from my recent trip to Chile.

Chile has mountains; Paraguay has hills.

Paraguay is flatter and has a “cleaner” landscape. Chile is has more forests, briars and brambles.

Maybe I’m not as used to it as I once was but Chilenos have an excessive smoking addiction and it was annoying.

The residents in Santiago, the capital of Chile, have a fascination for weird hairstyles. I really wish I would have made a effort to capture more of the ‘dos.

Seafood is still quite amazing! And smoked salmon for breakfast is deliciously epic!

The joys of no schedule and sleeping till you woke up…w/0 alarm clock.

Chile has no water and ice readily available for terere drinking; Paraguay does. Por eso, viva Paraguay!

The Andes mountains are cool, like totally.

Alpaca wool is sssoooo soft, just like my bed will feel like in a minute.

One last thing, seeing other dedicated Christians working where God has called them. And also feeling God working and realizing that I can take a vacation but God never does. He keeps on teaching us, no matter where we are.

So, that’s all for tonight.

The Paraguayan Pilgrim

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