Ian Wright's journey down the length of Chile
takes him from the driest desert in the world to the southern-most
point before the Antarctic Ocean. Nearly
three thousand miles of stunning countryside encompass a vast
and beautiful country with a variety of terrains and climates.
The scorching aridity of the Atacama Desert
is a great preserver of history and Ian sees beautiful hillside
geolyths made hundreds of years ago and ancient mummies, their
glossy black hair still neatly braided.
From the northern deserts where the llama farmers continue their forefathers ways; to the modern technology
of the largest telescope in the world; to the spectacle of
a pilgrimage of thousands of devotees... finally reaching
the countryís geographical and commercial centre - Santiago.
From Santiago Ian continues south to Temuco on a luxurious wood panelled 1930's train to visit the indigenous Mapuche Indians who still struggle to retain
their own language and identity in their on-going fight against
Chilean colonisation. Nearby, across the lakes and volcanoes,
live 8th generation German ex-pats who have been allowed to
retain their native language along with their distinctive
architecture, music and strudel.
Patagonia is penguin country. The wind and weather conditions
here can be brutal but the astounding natural beauty of the
glacier-streamed mountains in Torres del Paine National Park
more than makes up for the chill factor.
Nearing the end of his trip, Ian flies north to Robinson
Crusoe Island, named after Daniel Defoe's famous
novel Robinson Crusoe, which was set there. He finds it's
not as exotic and palm-lined as the book would have you believe,
but the local people are hospitable and lobsters are excellent.
Finally, 2,000 miles west of Santiago, Ian ends his
journey on Easter Island, the most remote
inhabited place on earth. The people here are Polynesians
who are segregated from mainland Chileans and the island is
also home to huge protective moais that continue to be one
of the biggest archaeological mysteries of all time.