Central Chile

The road south from Santiago rolls through Chiles fruitbasket. Peach and apricot orchards alternate with vineyards in a landscape that is reminiscent of the wine country of California. One is struck by Central Chile's remarkable similarity to the US. The one constant difference is the Andean Cordillera. We had breakfast in Curico about 125 miles south of Santiago. Its plaza is filled with magnificent trees.
In order to accomodate the schedules of the people we wanted to see it would be necessary for us to head to Temuco first and then double back to Los Angeles. We decided to spend the night in Chillan. The food in Chillan's mercado was among the best we've had so far.
On the way south we stopped for a moment at Salto de Laja and did the typical tourist shot . Two elderly couples asked us to take their pictures. They in turn took this shot of us.
In Temuco, we were privileged to visit with Jose Aylwin. Señor Aylwin is a professor in the Indigenous Studies department at the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco. Jose is the son of Patricio Aylwin the first President of Chile following the Pinochet dictatorship. He has been an activist in indigenous rights for many years and, along with Jose Bengoa, was one of the group that forged Chile's 1993  Ley Indigena (Indian Law). Unfortuneately, he declined our request for a filmed interview, stating his belief that our questions would be best addressed by speaking to people within the indigenous community. He did, however, prove to be a valuable resource, providing us with a number of contacts around Temuco as well as some suggestions for Neuquen on the Argentinean side. He also made a very cordial invitation for us to camp on his property when we are ready to make the crossing to Argentina. In the morning we would have to hurry back to Los Angeles, and then up toward the BioBío.