Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The largest open pit mines in the world

When we were living in the upstate of SC, we took a field trip to an open pit mine that produces gravel for roads. That mine is a puddle size compared to the the 2nd and 3rd largest open pit mines in the world which are in northern Chile.
The largest is in Utah but the second largest is the Chuquicamata which is 1650 km north of Santiago near Calama in the Atacama Desert . It is 2,788 feet deep. It produces copper at 650,000 metric tons annually and also molybdenum and selenium.
The third largest open pit mine produces more copper at 750,000 metric tons and it is the Escondida Mine near Antofagasta. It is the largest copper producer in the world and also mines for gold and silver Chile provides 30% of the world's copper. The government owns the Chuqui mine. Copper prices are really high right now so that's a lot of money pouring into the Chile's coffers which is why the government has no debt!
Escondida copper, gold and silver mine

And there is plenty more where that came from as you can read in this interesting article link below

"Chuquicamata-003 02" by Modified by Tennen-Gas - Image:Chuquicamata-003.jpg, photo by selbst fotografiert, created March 1984.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

La Picada

From our last post you know we went sledding but while we were out we went exploring. We went to La Picada which is on the north side of Volcan Osorno because we thought we might be able to find some sledding there.
Here is a view of La Picada from Quilanto.
Is that not amazing, or what?
La Picada is to the left and you can just see the peaks of Tronador in between. Tronador , or thunder mountain, is even taller than Osorno (8,700 ft) at 11,300 ft. It is in Argentina on the eastern shore of Lake Todos Los Santos.It is called thunder mountain because it has 8 glaciers on it and the sound of the falling ice sounds like thunder. Can't wait to visit there! Maybe after we get permanent residency so we won't have any problems with entrance fees to Argentina. But anyway ..... La Picada
We drove to the end of the road and ended at El Refugio which is a seasonal cafeteria for hikers at the end of the road in Vicente Perez Rosales National park.
This is the refuge

Volcan Osorno from the north side
This is the closest we got to the snow line without a hard hike!

notice the terrain is rocky with lots of moss and low scrubby trees and shrubs

Thomas is ready to go sledding

Andrew down in the ravine

The terrain and trees growing in this ravine are different from the lush tropical growth on the sides
I think at one point in the past a giant river of lava flowed through this ravine and down to the lake
A little road side shrine

This is the end of the road, for vehicles any way, and for those of you non-spanish speaking peoples
Desolation Pass is the road that goes around the volcano to the east side and the town of Petrohue on the shores of Todos Los Santos. This trail is not for the faint of heart. With a name like Desolation pass, I expected Smaug to come flying around the volcano! It is a difficult hike of  15 miles in 10 hrs there and back and to height of  5600 ft.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Snow Sledding on a VOLCANO

Lori wanted to get out of the house and take the boys snow sledding. It is winter here but we typically do not get snow so we went up to the Volcan Osorno which has a ski lift / resort and sled trails. So here is our little day trip with the boys. (NOTE: you will hear my two sons Samuel and Andrew, nit picking and splitting hairs as guest comment providers from the back seat! I know you are......... what am I............ )

and video #2:.............. please comment.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Looking at Land to buy in Chile

First I must say that I am sorry that Lori and I have not posted anything in a little while, but it started with Lori getting sick and then she was most kind enough to hand it over to me. As a result we have just been battling this illness and it sadly continues to linger to a degree..........

In the mean time we were able to put together the strength to go and look at some land that our wonderful friend Marcos was so kind to arrange to for us to go and see. This land was a mix of 90% flat pasture land with a small creek that likely dries up in the summer and a portion that was 10% that was a former homestead that had burned to the ground, leaving only the foundation and a few outbuildings and one worker house.
The property was beautiful but we did not fall in love with. This is ok as this is a process, and we figure that if you move 5,000 miles it would probably be important to find a property that we could put our hearts into. There were a few issues that we had with it but they were simply OUR issues and not particularly a problem with the land. We have looked at less expensive land that was much more appealing but was as you remember too small. So we will keep the looking process going until we find the property that God wants us to buy.

Here are two videos of the property that you may want to look at to familiarize yourself with Southern Chile. This property looked very similar to a parcel you would find in Kentucky or Tennessee. 
Sorry for the camera jumps but we have been having issues with the camera making good vids lately. 

and Vid #2

PLEASE COMMENT............... RATE AND ............. SUBSCRIBE.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The night skies of Chile

File:Observatoire de LaSilla depuis la route de Las Campanas.jpg

La Silla (the saddle) run by the European Southern Obervatory

While the night skies down here in southern Chile are pretty awesome when the clouds clear, the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile is famed for its dark, clear skies. It is the home of more than 10 observatories with scientists from around the world and has more observatories than any other country in the world. Four new observatories are being planned and by 2020 Chile will have over 70% of the worlds "astronomical infrastructure". I guess this means telescopes, dish antenna, and stuff.
The worlds largest optical telescope is at the Paranal Observatory near Antofagasta.
Here is a link to an amazing video of the night skies of Chile.

and here is a link to some great articles on all the wonders scientists have discovered in the night skies over Chile


Saturday, July 12, 2014

The largest swimming pool in the world

No, its not in my backyard!
But it is in Chile though we haven't been there yet .....
It is west of Santiago on the coast just south of Valparaiso
3300 ft in length and covers 20 acres with 66 milion gallons of seawater
You can sail a boat on it!

check out these links

and here is the other link to the Daily mail article