This video shows my first real hike in Chile, although some of my friends back home would consider this a walk for sissies rather than a real hike. While it wasn’t a hardcore outing, the walk gelled with my current level of fitness.
I mention in the video that Chile reminds me of California. Beyond being places that both begin with the letter C, there are many other similarities. Both are much longer than they are wide, although Chile pushes the limits on narrowness, averaging only around 100 miles in width. Before I left for Chile, one of my friends joked that Chileans have to walk sideways down the sidewalks because their country is so narrow. In addition to a similar shape, both California and Chile have a desert area, tall mountains, a central valley, and a long coastline on the Pacific Ocean. While occupying territories on opposite halves of the globe, these similarities mean that you’ll find the same ecosystems in each of these places.
If you live in either of these places and enjoy outdoor pursuits, you don’t need to leave your own boarders. Opportunities for skiing, rock climbing, desert trekking, surfing, mountaineering, sea kayaking, spelunking, and scuba diving all come with the territory.
Two other similarities I want to mention are the smog and the fine wine. Los Angles and Santiago both suffer from pollution, although the pollution in Santiago is worse and more persistent. But if you like wine, maybe this won’t matter. California and Chile are both known for their wines. However, I give the nod to Chile because good red wines here cost a fraction of what they do in the People’s Republic of California.