Four weeks from today Shelly and I begin our annual trip out of the country. This time we leave for fifteen days in Central America. One week in Antigua, Guatemala, and another on an island off the coast of Belize.
There is nowhere I would rather visit than Latin America. The culture is so…seductive. It is poorer, but friendlier. Both familiar and exotic. Full of heat and passion, warmth and light. I miss it when I am away.
Last December we went to Chile and drove 2,000 miles along the length of its spine. For those who like road trips, it is the perfect country. Smooth open roads, well mapped and signed. Beautiful cities, exotic landscapes, delectable food (the best outside France), and the sweetest people you’ll meet anywhere in the world. Their friendliness is embarassing.
Tonight I browsed through our photo album and I remembered what we said to each other on our way home to the cold and rainswept north. We promised that we have to go back.
Lush farmland in the valley between the mountains and the sea.
Me on horseback in the Andes.
The lovely hilltop seaside city of Valparaiso.
Museo de Bellas Artes.
Plaza de Armas.
Barrio Brasil, inner-city Santiago.
The road north through the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the Earth.
A roadside shrine.
Salt. It is everywhere in the north.
Church in San Pedro de Atacama.
Volcan Licanabur, Cordillera de los Andes. The base of the mountain is two miles above sea level. We gasped for breath gazing upward.