A Story

Yes, this post is, as the title states, just a story.  Before I start, I just want to say that I arrived safely, without any drama or melodrama.  Santiago is a very pleasant city, with lots of pedestrian streets and gridlock traffic.  I would not want to be a driver in the city.  It is fun to be a pedestrian as there is always shopping to be done and things to check out.

My first visit to Santiago was in the 1980’s and I can remember is that there was a lot of sweet shops.  There are still there but probably not in as high proportions.  Now there are also many pharmacies, cloth shops, and department stores.  Chile supplies a lot of fruits and vegetables in the Canadian supermarkets.  I really did not see any evidence of that on the street.  I can only find processed food in the supermarket here.  Maybe things would be different in the main harvest season.

Now, my story.  I am usually careful in registering my debit card and credit card for traveling.  Much to my surprise, I got an error 404 when I went to withdraw money today.  It happened in 3 different banks and 3 Scotia bank machines.  I tried everything, including asking my brother spencer to call them, but no, I must call in person; the bank will accept overseas collect call.  Now, the last time that I made a collect call was 1990, when it was possible to talk to a real operator.  The long and short is that no one knows how to make one of those.  I eventually just went into one of those stores that allows long distance calls and paid less than 2$; to find out that my bank screwed up by not allowing withdraw in foreign currency after register me for foreign travel.

So, all is good.  I am heading south tomorrow morning; 6 AM bus.  I should arrive in Puerto Montt 14 hours later.  I am sure that there will be other stories to tell.


The Three Wobbles to Tomato Hill and Grand View

Dorothy and Inge on the Escarpment

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a hike.  The colour of the leaves has finally changed in earnest.  However, we seem to have skipped the oranges and reds that are common in the early fall and went straight to the yellows and brown.  Don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining because I prefer the yellows and browns.  Okay, one would not know that by looking at the photo above.

We hiked a trail that I normally do in the spring; Tomato Hill.  The scenery from the escarpment is stunning as usual.

Looking at Steele

It was too early for lunch when we arrived at the top of Tomato Hill.  A decision was made to cut across to Hatchet cross-country and have lunch there.  After lunch by the lake, we walked back to the car and then to Grand View; at my request.  What can I say except that it is one of my favourite spot.  We had a leisurely tea there before heading back to the car.

I want to paint this one


Lost and Found

It was a beautiful day for hiking; good friends, sunny, pleasantly warm, no bugs, and beautiful scenery.  Okay, so the colour is not the greatest but it is about as good as it is going to get this year.

Lunch at Hydro Tower

It was a small group of 6, led by the energetic and eagled-eyed John.  We started near the Steele and Wilson corner; walked up to the Power Line; I lost my camera; John found it; had lunch near the top; walked down to the snowmobile trail via the coffee pot, found our way back to Steele and Wilson via Steele Cascade.  I know that this is not a very satisfactory description but it is about as precise as I can make it.  I did try to include John’s map in this post but it did not open properly; so no map. (Addendum: John did send me the trail map in Jpeg format.  Scroll down to the bottom)

The sunlight dancing among the leaves was delightful.


The Steele Cascade is a series of small cheerful waterfalls.

Steele to Power line map

Lower Escarpment, a favourite

There is no surprise today for the planned hiking route; Church Hill parking lot – lower escarpment – Grand View – back to the car.  However, Dorothy and I did make a couple of detours.  The first one is at lunch.  We thought one spot looked interesting and yes, we found a very pleasant spot for lunch.  It was peaceful and the warm October sun made the spot just the perfect place to munch my sandwich.

Peaceful lunch spot, just a short detour from the trail

October sun dancing

We even managed to do some map and compass work after lunch.  Actually, I should not say we as Dorothy did the work and I supervised.  While admiring the still green trees at Grand View, we talked about the trail Keese made many years ago to go around the swamp under Grand View.  We decided to walk down the steep side and try to find the trail.  We found the part that went west, parallel the route down from Grand View.  It is in good shape; I expect that animals keep it well travelled.  However, we never found the connector (from the trail straight through the swamp).  The final short section connecting to the main trail, is vague as always; just have to head west.

Overall, an excellent day to be outside.