El Milagro de los Andes……from Newfoundland to Chile Part III

El Milagro de los Andes……from Newfoundland to Chile Part III

 

Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash
Visiting the mural

Day four with  Foothills Hiking Chile  involved a  3 1/2 hour hike around Puente Negro itself; and while there were so many interesting things covered on this trek, the most haunting and memorable experience was entering the Plaza del Arriero and finding the
mural depicting the 1972 Uruguay Air crash.

I had heard of this horrific, yet beautiful and amazing story before but never, never did I ever think I would be this close to where it actually happened.

 

Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash
Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash

Elizabeth telling us the details of the crash and the history behind this  beautiful mural.

 

 

 

The mosaic begins with the Uruguayan flag and ends with the Chilean flag and is 48 meters long. It depicts the crash site, the walk out and the rescue, as well as, the rugged mountain ranges of the Andes and the birds, flora and fauna.  Pedro Marchant is the designer of the mosaic but  other artists worked on it. We were so awe struck and interested in this aspect of our hike that unfortunately we did not get great pictures!

The activity of the Puente Negro community was actively participated, an opportunity in which the mural designed by Professor Pedro Marchant was inaugurated and executed by the Fabiola Diaz graduate in arts.

For his part, Professor Pedro Marchant, said the mosaic begins with the Uruguayan flag and ends with the Chilean flag,…………………The teacher of the Lyceum Neandro Schilling explained that when designing the mural he wanted to incorporate a series of episodes that marked the accident and subsequent rescue, not leaving aside our flora and fauna.  “in the work could not be absent the rugged mountain ranges, the condor, the guanaco and the puma,” Merchant said.

Meanwhile, the artist Fabiola Diaz, said that “we have been working for some time on the patrimonial rescue and this work is added to the sculpture in tribute to the muleteers that exists in this square.”

Diaz explained  that “as a part of the rescue of the historical heritage of this event that impacted the world, it was decided to make this mosaic to create a new tourist attraction, along with being able to share this beautiful technique with the inhabitants of Puente Negro.”

The mural was financed by Tinguiririca Energia and the Villas Cordilleras Commiittee, with the support of the Pro sewage Committee and the Municipality of San Fernando.

 

The information above was taken from this site  https://cronicanoticiosa.com/  which reported from Chile on the murals. I used Google translator to translate from Spanish to English. It gives some very important information on the creation of the mural.

Muleteers sculptors in the park.  Elizabeth  told us they were all made from scrap metal…just beautiful.

 

Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash
Flag of Chile at the end.

In October of 1972 the Old Christians Rugby team from Uruguay chartered a Uruguayan Air Force plane to fly them to Santiago, Chile for a rugby match………they never made it. The plane crashed in the Andes due to weather and pilot error.  Sixteen out of the forty-five survived and stayed alive for over two months  in the most brutal conditions!

The details and story of this horrific crash have been documented many times….in newspaper articles, books and movies.

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These books may be at your local library. I know they can be ordered through Amazon.

I highly recommend watching the movie Alive which can be purchased through  Amazon  and also can be  found on Apple TV to rent or buy.  There are also many news articles and interviews  about/with some of the survivors, especially Dr. Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado.

Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash
Mosaic depicting Uruguay Plane Crash

 

Every day when I look at myself in the mirror, I thank God the same old jerk is still staring back at me.   Dr. Roberto Canessa

“As we used to say in the mountains,  “Breathe. Breathe again. With every breath, you are alive.” After all these years, this is still the best advice I can give you: Savor your existence. Live every moment. Do not waste a breath.”       Nando Parrado

 

El Milagro de los Andes————Miracle of the Andes.

 

From Newfoundland to Chile….Part II

From Newfoundland to Chile….Part II

Foothills Hiking is located in Puente Negro, Chile. Puente Negro is approximately 17 km from San Fernando, the capital city of the province of Colchagua.

As a part of our package with Foothills Hiking , we stayed at Cabanas Puente Negro and the owners Eugenio and Paula were friendly, helpful and kind despite our not speaking Spanish! Communication was always a challenge wherever we went, but with Google translator, much laughter and frustration we managed.

 

 

The grounds are quite interesting with cows, horses, dogs, cats, bulls and hens. Quite often the cats would lie on our doorstep and the hens would fly up from the bushes as we walked up to the main house for our breakfast! The sunrise over the mountains was always spectacular and breakfast was  delicious and soooo much fun! Meeting strangers at 7:30 am can be awkward but both Paula and Eugenio made us feel at home.

 

Lighting the heater in our cabin so we could shower, breakfast and a display of teapots to make me feel at home.

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Mate/Donkey Tea!!!

 

Eugenio, using many antics, made us mate tea ……. describing it as ‘donkey tea’…make you kick up your heels like a donkey!

It is made from steeping dried yerba mate leaves in hot water and is served in a cup with a straw, the straw was traditionally made of silver. Today it can be made of nickel silver, stainless steel or hollow stemmed cane. The cup is shared by everyone at the table. We laughed so much this morning that we barely had energy to hike.

 

 

Cabanas Puente Negro

Breakfast at 7:30 and then the morning hike began at 8:30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds, espino trees, eucalyptus, an interesting fence, beautiful mountain peaks and sunshine are all a part of the hike today.

 

 

Bathing our feet in the Rio Claro

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“I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between hill and river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”  Pablo Neruda

Please click the link above for more information on Foothills Hiking and follow my blog for more posts on our adventure in Chile.

 

 

From Newfoundland to Chile…….

From Newfoundland to Chile…….

an awesome journey and a great hiking experience. Part I

Chile is the longest country in the world, 4000 km north to south and only  200 km east to  west. It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinationRedirector?openMap=true&ethylCobjId=701

My sister happened upon Foothills Hiking Chile through their Facebook page and wanted to do something different for her 75th birthday……..so off we went. Well it wasn’t quite that simple….a 4 1/2 drive across the island, a 3 1/2 hr flight to Toronto and then a 10 1/2 hr flight to Santiago.

My husband joined us and we flew to Santiago, took a bus to San Fernando and on day three,  were picked up by Elizabeth and Jose  who run Foothills Hiking out off Puente Negro.     Foothills Hiking

This seven day/6 night hiking adventure is filled with great hikes, cultural experiences. visits to a winery, cooking class, horseback riding, star gazing; and a journey up a bumpy mountain road to Termas del Flaco where we hiked up the mountain to see the dinosaur tracks. Elizabeth and Jose make it all seem so easy.  Laughter and comradery filled the days as we hiked and learned.

 

 

We hiked in the mornings as the afternoons were quite hot.

 

” He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself,  dies slowly.”    Pablo Neruda

 

Dogs run wild here but are quite friendly.

 

Jose and Elizabeth are to be applauded for starting recycling in Puente Negro. I believe that others have joined to help them with the program now and it is great to see.

 

Plums on the tree and plums laid on tarps to dry…prunes.

 

Seeing the walnuts on the trees was new for me and the beautiful eucalyptus trees are everywhere.

 

Pablo Neruda was a Chilean and a Nobel Prize winning poet…….”Every day you play with the light of the universe.”

Many thanks to Elizabeth and Jose of Foothills Hiking. Please visit their site through the link above and follow my blog for further posts on Chile.

 

A Walkabout with a Talented Tale

A Walkabout with a Talented Tale

In September of 2018, Botwood NL hosted the Global Mural Arts Conference. This is no small feat for a town of its size. Botwood Mural Arts Society began in 2010 during the town’s Come Home Year and has grown from there. Please make the time to visit the link below.

Botwood Murals

 

Before our walkabout, nine of us gathered for a lovely brunch at the Dockside Restaurant. Dockside Restaurant     The exterior of the restaurant is rather nondescript, but the inside is unique and so very interesting. We went for the Sunday brunch and it was excellent. An added bonus is the featured art and the showing of so much history. Check their Facebook page as well as the link above. They are open all year but call 709 257 3179 for hours.

 

 

These artists were just finishing this mural and we stopped and talked with them. She was from Argentina and was thoroughly enjoying her time in Newfoundland.

 

 

Clash of Cultures….Craig Goudie

This was my sister’s favourite. I was torn between this and The Two R’s by Craig Goudie, an artist from Grand Falls-Windsor. The detail boggles my mind and it is such a powerful part of our history.

 

 

 

Artist Craig Goudie…painted on Botwood library

 

…….this is definitely my favourite! It’s ingenious how he painted the books as fishing stages (rooms) and used pencils for the shores (supports)…..and the paper boats! Seriously, you can’t get any better with creative thinking……and the colours!

 

Our history.

 

 

Fire hall Mural

 

Continuing our walkabout and seeing still more amazing murals.

 

 

You really need to read everything and look closely at every detail.

 

The railway through Botwood depicted in a mural and what a story it tells.  A section of the old railway bed now provides a scenic walk.

Botwood has four interconnected hiking trails Killick Island 5 kms, Lighthouse Point, Old Railway Link, and King Ridge Lookout. They are not challenging and quite lovely. If you need information, please call 709 257 3022.

My niece, Adrienne recently sent me a quote by John Muir  regarding hiking and how he didn’t particularly like the word ‘hike’, he prefers saunter (through the mountains)….Botwood and its murals need you to saunter through the town and fill your senses with imagery, history and pure wonder.

The miracle is not to walk on water, the miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. ….  Thich Nhat Hamh