Charlie is now in the longest country in South America, Chile. It stretches along the west coast of South America and it is home to desert, beaches, volcanoes and mountains.
Charlie left Bolivia and arrived in Chile by riding through the Atacama desert, the driest hot desert in the world. He didn’t need to worry about wearing his raincoat as the edges of the desert get less than 1mm of rain each year. Amazingly, in the middle of this desert, no rain has ever fallen! This is because the Atacama Desert lies on the Tropic of Capricorn and is sheltered from the coast by a huge mountain range called the Andes. This area has been given the name ‘The Rain Shadow’. The rainwater collected from the Pacific Ocean falls onto the Andes so the 600 mile stretch of desert remains dry. Very little lives or grows here due to the incredibly dry environment.
However, Charlie did spot something strange whist riding through the desert. He came across a large hand sculpture. It was created by the Chilean artist named Mario Irarrazaal and it sits in the middle of nowhere!
Whilst riding through the desert, Charlie began to overheat so he asked to ride towards the coast for some cooler air. Here he wanted to try camping on the coastline and on the beaches. He enjoyed helping put up the tent and safely lighting a small campfire, to cook dinner on. One day, whilst riding, he spotted a small fox, he was also travelling by motorbike with his American rider. The American fox quickly became friends with Charlie, so Charlie invited the fox and his owner to camp with us for the night. The fox taught Charlie how to make a traditional American campfire treat called S’mores. Fox showed Charlie how to toast a marshmallow over the campfire, then once it’s at the right temperature squash it between chocolate and two biscuit crackers! Charlie loved making these with his new friend.
After a few days relaxing on the coast Charlie wanted to head to the city. His first stop was Santiago. This is the Capital of Chile, and Charlie enjoyed spending Christmas day here. It was strange for Charlie to spend Christmas day in the sunshine and in 30 degrees’ heat. He was also surprised to learn that in Chile, most families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. They invite their family over for a late dinner on Christmas Eve and then open their presents at midnight! Children even go out to play with their friends and family at midnight with their new toys! Chileans call Santa ‘Viejito Pascuero’, or ‘Old Man Christmas’.
After enjoying a Chilean style Christmas Charlie headed back towards the coast to another City called Valparaiso. This city has famously attracted poets and artists to stay here, a lot of them have left their mark on the city. Charlie enjoyed touring the city and spotting various artwork around the streets of the city.
After spending a few days walking along the coast Charlie was keen to continue stretching his legs and he read about a place called the Chilean lake district. He hopped on the motorbike and headed towards the town of Pucon. Here he enjoyed walks around lakes and waterfalls whilst staring at an active Volcano, which puffed out ash and smoke. During the evenings a red glow could be seen from the heat of the magma inside the Volcano .
It was time for Charlie to get back onto the motorbike for some long days riding as he heads South towards a place called Patagonia. This area of land is sometimes referred to as the bottom of the word as it is the last area of land before Antarctica. Patagonia is at the bottom of Chile and crosses in to Argentina. Charlie will spend most of his time exploring Patagonia whilst he is in his next Country, Argentina.
Fun Facts About Chile:
CURRENCY: Chilean peso
AREA: 291,932 square miles
If you would like to learn more about Chile CLICK HERE