View Full Version : On the Road in Chile

23-Dec-2018, 17:32
Hello, my friends!

First chance to get on the internet, so I thought I'd drop you all a line. Just ending our first week down here, traveling with my two sons, one of who just finished a semester of university in Villarrica. We rented a car and spent the time on Chiloe Island, camping on beaches (ocean and lake), hiking, eating, etc.. Now we are in Puerto Arenas on the Straits of Magellia -- sorry for any mis-spellings! -- where we have rented a camper van (pick it up tomorrow) for the next three weeks as we head north (Torres de Paine, etc) back to Pureto Vargas and our flights to Santiago and home.

I have my 100+ year old 5x7, 8 holders, and 50 sheets of FP4+. And a 210mm and a 180mm lens (FujiWs). An old Gitzo Reporter Performance tripod with a Bogan 3-way head as well. The screw just stripped on one of the brackets for the GG, but otherwise all is well. Only a few sheets of film exposed so far. I have a little Sony digital, but one on my sons has a full digital set-up and I'll just steal his images -- he'll be hiking way beyond my capability! Bryce is also fluent in the local Spanish...I only know enough to order a beer and pay for things with my credit card.

The windy season has just started down here, which will make things interesting. Because I am traveling with my sons, photography is not my main purpose -- experiencing this incredible place with them is -- but if I can get 3 to 5 images over the next three weeks I will be in bliss.

Dealing with a cold (blaming my sniffling son from New York) and a heart that does not always beat the way it is designed to (zapping me of energy -- especially on the uphill portions of hikes), but so it goes. Sun sets tonight at 10:10pm. Our mornings tend to be slow, but we go until just short of sunset...cooking dinner as it gets dark, in the sleeping bags by midnight, and on the road by 11-ish in the morning. With the campervan, our routine might change a little, but my two 21 year-olds are keeping me moving!

Probably will not get back on the internet for another 3 weeks (my sons are a different story), so I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and the best for the New year! I hope no one is badly impacted by the gov't shutdown -- I have heard the "T-word" only a couple times in the past week...bliss!

Vaughn in Chile

Fred L
23-Dec-2018, 19:00
hope you have an amazing trip Vaughn and if you get a chance, I hear the Atacama desert is incredible, esp if astronomy is your thing. look forward to seeing what you get on film :)

Hugo Zhang
23-Dec-2018, 20:38

Enjoy your time there and I am sure it will be a great adventure. Met two girls at Point Reyes hostel about a week ago and they backpacked in Argentina and Chile for four months and they would go back.

Does not matter how many images you capture in film for your first trip.

Randy Moe
23-Dec-2018, 20:47
Very cool.

See you in the New Year!

Peter De Smidt
23-Dec-2018, 22:07
Merry Christmas!

Leszek Vogt
24-Dec-2018, 19:12
Enjoy your holidays + Chile, Vaughn.


24-Dec-2018, 21:18
Enjoy your trip with your sons, Vaughn. My son is in Quito, Ecuador, on his way to the Galapagos Islands for a few days. Needless to say, I miss him, but look forward to seeing his pics upon his return.

Jim Graves
24-Dec-2018, 21:31
Wow, Vaughn ... what a great adventure for you guys to do together. Looking forward to updates.

Jim Fitzgerald
24-Dec-2018, 22:01
Vaughn, have a great trip and best wishes to you and the boys for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is going to be epic.

David Karp
25-Dec-2018, 09:20
Sounds awesome Vaughn. Enjoy.

25-Dec-2018, 09:57
Watch out for the big black flies!


Roger Thoms
25-Dec-2018, 10:52
Wow Vaughn, sounds like a great trip, have fun and shoot lots of 5x7. They should make awesome little carbon prints!


14-Jan-2019, 19:44
In Santiago and flying back to CA tomorrow. Took a couple 5x7s from the hostel roof terrace of the city this evening and again at dark...using up my loaded film.

It has been a great trip -- not too many images -- lots of high winds and moving fast. But that is what I expected. Argentina's idea of gravel for roads are rocks up to a 4 inches in diameter or so, and pavement tends to have potholes that exceed the tires' diameter. Glad it was a rental van!

Incredible landscapes of all types.

Got to run!


Drew Wiley
15-Jan-2019, 12:09
Sounds like a wonderful trip, but if you wanted some chili, it seems popular in much of the Southwest, closer to home.

17-Jan-2019, 17:20
Safely back in California — just have to drive to the other end of the state tomorrow, storms permitting.

No spicy food in Chile...don’t be fooled be the name!

Drew Wiley
17-Jan-2019, 17:55
The worst of the storm has passed here. I don't know about SoCal. The only slide on the coast is around Big Sur. Further north, there could be some flooding issues in the Russian River area, as well as fallen trees here n there; two
falling tree fatalities locally so far. Lots of power outages. It was darn wet this week.

19-Jan-2019, 13:32
Back home in Blue Lake -- roads good all the way up. (After 5000+km of driving roads in Chile and Argentina, CA roads are easy!) I bypassed the Bay Area. I headed to Hwy 5 after dropping a son off in Santa Barbara), then back to Hwy 101 via Hwys 16 and 20. A touch over 14 hours of driving over a 26 hour period (slept in the car along Cache Creek after I got too drowsy last night). The creeks and rivers are all up and looking good.

Rats did not invade my house this time, all looks well.

Time to order some pyro developer for the thirty 5x7 negatives exposed (about 20 unique images) from Southern Chile. Might be five in there that could be considered 'keepers' if I am lucky. Lots of carry-on x-rays this trip...the 100-year old 5x7 confused some of the folks on the scanners -- and had to put the pliers in the check bag after they worried the security folks (look like scissors on the screens).

PS -- Thomas -- yep those big black flies were a little bit of a bother...same flies that I dealt with when I was packing mules many years ago. Only a few mosquitos, so all-in-all, not much problem with bugs. Constant 20 to 50 kph winds in Patagonia might have helped in that respect, tho it made photographing with the 5x7 interesting!

Louis Pacilla
19-Jan-2019, 15:08
Welcome back Vaughn

Sounds like it was a terrific adventure w/ your sons Vaughn. Glad you've made it back to us safely with great memories and a few quality images. Win Win!

Leszek Vogt
19-Jan-2019, 16:44
Hey Vaughn, you must got a cat to prevent the invasion :>). Hope you had a good trip and looking forward to seeing some images.


27-Jan-2019, 10:25
Only a few mosquitos, so all-in-all, not much problem with bugs.

And those mosquitoes don't carry malaria (too cool for them down there) so you don't have to worry about getting a malaria shot and bringing quinine tabs with you.


Drew Wiley
28-Jan-2019, 16:51
Neither do the mosquitoes in the high country here. But I still prefer to avoid them.