Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I'm currently in Santiago - it's our last night in Chile. We've had a MARVELOUS time. Words really can't describe, though after I get home, I'm going to try. For now, here are a few pictures:

Arriving in Chaiten.

This is what happens when your home lies in the path of a lahar. Very sad, indeed. Keep in mind that this is one year after the volcano erupted, and still the town is in a shambles, physically speaking. I'll write much more on this later.

Life finds a way

Pumalin Park, South Entrance, Northern Patagonia, Chile. We watched a small plane land on this grassy meadow/airstrip - it was the man responsible for the park's creation, Doug Tompkins.

The picture above shows the road north of Chaiten. This is the main north-south highway in Chile. Obviously, it's more developed in other places, but this is Northern Patagonia, and for now, the road is unpaved. This section of road is closed. We walked two miles in, and took this photo - my first look at the volcano:

And yes, those are steam vents. The mountain in the distance is the western side of Chaiten's caldera - all new - none of it existed before the volcano's eruption one year ago May 2. This area took the full brunt of the pyroclastic flow. We walked a quarter mile up this riverbed, and took this photo from roughly one mile away:

Our guide, Nicolas, says he thinks the tower on the right is new - it looks like a massive, square watchtower that's been upthrust from the earth.

While we were in the vicinity of the volcano, we heard occasional rumblings and popping sounds - distant explosions - and twice, the plume above the volcano turned a light orangey-red - Nicolas says that's an indication of pyroclastic activity in the crater.

All in all, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I know my son and I should have been scared to be so close to an active volcano, but we weren't frightened in the least - it was too awe-inspiring!

That's it for now, but if you enjoyed these photos, stay tuned - there's lots more to come!



Great Pictures Karen, I can not wait to read the book. Have a safe journey home.
Yvonne Oots

Melanie Avila

Wow!! It looks like you're having a great time. :)


Love the pictures! Can't wait to see more ;)


Great pictures, Karen! Can't wait to see more....Have a safe trip home!!!

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