|From John Risley...
"These pictures were taken in December 2005. My trip started in Santiago, Chile.
After recovering from jet lag I traveled by bus to the town of Pucon located
about 500 kilometers to the south in the Chile's Lake District. Surrounded
by lush conifer forests and volcanoes, Pucon is a popular tourist
destination for backpackers, kayakers, and rafters. From Pucon I traveled
further south by bus to Chiloe Island. Major towns include Ancud and Castro.
The scenery reminded me very much of the Puget Sound in the Pacific
Northwest. After a short bus and ferry ride back to the mainland, I flew
from Puerto Montt to Puntas Arenas located close to the southern tip of the
country. A few hours by bus north from Puntas Arenas is Parc Nacional Torres
del Paine. This was truly the highlight of my trip as I hiked up and down
canyons to get spectacular views of towering mountains and beautiful
turquoise colored lakes. After four days in the Park I flew back to Santiago
for a night before my long flight back to the U.S. While in Santiago I had
the opportunity to take pictures of the Presidential Palace, which was
bombed by the Chilean Air Force during the Pinochet coup on September 11,
1973. In front of the Palace is a statue of former President Salvador
Allende. While taking a photo of the front and back of the statue I was
approached by a well-dressed elderly man who began angrily shouting at me in
Spanish for several minutes. I would have loved to know what he said.
Although I could tell he was definitely not an Allende supporter. After 35
years Chile is still a very polarized society and Presidents Allende and
Pinochet remain extremely contentious topics."