CHILE: LAND OF CON­TRASTS

A pic­ture tells a thou­sand words, so we are show­ing you this spec­tac­u­lar country through the lens of Jo­ce­lyn Pride.

Vacations & Travel - - Contents - BY JO­CE­LYN PRIDE

A pic­ture tells a thou­sand words, so we are show­ing you this spec­tac­u­lar country through the lens of Jo­ce­lyn Pride.

Wrapped in lay­ers of beauty, good­ness and tra­di­tion, Chile is like delv­ing into a sur­prise pack­age filled with mys­tery and ad­ven­ture. A slen­der rib­boned land­mass stretch­ing from the dri­est desert on the planet, through jagged moun­tain peaks touch­ing painted skies, along an­cient trails through primeval forests dot­ted with tow­er­ing vol­ca­noes be­fore melt­ing into the Pa­cific Ocean in a whirl of glaciers, ice­bergs and is­lands. The end of the earth. An in­spi­ra­tion for past and present day ex­plor­ers, writ­ers, artists and dream­ers. And after a po­lit­i­cal his­tory as che­quered as its land­scape, the Chile of to­day is a sta­ble haven for trav­ellers.

Cap­i­tal city San­ti­ago provides easy ac­cess to Chile and in fact the whole of South Amer­ica. Don’t be in a hurry to leave this beau­ti­ful Euro­pean-style city that is jux­ta­posed with the rugged­ness of the coun­try­side. Me­an­der the cob­bled streets, delve into the vibrant arts scene, dine on creative cui­sine and sip the famed Chilean wines (or bet­ter still take a day trip through the vine­yards).

The sec­ond largest city, Val­paraiso, is a 90-minute drive from the cap­i­tal. Perched pre­car­i­ously on earth­quake-prone hills ris­ing straight from the ocean, this UNESCO World Her­itage-listed vil­lage is a labyrinth of al­ley­ways, lined with a fruit salad of ar­chi­tec­tural trea­sures from manor homes to sea shanties.

Al­though the land­scape will leave you breath­less, it’s the Chilean peo­ple who’ll touch your heart. Lis­ten to sto­ries of by­gone times, ride across the windswept plains be­side a gau­cho, share a cup of mate (a caf­feine-rich in­fu­sion of dried leaves and yerba mate plant) with a local or learn the se­crets of fly fish­ing. Laugh, dance, sing. Be en­riched. •

*Jo­ce­lyn uses a Canon 5D Mark iv body and shoots most of her pho­tos on her favourite lenses, the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 zoom. In 2015, Jo­ce­lyn was named Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year by the Aus­tralian So­ci­ety of Travel Writ­ers and was also a fi­nal­ist in 2016.

Open­ing im­age: An adorable mem­ber of the camelid fam­ily, gua­na­cos are easy to spot through­out Chile. Their large ears and en­vi­able long eye­lashes help pro­tect them from dust and dirt in the of­ten windy con­di­tions. The gre­gar­i­ous crea­tures usually...

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