Saturday, September 12, 2009


By day 5 of our laughter tour through Chile, we were really feeling acclimated and having a great time. It was an immensely full day as you can see by the amount of pictures I’ve posted.

We awoke to the beautiful ocean view from our rooms at Antulafken.

Here is the wonderful tree house next to the main lodge of the resort.

Here I am with the Antulafken sign on the other side of the highway.

The morning light was beautiful so William and I decided to take a walk along the beach.

We found this squid that had been washed up.

This is the main lodge of the resort.

This is the hotel building of Antulafken where we were staying.

Afterwards, we joined Tosha and Alejandra for breakfast. Then, we headed north to Lota for the mining tour. This is a view of the rural landscape along the way.

On the way, we were stopped by firefighters who were asking for donations. They carried big banks that looked like fire hydrants and so we put a donation into one of them.

We arrived in Lota. Here are some scenes from the town.

We got to the coal mine just in time for the next tour. The mine was founded in the 1800s and ran until 1997. Now, former miners give tours of the mine. We got to wear hard hats with lights and go deep down into the mine.

Before the tour got started, however, William caused a stir. One woman wanted to have her picture taken with him, then another, then another. Pretty soon whole families were lining up with him to have their photos taken with him even if they didn’t have a camera! Finally the tour leader got disgusted and had to break it up so he could begin the tour.

Here we are all ready to go down into the mine with our fashionable hard hats

The book “Sub Terra” was written about the Lota mine. Then a film was made of it and it was filmed on location here at the mine. They sent us down on the elevators used only by the administrators. They seemed like rustic devices that were hardly safe. They took us down 15 stories into the belly of the mine. There, it was humid but surprisingly not cold.

We got to walk through the smallest portion of the mine to get a sense of the conditions in which the miners worked। It was only about 3 1/3 feet high. They had to work most of the time in absolute darkness with very primitive tools. Their shifts would last 14 hours or more and it took them 2 hours to walk down into the mine and another 2 to get back out. They would even bring their children down into the front part of the mine and make them wait 12 hours in darkness for them. This was to help them adjust to mining life early on so they could do this work when they were old enough—usually about 8 years old. It was a powerful experience.

This is the steep climb back out of the mine. The rails are where they brought the coal up.

Tosha is so special she got extra help getting up all those steps.

Here we are getting directions out of the mine from one of the former miners.

Just a stop to get water and do some laughter stunts.

We drove around Lota a bit more before heading back to our resort for lunch. Here are some street scenes. The houses are all packed on top of each other on the hills of the town. We’d never seen anything quite like it before. They were built originally for the miners. Now without the mine in operations, it is a rather depressed town.

Here is an example of the trees in this area. Because it is springtime, they have just been trimmed and they look like fingers sticking up.

I was excited to see this clown on the street. Too bad we couldn’t get him to come to our laughter yoga session!

On the way back, we found this bull posing by his sign. Am I going to win awards for this photo or what?

Here we are at lunch enjoying our first taste of Chilean beer.

Then we headed out for a 3 and a half hour hike with Andres, the resort owner, as our guide.
William and I are all ready for the big hike! Woo hoo!

Tosha decided not to go so here she is bidding us farewell.

But before we went, there was just enough time to practice a little laughter yoga so we did lion laugh!

We began our hike at the beach and did a bit of beach combing.

We headed straight up the mountain and hiked the ridge.

We got to some amazing overlooks with steep drop-offs.

Alejandra makes a good Mapuche Indian, no?

This is Chilean bamboo.

I LOVE Chile!

By the end of the hike, the sun began setting, which made for spectacular views। However, the sun dropped quickly and Andres hurried us along so we could get back before the light had vanished entirely. We had no flashlights and we ended up going straight down the mountain in the dusk. Click on these beautiful photos if you want to see enlargements.

At last we made it down safely

And we found that all this while later Tosha was still sleeping!

Tired as we were, we had just enough energy for a laughter yoga session. Andres had invited his business partner, Roderigo and his wife to join us for the event. We also invited the couple who had been on the hike with us. However, we had such a boisterously good time that our group doubled in size as other guests heard our joyful sounds and joined in. We thought it was wonderful how it proved that laughter yoga is irresistible. It attracts people like a magnet.

Afterwards, one of those who joined in told us that the experience was a “gift from the universe” and was so grateful to have happened into our session. She felt so uplifted.

Roderigo said he was surprised at how good it felt to laugh in this way. He said he knew it would be great but was still shocked at just how great it was.

Finally, we could head to bed after a long and wonderful day of laughing and touring Chile.

1 comment:

Walk the Walk said...

I love the photos thank-you. I feel I'm with you in Spirit.
hugs and kisses