Chillin' in Chile


 
     
 

South America has intrigued me for as long as I can remember, in particular Chile. I think my Latin roots draw me closer, making me wonder how apparent the link still is between traditional Spain and the entirely independent and self-sufficient Chile.

 
 

Indeed Spanish rule lasted for over 300 years, ending in 1818, when it gained its independence. Like the rest of South America, it has had a fairly tumultuous political history, particularly in the latter part of the 20th century, with the 15 year military dictatorship or rule of 'terror' under General Pinochet. However since he was voted out in 1988, Chile has emerged as one of the strongest, fastest growing and most promising of all South American countries. Relying almost entirely on its natural resources to support its economy, Chile has managed to maintain law and order, create a structured democracy and achieve some kind of prosperity.

Gaucho (click to enlarge)   
 


Nowadays Chile can easily boast of its natural resources, possessing a staggering 25% of the world's copper reserves and a substantial and steady flow of fruit, fish and wine exports, in particular to North America. However despite this, as in the rest of South America, there is still a distinct uneven distribution of wealth, something that

 

   Bjorn backloop (click to enlarge)

must be addressed if Chile is to catch up with the rest of the world, together with greater environmental consciousness. The eventual consequences of the exploitation of its natural resources could be significant.

On a lighter note, the major factor governing any trip that we make is what the country has to offer in terms of wind and waves. According to every report I have been given so far, Chile has far more than its fair share of both! The shape of the country is unique - massively long and narrow, meaning that there is a hell of a lot of coastline to be checked out and discovered. And, rumour has it that it has become one of the foremost countries for windsurfing in South America.

So the decision was made: Chile it was to be, and the date was set, the 26th January - bon voyage!

 
 


The Trip:

 
 

'Tristan, come stai? Tutto bene?' Yep I was right, it was the familiar and bellowing voice of the large Italian (Vittorio) from the other side of the arrivals hall. It's good to see him I must say. It's a funny thing living the life we do: so much traveling to all four corners of the world, but always finding the same good friends at the end of the road, whether that be Maui, the Canaries, Germany, or even now as it seems, Chile! He has just arrived in from Italy with our photographer for the week, Roberto, and I from Maui.

Where do we go now? (click to enlarge)   

 
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For more surf action click on these links:

www.proofboard.com      www.north-windsurf.com      www.ripcurl.com    


  © 2002 by cfpk