Sunday, December 29, 2013

Magical Mystical Chiloe

Saturday, we drove down to the end of Ruta 5, about 1 1/2 hrs, and drove onto the ferry to Chiloe. pronounce chill-oh-way. This island was settled by a tribe of mapuche indians and then the spanish arrived in 1567. The spanish and indians intermarried and developed their own culture separate from Chile. The Jesuits arrived in 1608 and built many churches all over the archipelago. Many of the churches are still standing and there is a tour you can make of the most popular ones. People farm & fish and cater to tourists here. Not much else to do! There are some towns and shopping.
You can click on the map and zoom in. the beaches we went to are northwest of Ancud.

Ver mapa más grande

Here is the ferry - 4 of them were going back and forth all day and its not even the busy season.
No waiting, you just drive right on- pay the ferrymaster $20 and relax.

There is an outside viewing deck for tourists. The trip is around 1/2 hr. across the Chanel de Chacao.
All these heavy trucks and buses make me nervous! but this is the only way to the island.
Our first stop was the penguin beach. Boats go out to the small islands off the coast to view the magellanic & humboldt penguin breeding grounds. I think this is the farthest north they go. Look hard because they blend in well with the rocks.
Lots of chicks but most parents are out fishing to feed all the hungry mouths!

This rock split in the 2010 earthquake
Voila! now 2 islands!

Thomas is having a great time! as we all did

Cool caves all along this rocky coast

Beautiful rolling hills and farmland

This is the most awesome beach ever!
Miles and miles of sand - just a few houses and we only saw one guy on the beach. he was scuba diving for kelp.
We drove down on the beach and explored several caves, one of which is in this big rock
Lots of shells and interesting rocky areas

Lots of flowers blooming like this thistle
You can bet we'll be back! Next time - the church tour and the capital of Castro.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Lady of Guadalupe; Empress of the Americas

Yesterday 12 December 2013 was the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe which is celebrated by the Catholic Church. As some of you who follow this blog are not Catholic I thought that this was a miracle that transcends all Christian faiths. Indeed the miracle covers all humanity and is as important for this fact, since the Virgin Of Guadalupe first appeared to a pagan who had little or no knowledge of the Catholic Church. The Mother of God appeared to and for all of us. Even if you are not a Christian (and I hope you are) then this extraordinary event, which can still be seen today 500 years later, can not be explained by modern science. Indeed the miracle continues every day since it first happened as the "Tilma" is like a living apparition.

Here are two links. The first one describes the miracle and the second is a scientific probe into the event.
This is a great description of what happened and continues to happen:

This man is a scientist who at first tried to disprove the miracle.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Some different things about Chile

There are some unusual and different things about Chile. Here is a list of a few things, some quite puzzling and humorous.

1. Don't ever go into the bathroom stall at a public restroom without checking the toilet paper first. Either there is none or it may be stationed outside the stall?!
2. Lots of people hitchhike - young and old! it is common and safe. many people can't afford cars and though buses are very common and go everywhere sometimes it is just more convenient to hitch a ride. Also it is considered good Christian form to pick some one up and snobby not to. Of course you use your own discretion. Use your emergency blinkers when you pick them up.
3.Milk comes in boxes unrefrigerated and jam comes in bags (very messy!)
4. Many chilean products are poorly designed and constructed - the weeny easybake oven (it is neither) that seems to be the standard stove for most chileans that can't fit 4 pots on the top and you need 3 arms and the patience of a saint to light the oven. The washing machine where the clothes come out dirtier than when you put them in and the dryer that sounds like 100 squeaking rats are inside turning the drum and it takes 2 hours to dry a load of clothing. I have grown to love my clothesline with all that nice fresh Patagonian air and a good torrential downpour gets most of the dirt out!
5.Dirt / Gravel roads are common but well maintained though a little dusty when it's dry and it's not uncommon to see oxen pulled carts on the side of the highway or what we would call the interstate. You will also see bicyclists and pedestrians on the interstate.
6. It is good form when you enter someones house to say "permisso" or permission. It is like the Irish saying bless all in this house! Chileans are very polite and just saying hola to someone you don't know is too casual for chileans. You should say "Buenos Dias, hola" especially to someone you don't know
7. Chileanos are real big on receipts. They must give you a receipt even for the most simple purchase and they are real insistent that you take it. This has to do with the tax laws. Also if you do a credit card or debit purchase they will ask you to hit enter on the machine to verify the amount that they put into the machine. This is to prove that they are honest.
8. They love bags or bolsas. If they were selling you bags they would put them in a bag and that in a bag and so on.But the bags are so holey you have to use 2 at the grocery store.
9. You get to kiss your banker. It is common to kiss someone on the cheek when you say hello (opposite sex). Like the frenchies.
10. Chileanos do not like BBQ sauce or sweet meat like chinese or americans.
11. They love bubbly water or carbonated water.......... actually I have come to prefer it as well. You can't get just a free glass of water at a restaurant. It is always bottled and you have a choice- con or sin gas. with or without carbonation. Samuel & Andrew still get confused by this.
12. There are many little roadside shrines a symbol of the catholic heritage of this country.
13. The language is always good for a laugh. Like when Jim asked the ladies at Kuchenladen for a Bodega de galletas which is a barnful of cookies instead of a bagful or when Jim wanted to grill a cerro instead of a cerdo - a hill instead of a pig. Our friend told us his ancestors came from germany on sheep instead of ships. I have been teaching the ladies at our favorite cafe some english so they can help the american tourists. We have a good laugh as they try to pronounce some of the sounds that are difficult for a spanish tongue.
14. Tipping - the waiter tips are only 10% but it is customary to tip many others including the bag boy at the grocery who only makes $2.50 per hour, the guy who helps you park your car and then makes sure it isn't broken into (you hope!) and the juggler who entertains you while waiting for the light change.
15 which brings up another topic on parking- there are no meters on city streets but there is usually a guy with an official orange vest who will put a ticket on your car and then conveniently take your money when you are ready to leave which is only a $1 or 2 depending on how long you are parked.
I assume they are city employees?
16. The roads are pretty well maintained - in town they paint the street lines with hand brushes and weed the roadsides with weedeaters- both very time consuming and though seemingly inefficient I guess it does provide jobs for the locals!
17. Though i must admit chileans are ingenious and learn to make do when they can't afford an item or it just isn't available for example - workers pouring concrete on the roadside are using a smoother with homemade stick handles and if you don't have a ladder tall enough you just build it with scrap wood!
You fill up your car with firewood if you don't have a trailer and if you don't have a car you use a wheelbarrow and if you don't have a car, your back is just as good!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holidays & Holy Days

Holidays are a bit different here. They have some obscure catholic/saint holidays when all the stores & banks are closed but no one goes to church. Of course, they don't have Thanksgiving but we did celebrate that special day with our American friends as we have so much to be thankful for!

We also celebrated All Saint's/All Souls day with our American host family who came down from Santiago to spend the weekend with us. We had a dress up as your favorite saint plus some games and fun!
The donut game

Bobbing for apples

Birds in the tree

Now we are getting ready for Advent and Christmas. And I can't believe I have done 2 things I've never done before- first I bought a fake tree. they just don't sell live trees here. and second I put it up Thanksgiving weekend. Thomas was just too excited.

Here is the Advent wreath I made from scratch- You'd be proud of me, Mom!
Just some branches Thomas cut from the yard and some electrical wire

Not bad for $10 - Thomas put it together and decorated it plus he's even been making some gifts for Emily
Won't she be surprised!
Thomas is very industrious!

A few of our favorite things .....

Number 1
The awesome sunsets in the east!
No, the sun doesn't set in the east here but when it sets the eastern mountain range becomes a range of purples, pinks & blues. Quite enchanting especially when the moon is rising.
These are taken from our front porch.

Number 2
The nectar of the gods

Raspberry juice for under $3
Life is good
Don't worry Emily, I'll stock up before you get here!

Number 3 
The fresh produce

Fast food here is stopping by the neighborhood mercadito and picking up some fresh vegies for dinner
It is so much easier than a grocery store when you can park curbside and go right in and most of the display is on the sidewalk
Much of it is local
The flavors are sweet and fabulous 

Number 4
The people 
The people are friendly and welcoming
This picture was taken at our first BBQ when we hosted the Mennonite church of 30+ people
at our home with dinner on  Jim's new grill - a real southern BBQ
Chilean people are generally reserved, quiet, genial people
Not as outwardly friendly as southerners but always generous and helpful
Overall, Chileans are happy and simple people

Number 5
The country life
We love the farms and the animals and look forward to having our own someday
We love the wide open pastures and all that fresh Patagonian air!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Answering Questions from Comments

View from Ski Slopes on Volcan Orsono
Jim here.........

We have not had good internet available for the past 2 weeks. Wednesday this problem should go away……..A quick update: I got back from a quick 2 day trip to Santiago Chile for a meeting with the international distributors for Rain X and I am pretty sure we got our new business....... man is that scary? Such emotions come with this news. So it was an excellent meeting.

Stacy P has asked some good questions that I wanted to try and answer while I am still fresh of mind. So I will try and hit each one as best I can. As a side note: We are still in the Honey Moon phase of our life here in Chile, although there have been some down sides to being here as well. We are happy here in Chile, happier than we could be in the current usa.

Now to the Questions from Stacy:

Stacy: I love your optimism! I knew that you would have an entrepreneurial plan soon! You've got the work ethic, charisma, and daring to make it work! Hats off to you. 

 Thanks Stacy you are very kind. I am a bit single minded, bull headed and driven, which can be helpful when starting a  business but it may also be a hindrance at other times. Thank God I have a Saint for a wife. It kind of reminds me of the statement "be careful of what you wish for you may get it!" 

Stacy Asks: You say Chile is living in the 1950s? Well, I was born there in 1963, that must've been the Dark Ages! Actually, my point is, that not much has changed, except governments! Why is that? Are there barriers: government, capital, ....? Is it the attitude of the people (such as you described). Are they just waiting for the American genius?

 In short yes I do think that Chileanos are waiting for Norte Americano genius. You know we “had” a God inspired Constitution in the USA. The founding fathers were also a good pool of citizens who were equally determined to do it on their own. Likely more important was the fact that this foundation, I think, spawned generations of  N. Americans who  looked at adversity as opportunity. These were the founders of the “Association of Lemonade Makers” and not the current sludge of lemon aid drinkers that currently are inheriting the Right to Pursue Happiness in the USA.

In Chile they are not a lot of lemon aid drinkers for the most part; although there are some / many here who are of the "What’s yours is mine" point of view, I do not think that this is the dominant attitude. This is why the communists were likely routed in the 1970s coup.  Much has changed here since then, with great improvements. Our first month here in Chile was a real eye opener where we found what we thought was  much different than what is “Chile”.

So as a whole I do not think that these people have been taught that the sky is the limit. That if you can think it.... then you can do it! They are still not taught in school here that they have the "Freedom to pursue Happiness". The Chileans as a population are very ignorant in this area but eager to learn.  The Chileans, are not familiar with principle of individual excellence, or the idea that ordinary people, like you and I, can do extra ordinary things! What a concept! It changed the history of the world.

Stacy Asks: Since it hasn't moved forward much toward the economic "progress" of the US, why? Is there a demand? If so, which it sounds like there is, you will find it, reveal it, and meet the need. It sounds like a lot of pent up demand! 

Carabineros or Chilean Police on Parade at Founders day Parade.
Many Carabineros were killed in the 1970s coup
Jim: In the macro, Chile has moved ahead of North America significantly! Chile has no debt (none, nada, zip). We found the idea that Chile is a backward 3rd world country to be a lie! The government has a 25% surplus stored away every year! (imagine what the USA could do with a 25% surplus stored away while having its bills paid?) The USA pales in comparison in financial stability. It is the richest country in the Southern Hemisphere, and I would venture to say more secure (much more secure) than the USA. The difference is that the population is smaller and therefore the GDP is smaller here.  Also of note is the fact that Ronald Regan’s intervention set up the financial system in Chile, and it has been allowed to flourish, which explains a lot.

On an individual basis or micro, there is a lot of pent up demand. The opening of the internet has caused this I think to a great degree. Before the internet it was: Out of Sight out of Mind. Now it is I see it and I want it....... Right NOW! Which I think is a good…. and bad thing, but it is "What it is".

Stacy : I'm excited for your future!

Jim: You know what Stacy? It is scary as hell.  This whole move has been scary as hell. I think you know that all we can do is pray that we are doing God’s will, and thank you so much for the prayers we need them.
And yes it is fun, exciting, exhilarating and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for tomorrow.  However, we could not remain complacent in our lives in South Carolina.

Stacy asks: Back at the home front, I'm Not bullish on the USA. I believe our culture is devolving. The educational system has not inculcated our American values (dare I say there even IS such a thing?) The Declaration of Independence was predicated on the history of rule by Kings, Emperors. We are devolving into an Oligarchy. I'm not confident that this course can be reversed because most adults are uneducated, can't think or reason, have no values, and only care about, sports, sex, and cooking shows. They are unable, unwilling, and unaware that they have a duty to transmit culture, and lessons/gifts learned/earned by the blood of their forefathers.  Government education has been a willing partner, and in fact a tool of the Oligarchy for at least 4 decades. Read Calvin Coolidge's remarks on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. They're an excellent rebuttal to "progressives" (regressive, in fact.)

Enough of my rant. I don't have the courage to do what you have done. But I pray you well! As for me and my household, we will serve The Lord here, even as you serve Him there!
PS It may snow tonight, we'll see:)
God bless! Thanks for the updates.

Jim: I find that as I get older I spontaneously say "Hail Mary’s" in my head all day long. I am afraid to count the number because it would defeat the purpose of the "saying". Hail Mary’s....

It is early spring here so it is getting warmer and the flowers are all coming out to greet us and it is even more beautiful than it was in the winter.

Stacy we are both veterans. I weep for the USA and I am heartbroken. Lori and I hope we are creating an alternative for …..You….. our friends and family. We are paving the road for others. In many ways I feel like Noah. Is the USA going to fail, crash and burn? I do not know. I do care, but I care about my soul and those of my family and friends first. God will sort out the rest and I hope we will all be here to pick up the pieces. It has been a wonderful adventure.

These times are very scary, and I may be crazy (actually I am crazy) but the former.... not the new .... Boy Scout and submarine sailor will not let me sit by and not continue to prepare for the emergency that is already upon us today. It is too late I think to say or even hint that there is not a problem. I read a real interesting article on "Normalism" which pointed out the hordes who do not see the writing on the wall or the elephant in the room.

Stacy: I also want you to know that in this month of November, I am praying that you perceive, in a deep way, Christ's peace that Jesus is giving you through Joshua's intercession. I know you will be reunited in Christ with Joshua according to God's will. Peace and love to you.
November 12, 2013 at 8:26 AM
What I forgot to say about the Dec of Ind, (because I had to take bread out of the oven and lost my train of thought). Is that the Dec of Ind, was predicated on the REJECTION of the rule by Kings. The rights of the individual come from their Creator, NOT from any man. (even Obama) also to, not too;)

Chilean Navy on parade for founders day in Frutillar
Jim: This has been a long post. Too long for some but not long enough for others in that it asks and scratches the surface on some important questions. The bottom line is that people here have jobs, go to church, and raise their families here just like the USA (only in Spanish). They have the same stresses and challenges. The difference to Lori the kids and I is that we feel like there is a future here in Chile for us and none left in the USA.
I used to say:
Freer…………… yes it is freer here.
Safer………………….they do not tolerate crime here
Less Expensive………. It is about the same all things considered may be a little cheaper.

Thank you so much Stacy for asking these hard questions. And to those of you who are wondering; no I did not put her up to it! Lori and I love to get questions like this on the blog, because we need to stand back and take a good look as well, and ask the same questions. We just hope you all in the USA are asking the same questions of your selves.

We love the USA it just does not like us…………Jim
Dirt Track Car Race in Frutillar Alto

Monday, November 4, 2013

Container Post

Our sea worthy container being delivered 16 Feb 2013 in the rain in Boiling Springs, South Carolina
There have been a lot of requests for more information on the container / shipping process. Since this is an ongoing process for us, and since the process like so many other things here in Chile is always changing, I thought it was best to make several posts. So, for those of you who are getting your move in order, you will want to book mark this first post on shipping containers.

To ship or not to ship? I have read other blogs that have stated SELL EVERYTHING! Ok, if you want to sell then sell. I found that Norte Americanos like their stuff,,,, alot! I remember a wonderful line from the movie "Quiet Man" where Maureen O'Hara says (my para phrase)

"..... there are 300 years of love and dreaming in my things and.... I need them.... I want them and I'll have them" .   STUFF!

As a family, for us every day we have been here one of us will say I just wish I  had my "what ever" from the container. I would be so much happier if I just had that one thing and I could get this done or be able to move on to another task. It comes to the fact that we are comfortable with what makes us comfortable and in many cases that is what gives us a feeling of permanence and home. The feeling of having your things about you is very comforting and it helps to make your new house a home. I think it is important to be as comfortable as you can in your new country, so I say ship it all as much as you can and then some. It will make your life easier and your transition less painful and stressful.

1. It is almost as cheap to ship a 40 foot container as it is a 20 foot container. +/-$1,000 difference in pricing, and when you are talking about your stuff and a once in a life time event $1,000 might as well be $1.00 so get a 40 foot HIGH BOY container which is 40 foot long by 9 foot tall. They sell 8 foot tall containers and you do NOT want one of these as that extra foot in height is cheap and it lets you bring taller house hold items with no problem. It is well worth the extra $300 to $500 for the TALL BOY at 9 foot.

2. Renting a container is more expensive than buying a container. There is one exception and that is if you are moving to the city and you do not want to have an empty container hanging around after you have emptied out all your stuff. We have friends who have rented, and they paid more for the rental and storage then they would have for the purchase of the container out right.

3. Where to buy and particulars: In the upstate of South Carolina I went to L&L container on White Horse Road at I-85.

ADDRESS: 22 Burty Rd
Greenville, SC 29605 (864) 295-7103

Ask for "Van" the owner. He will try to "UP SELL" you so barter hard. You are not a shipper so just buy a container that will make one more trip. It will need the "Inter-modal Stamp" and the updated inspection on the door. DO NOT LOSE THE PAPER WORK THAT HE GIVES YOU OR YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SHIP YOUR CONTAINER!!
If you are not in the Greenville, SC area then look up on the internet shipping containers and you will find lots of choices. You will want one that is close to where you live so that your delivery expense is not as high because they charge a per hour (there and back) for delivery.

4. How much did JIM and LORI pay? $4,300 for a 40 foot X 9 foot tall sea worthy container. It was beat up but was still sea worthy and had to pass the inspection which was placed on the door. The boys and I bought some oil based paint and now it looks like new. Van offered to paint the container for $500, and we chose to save the $$$. Remember it only needs to make one more trip. So a few spots where holes were welded is no big deal. The price we got was tax, title, and delivered with Inter-modal paperwork and sea worthy stamp on the door.  Van does the inspection and will give you the paper work when the container is delivered.

5. What to look for when buying? Good doors and seals. The doors should close tightly and easily. There should be minimal rust around the doors. The roof should be solid and with out any holes. It must be water tight. I climbed on top of the container to see how bad the rust was on the top. You can not see the top from the ground. Van did not expect me to do this but was accommodating, and he had a ladder available. You can bet your shoes that Van looks at the roof of a container before he buys them, so shouldn't you? The roof is the easiest spot to get ripped off. If you are too scared to climb a 9 foot ladder, give Van your cell phone and ask him to climb up and get a picture for you. He will do it if he wants to sell the container and......... HE DOES WANT TO SELL ONE! On the inside look for solid flooring. Containers are wood floored, which is good because then you can screw straps and such into the flooring to tie down furniture. So the floor should not have ANY, ANY rot at all. The walls should have welded loops at the tops and bottoms at the ceiling and floor which need to be in good order so that you can use straps and chains and such to tie down your stuff. Remember your stuff will be slogging around at sea for 3 to 4 weeks and likely in rough seas so strap it down and stack it high all the way to the roof so it will not move.

6. To drop or not to drop? You can have your container dropped in your yard or it can be delivered on a chassis, basically on the ground or on wheels. Of course you will have to pay for the wheels (you knew that was coming I can tell). We decided to have it dropped in the yard and had them set it on some WOOD BLOCKS(not concrete, do not use concrete they break over time). Van can deliver your container on a chassis and rent the chassis to you for around $75/month (this price may have gone up I do not know). We wanted a good long while to load our container before and after we left the USA, so we opted for the dropped in the yard option. We could have bought a chassis for $3,000, and then we would have had to sell it when the container is loaded at the port in Charleston, SC. For us it was smarter money to pay $1,050 to have the container picked up by a LAND DOLL tractor trailer and hauled to the port.

7.  What can I put into the Container? Well the quickest answer is what can't you put into the container! Hard and fast:
No chemicals, no gas or diesel engine operated equipment (anything with an engine is not allowed), No tires (I think they mean new or used on the rim), NO VEHICLES without it costing you a tax of 60% of the vehicle, no raw wood, no food or vegetables, no grains or rice, NO NEW ITEMS!
If you have a new item then use it and mark it USED and put it in a box! No construction materials (but if you can hide it,,,,, and you did not hear it from me,,,, bring a nice big, double basin kitchen sink! no lie they have terrible kitchen sinks here. They look like camper sinks, and it is all that they have to offer. Also bring the drain trap and flange for it as well!)

8. THE LIST: Here is some more work for you..... because you do not have enough already! As you load your items in your boxes you need to make a list of what is inside them. This is for you and for the Aduanas or Customs here in Chile. They will need a complete list of everything in your container. This list will have to be translated before you give it to them and anyone can translate it down here for you once your list is complete. ALL ITEMS ON THE LIST MUST BE MARKED USED OR IN SPANISH USEDO! They do not want you to bring in NEW anything! They think that you will sell it. One of our friends had a computer that he brought in the original box and they made him prove it was used.

Do not sweat this as you will want to know as well what is in each box, and with just a little more work you will be able to give the customs people here in Chile a list of what is in your container. Lori and I used an excel spread sheet to make our list and every box or item has a corresponding number on the outside. You can be as detailed or as vague as you like, and there are obvious advantages to each approach which I will let you use your imagination to figure out.

Some people even make two lists. I would mess this one up and give the wrong list to the right people at the wrong time. So I am very vague as to what is in some boxes. Some of these vague boxes are at the vvvveeeerrrryyy front of the container and are very difficult to get to, if you know what I mean.

8. What to bring or NOT Bring that you already have (besides what was already mentioned above:
You do not want to bring your appliances. The electricity is 220/50 htz here and 110/60 in the USA. Yes, you can bring converters and the like and you can easily buy converters here but it is not worth it because they wear out quickly on the converters. So just do not bring them.
DO BRING: All Furniture, Equipment; anything that is 220/60 and you can almost be assured that it will work fine here in Chile. Radial Saws, Drill presses, Planers, Joiners, welders, air compressors. Anything with a 220 ELECTRICAL motor is good to bring and you will not need a converter. Our Mennonite friend has been running 220/60 htz equipment on Chileano 220/50 htz power now for the past two years with no problems at all, NONE! As a side note if you use these things they are about 3 times cheaper in the USA. So if you need or want them, buy them, use them and put them in the container and save big $$$$$. Also do not be afraid to bring consumables for your equipment like welding rods or saw blades or nails for your nail gun which are hard to buy here and costly. Just mark them used and put them in one of the vague boxes we talked about above.

This is the Chilean Government site that lists restrictions and specifics on importation:
Item 3 indicates what you cannot import:
3. ¿Qué mercancías no puedo importar?
Vehículos usados (sin perjuicio de las franquicias establecidas en la normas vigentes)
Motos usadas
Neumáticos usados y recauchados
Asbesto en cualquiera de sus formas
Desechos industriales tóxicos
Mercancías que sean peligrosas para los animales, para la agricultura o la salud humana (por ejemplo; algunos plaguicidas de uso agrícola, juguetes y artículos de uso infantil que contengan tolueno, adhesivos fabricados en base a solventes volátiles), las que se encuentran prohibidas por Decreto del Ministerio de Salud, del Ministerio de Agricultura y otros organismos del Estado.
Otras mercancías, que de acuerdo a la legislación vigente, se encuentren con prohibición de importar.

Translated, this means:
used cars
used tires
industrial toxic waste
things dangerous to animals, agriculture or humans (in that order!), e.g., childrens toys annd other things containing solvents
Other goods that are currently prohibited by law (gotta love that one - how do you find out? They do not say)

10. How do you know what you need? Easy! As long as you are in the USA you do not know what you need. I can not tell you everything that is not or IS here as it would take all day. Rest assured they have everything you need, maybe not in the brand you like or accustomed, but they do have it and it is likely at a higher price. 

11. When to ship? What I suggest is do not ship your container until after you have been here for 90 days. You will also find out what you need, want and would like to have added to your container before it is shipped during this time period. Now before that 90 day Tourist Visa is up (if you like it here) you will apply for a "Temporary Residency Visa". It is during the temporary visa period that you can ship in your $$$$$ DUTY FREE $$$$$$ container for your family (one container per a family is allowed or per an individual if not a family). It really does not make sense if you think about it; what if after your temporary residency they do not let you stay and you already have your container here? Oh well! At least you got it in Duty FREE$$$. 

We have a friend who is a permanent resident and she is shipping a container and will have to pay significant taxes at 19%. So SAVE, Save, save $$$, ship duty free.


We are almost ready to ship our container to Chile. I have about 5 quotes ranging from $3,750.00 for shipping only (no associated fees) all the way up to $9,995.00 for door to door service (these people are loony tunes).

How this breaks down is:

$1,000.00 to get it from Spartanburg to Charleston and delivered in the port ready to load on ship.

$3,750.00 to get it by sea from Charleston SC to Conception Chile (AKA Coronel)

$250.00 for Aduana fees / shipping agent who gets it through the port and customs. This is necessary.

**$1,500.00 to get it to the South of Chile near Osorno, about 10 hours trucking time south.

A total of $6,500:

**The unknown is the Trucking fees from Conception to where we live as I do not yet have that quote. Also we looked for a shipper that went into Puerto Montt Chile but could not find any. Puerto Montt is much closer to us, only 45 min drive. So we are working on getting quotes to Puerto Montt to save us the Chilean trucking fees by over half. But we will see. 

I will post again as we move forward on ordering it as the process continues. This all can be come very complicated and to get a straight answer would be very helpful to all of you so that you know what to expect. As a side note, my Mennonite friends have shipped a small 4' X 4' crate of goods and it cost them around $2,800, and that was before the taxes were paid or the port costs or any of those sundries. The lesson here is to bring down a full container.

Land Doll Trailer used to drop container on ground

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Come for a walk with Thomas

It is not a hot steamy jungle here like the Amazon as most think of it in the USA. Here it is a temperate rain forest. Cool and rainy are the typical winter days. In the low 40s. Rarely do we go a day with out a little sun shine, but rare is the day we do not have rain as well. Also the north wind is warm, and the south wind is cool, fresh, clean air that has come from Antarctica that has never been breathed by man! Well, maybe a little...
This is the highest point on our road right next to the gate at our house.

This is our neighbor next to us - nice entrance gate and the house behind the bushes
They must live in Santiago because they are rarely around

Here is a view into the ravine towards the lake
It's very jungly and instead of kudzu we have a vining bamboo

This is the tasty Nalca plant - the flower is on the left and you can see how big the leaves get in the next picture
It adds to the jungle effect
We have seen this plant offered for eating at the feria so we tried some
The main stalk is eaten after peeling and it has the same feel as celery though with a more astringent flavor

The sides of the ravine are rock in some places and there are lots of small waterfalls that come down and follow the creek that runs along the side of the road

This tree has small red tubular flowers which the hummingbirds love
It is blossoming heavily now  though there are flowers all winter
Here is Thomas creating a "little boy dam" in the road ditch. The water runs this fast all winter long here in the ditches. It is more like a creek than a ditch and the water is coooooolllllllldddd.
The average rain fall for this part of Chile is 90 inches a year, and most of that falls in the winter.

This is the lowest point in the road though we are still quite a ways above the bottom of the ravine

Now we are headed up to the ridge

This is really deep! A scary 200 feet deep. The picture is very deceptive.

They do have Pumas here in Chile, and Thomas in this picture looks like a "Puma Snack".
The maintenance guy actually has seen a puma on our road within the past 2 months.

Can you imagine hacking your way through this to create a farm and a life for your family in 1840? This is what the Germans faced when they came here and settled this area. Many German settlers died cutting and clearing for their farms.

By now your legs are really aching and you are breathing hard but it's not much farther
and the view is really worth it!

Almost there!

Volcan Calbuco

Volcan Punitagudo

Volcan Osorno

Looking back where we came from is our neighbor's huge house!
Otto & Christel Kusch - a german immigrant family from the 1860's. They own 2000+ acres of land and have 400+ polled herefords. Jim went and introduced himself and Christel speaks english so she took us on a tour of her farm.

As we come down the other side, there are 3 houses tucked into the hillside
One belongs to the General of the Chilean Air Force and the other to his Colonel friend

In this cove is a fish farm - the baby salmon swim in cages here in the lake until they reach a couple of inches long and then they are transported to the ocean in tanker trucks to reach a mature size for harvesting

One of the homes. Our friend said it was on the market a few years ago for under $250,000.
Not bad for nice large house with incredible views in a private gated community!

Glad I bought those galoshes! We head up another smaller ridge before heading down to the lake

This part of the road reminds me of the farm I grew up on in Connecticut

Our final descent to the lake

A glimpse of the lake through the trees

We are finally here!
A view back towards the ravine

The lagoon faces south but no mountain views here

There is a dock here but someone stole the floats from it so it sank :(
Wow, thanks for holding out with us. That was a long post!