BEAM ME DOWN, SCOTTY
Sunday 07 September 1997
Latitude: 33 15' S Longitude: 71 36' W
Is that really the smell of orange trees in blossom?
Country and region
Chile, in the low coastal hills in the centre of the country, just 7km east of the Pacific Ocean and 100km west of the nation's capital, Santiago del Chile.
Nearest human settlements
The small village of Posada Lilen is just 4.5km to the north, while the sizeable coastal town of San Antonio is about 20km in the same direction.
Nature of terrain
Low hills, with sharp drops down to the Pacific Ocean. The ambiance is very Mediterranean, with dry scrub-land typically dotted with citrus and olive trees.
Petty theft and traffic accidents. And if you go bathing in the Pacific, dangerous offshore rip currents.
Take me to your leader
President Eduardo Frei of Chile.
Likely weather conditions
Dry with bright sunshine and temperatures between 15 and 20C, as long as you avoid the coastal fog.
Reasons for hanging around
Plenty. You can head for the delightful coastal resort of Vina del Mar, about 60km north of San Antonio, for beaches and turn-of-the-century architecture. Otherwise, be in glitzy, booming Santiago del Chile within a few hours, where you can eat superb seafood and visit fine palaces and museums.
Getting the hell out of there
No problem at all - walk about 4km eastwards and you will hit the main road heading north. Hitch a ride or flag down a bus for the short journey to San Antonio and then catch a bus to Santiago for about $3. Daily flights connect Santiago to Britain, usually flying via Buenos Aires.
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