Corrugated City

Friday 29 May 2009

Chile Investments

So the big news I mentioned a short while ago.

Over the past few weeks I've been putting together a new website for my business. I am basically continuing along the same lines as before but I will be focusing a little more on agricultural investments in Chile- vineyards, fruit farms, olive groves etc. I will continue to offer real estate consulting for individuals who have found a property and require assistance with the technicalities of purchasing property in Chile, such as legal entry of funds into the country and introductions to my lawyers for the title search and drafting of the purchase contract.

My new website can be found here: Chile Investments

As part of my new focus on vineyards, fruit farms and agricultural real estate in Chile, I will be moving down to Santa Cruz. If you've been reading this blog for more than a few weeks, you'll know that I've been down to visit several times. I really love the small town atmosphere and I miss the countryside living here in Valparaiso. I will definitely miss living full time in Valpo but I'm also looking forward to a change of scenery. I intend to rent a studio in Valpo once I'm settled in Santa Cruz so I can come back for weekends and visits. I certainly don't want to completely cut all ties with this city, it's been good to me!

So if you're an investor and looking for a vineyard in Chile, a fruit farm in Chile, real estate in Chile, real estate in Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley or any kind of investment in Chile, please feel free to get in touch and I'll help out in any way that I can.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Global Post, Chile

Down towards the bottom right of this page, there's been a Global Post button for a while now. I don't know if any of you have ever clicked on it, but you really should do. To save you the time consuming task of scrolling down the page, here's a link to the site.

The Global Post is a project that started just a few months ago and aims to bring news and views from every country around the world via blogs and news articles. It's really a very impressive site and I recommend a read. The Chile page has some excellent political, social and economic articles and videos.

To act as a counter-weight to the quality content, this blog is featured.

Monday 25 May 2009

A Short History Of Argentina's Economy

This excellent article appeared in the FT over the weekend. As I lived in Argentina for three years, I'm still interested in how disastrously managed the country is.



Saturday 16 May 2009


...was pretty spectacular tonight.

Friday 15 May 2009

Old Photo Friday

Looking down towards Plaza Sotomayor and Barrio Puerto, sometime during the mid-late 1800s.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

The Two Best Restaurants In Chile...

...are not, in my opinion, in Santiago; they are in Valparaiso and Santa Cruz.

Here in Valparaiso, Pastis (corner of Subida Concepcion and Abtao) is, quite simply, fabulous. It has, without doubt, the finest duck breast (with duck-fat fried potatoes) I've had anywhere. The quiche starters are fantastic and the gazpacho is also really very fine (or so I've been told, as I don't like gazpacho myself). The desserts are pretty decent but not as good as the savoury food. 

Pastis is expensive by Chilean standards (including a cocktail, 3 courses and a bottle a wine to share, it comes to around 20-25,000 pesos per person) but for the quality of the food and the restaurant aesthetics, it's at least two or three times less than something similar in New York, Paris, London or any western city would set you back. The wine list is decent and well-priced. 

Seema (an old friend from home on a recent visit) modelling duck breast, duck fat fried potatoes and salad)

Down in Santa Cruz, you'll find the best Peruvian restaurant in Chile (and I really don't say that lightly), La Casita de Barreales. Absolutely everything on the menu is fantastic, in particular the ceviche (of which I'm not usually a huge fan). The pisco sours are brain-murderingly good. And the other great thing about dining there is that you're just a short trip away from all the vineyards in the Colchagua Valley

Both restaurants are better than any I ate at over three years in Buenos Aires by quite some distance.

Monday 11 May 2009

Cerro La Campana VI

I hiked up Cerro La Campana again yesterday. I hurt today.

Click here for my other Cerro La Campana posts (scroll down the page).

Thursday 7 May 2009

Something Entertaining

Two posts in a day after such a long gap...

Somebody sends this to me every year. It's pretty funny.

 Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3 . Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there..

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into you bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in thefruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine.

Well, I have been a really bad blogger of late. A mix of work and feeling like I just couldn't be bothered have meant I haven't posted for a long time. The latter feeling hasn't really gone away, to be honest, but as I've got nothing else to do at the present moment...

A couple of weeks ago I went down to Punta Arenas with a friend so we could go visit Torres del Paine National Park. This was my first trip down to Patagonia, having been no further than Chiloe before, and it was very last minute.

We arrived on a Tuesday afternoon in pouring rain. It was cold. I remarked, quite cheerfully, that 'it's just like England'. When it got dark, soon after, the remark changed to, 'My god, it's just like England. Gah!' My first impressions were not great.

Next day, however, there was a bit of sunshine and we went for a walk around town and to the awesome cemetery. Punta Arenas was settled by British, French, German and Italians. But it was the Croatians who really left their mark. Croatian business names abound and the cemetery is full of Croatian tombs.

From the cemetery there are fantastic views out across the Magellan Straights over to Tierra del Fuego.

Santo Popular, Indiecito

After the cemetery, we wandered to the town centre with the inevitable Plaza de Armas. This was when I realised that Punta Arenas is actually a pretty beautiful town. The architecture all around the plaza is gorgeous, all reflecting the European influence in the town's history. Some of the wrought iron work reminded me of Buenos Aires and the complete lack of graffiti made a refreshing change from the rest of Chile. Punta Arenas is also a very safe place to wander around at pretty much anytime of the day or night. If it weren't for the driving rain, wind and snow, it might be a pretty cool place to live...

I thought this place had been shut down by the US government.

On the Plaza

One of the architects who designed the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires also designed the theatre in Punta Arenas. Not quite so special, really.

If you touch the indio's foot, you'll be returning to Punta Arenas. Dan was very excited.

Punta Arena's most spectacular attraction: A pole.

Our lovely host, Crissa.

Rainbow Part I

Rainbow Part II

That afternoon we set off for Puerto Natales, the gateway town to Torres del Paine. The yellow pampas for the entire 3 hour bus ride get old quite quickly but the sky, which you feel as though you can actually touch it's so close, is a constant wonder. Also, back in 1978, Chile and Argentina came this close to war. The Chilean military laid mine fields and massed most of its forces, waiting for an Argentine attack that was only averted by the Pope getting involved. Argentina decided to attack the Falklands instead in 1982 to drum up nationalistic pride, but that didn't end very well for them.

Anyway, Argentina didn't invade Patagonia by force. It found a more insidious way of conquering Chile: through technology. I received the following text message whilst still deep inside Chilean territory.

Puerto Natales has a reputation of being nothing more than a jumping-off point to Torres del Paine but I quite liked the place. The views across the water are spectacular, there are some decent restaurants (in particular the incredibly good pizza place on the corner of the Plaza) and there's a very laid back feel to everything. Still, we left early the next morning.

On the way to the park, the yellow pampas slowly gave way to greenery and towering mountains. Guanacos and sheep intermingled and we passed a lake full of flamingoes. Out of nowhere, the Torres del Paine revealed themselves. The bus driver slammed his brakes on and suggested everyone get out and take a photo as we probably wouldn't see them again; bad weather was on its way. Oh.

The hostel workers said the same thing. So we set off immediately on the trek up to the viewing point. It's about a 4 hour hike up and 2 or so back down. We started off in sunshine. It didn't last. The wind picked up, it started to rain and I was forced to put my 400 peso hi-vis plastic mac on. It turned out to be the best 400 I ever spent as it kept me dry-ish until we hit the...snow on the last 45 minutes. That soaked through all my clothes and left me shivering until we arrived back at the hostel in the dark.

Lovely sunshine:

But, at the top, the view that greeted us was this:

Apparently, on a nice day it looks like this (from

The painfully inevitable graffiti (that's all there is but still...)

Still, it was worth the hike. The views when the sun was out at the start were pretty cool and I needed the exercise. I'd fueled up by eating several lambs (best in South America but still not as good as NZ or Welsh lamb), pizza, crisps, chocolate milk and biscuits. I'd assumed we'd be doing at least 3 days hiking. We did just the one.

Next day, we decided to head back to Puerto Natales as the weather forecast was poor for the next few days. The early morning views of two of the three Torres was spectacular from the hostel, but it soon disappeared.

The following day, we set off on a boat tour to see a couple of glaciers. Dan was obsessed with the things for some reason and was very excited. Personally, I just see them as extremely slow moving rivers. However, the boat trip was very cool, the scenery was amazing and at the end of the day, I got to eat another couple of lambs.

Serrano Glacier

Balmaceda Glacier (just 20 years ago it reached all the way to the water)

Back in Punta Arenas later that night we headed out for Australs with Crissa. And then the next day we wandered around town a bit more, saw the sights and did what any self-respecting person does on a cold, wintry Sunday; cake and coffee.

And then we flew home. Patagonia, when the sun comes out, is stunningly beautiful. When it's cold, wet and windy it's like England on a December afternoon. Not so great. But not so bad when you're drinking in a warm pub.

Next stop: La Carretera Austral.