As a child I would look at maps and think how ridiculous Chile looked. Stretched out and elongated, it defied all the norms about the shapes of countries. I never got round to finding out why it was that shape. Now, it was obvious.
I was on a flight from Sao Paulo in Brazil into Santiago – the capital of Chile – and the pilot had just warned us to fasten our seat belts in anticipation of turbulence as we flew over the Andes. This mountain range stretches from one end of South America to the other. It defines the Chilean boarder with its neighbours Argentina and Bolivia. Chile is basically the gap between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean.
The Andes not only define the boarder of Chile, but rise up and tower over the city of Santiago itself. These mountains help create a climate which, during the UK’s winter months, allows bright, dry, hot sunshine day after day. In January and February, Santiago hardly sees any rain. There are infinite cloudless skies, and temperatures heading into the 86 F and upwards.