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Unterwegs in einem schmalen Land : eine Frau bezwingt die extremen Landschaften Chiles

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Squeezed between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide--not a country that lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler discovered when she traveled alone from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Eloquent, astute, nimble with history and deft Squeezed between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide--not a country that lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler discovered when she traveled alone from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Eloquent, astute, nimble with history and deftly amusing, Travels in a Thin Country established Sara Wheeler as one of the very best travel writers in the world. From the Trade Paperback edition.


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Squeezed between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide--not a country that lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler discovered when she traveled alone from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Eloquent, astute, nimble with history and deft Squeezed between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide--not a country that lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler discovered when she traveled alone from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Eloquent, astute, nimble with history and deftly amusing, Travels in a Thin Country established Sara Wheeler as one of the very best travel writers in the world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

30 review for Unterwegs in einem schmalen Land : eine Frau bezwingt die extremen Landschaften Chiles

  1. 4 out of 5

    Velvetink

    This is probably a 4 star but have only rated it 3 because I don't really know how to review it. I enjoyed it totally = Wheeler writes well and has combined a heck of a lot of history with documenting her travels through Chile. For someone about to go to Chile it would be invaluable (if a little dated) - I mean don't rely too much on her transport timetables since that would be changed in the years since she wrote it) although I get the feeling progress is slow due to the nature of the terrain. This is probably a 4 star but have only rated it 3 because I don't really know how to review it. I enjoyed it totally = Wheeler writes well and has combined a heck of a lot of history with documenting her travels through Chile. For someone about to go to Chile it would be invaluable (if a little dated) - I mean don't rely too much on her transport timetables since that would be changed in the years since she wrote it) although I get the feeling progress is slow due to the nature of the terrain. I would have liked an historical timeline maybe in the index but it wasn't that kind of book. In the context of her travels she quotes a fair number of authors from Chile and/or other books to read regarding historical aspects and for that reason alone it's worthwhile to have on your shelf if you are interested in the country. She mentions Bruce Chatwin's Patagonia as still being relevant to travellers in Chile and I hope to track that down sometime soon. There are so many incidents she recounts that touch the heart in many ways - covering the geography, history, politics and humanity of the country it is impossible to single any one out here. Chile is one of those places that not many people seem to know much about. While reading this the student riots there were happening and so I could relate to what I saw on the news. I was impressed that Wheeler was able to wrangle herself down to the Chilean South Pole base and her commitment to venturing further into the unknown Chile than many tourists do. $2 today 11/7/11

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Economy

    I really wanted to like this book. Some of it was a little interesting, but honestly i would have had a more enjoyable time reading the wikipedia article on Chile. Example of this book: I went to have dinner with my friends, we ate shellfish, it was ok. The next moring i got a shower, it was cold. The roads were muddy, I rode a bus. Chile is beautiful. This book has not begining middle or end, its a list, a poorly written list of things she did in Chile. I don't feel like she had an adventure, because I really wanted to like this book. Some of it was a little interesting, but honestly i would have had a more enjoyable time reading the wikipedia article on Chile. Example of this book: I went to have dinner with my friends, we ate shellfish, it was ok. The next moring i got a shower, it was cold. The roads were muddy, I rode a bus. Chile is beautiful. This book has not begining middle or end, its a list, a poorly written list of things she did in Chile. I don't feel like she had an adventure, because nothing interesting ever happened.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    The author combines history, political intrigue, stories of people she travels with or meets along the way, verbal snapshots of unbelievable landscape, and box after box of wine (mixed with Coke) into a travel book that has made Chile even more of a mystery to me NOW than when I started reading it. The country stretches along South America and includes icebergs, rainforests, desert, mountains, island regions, wine country, with a diversity of old European colonials and (mostly extinct) native pe The author combines history, political intrigue, stories of people she travels with or meets along the way, verbal snapshots of unbelievable landscape, and box after box of wine (mixed with Coke) into a travel book that has made Chile even more of a mystery to me NOW than when I started reading it. The country stretches along South America and includes icebergs, rainforests, desert, mountains, island regions, wine country, with a diversity of old European colonials and (mostly extinct) native people groups. She never travels to Easter Island, but it seems like it is more Polynesian than anything else (and I still have a book to read for it by itself). I learned about quite a few more cold weather islands that I didn't know about (hooray) but if traveling there is anything like she describes in 1992, I'm not sure I could do it (boo). Quotation tidbits I liked: "'The problem is,' he went on, 'that you don't stop being an exile when you get home. It becomes a state of mind. You can be an exile inside your head. Perpetual travellers are often like that... Mind you, you don't necessarily have to go anywhere to feel that kind of permanent alienation. Perhaps the worst kind of exile is mental.'" "It was unutterably peaceful. At that moment the past held no regrets and the future no fears; I could have given up everything worldly to live the rest of my life on that island." Cold weather islands to explore: Juan Fernandez Islands Isla Mocha (in a folk song, not on a map, Mapuche lived there, no public transport to it) Chiloe' Tierra del Fuego (I knew a piano piece with this title) Isla Grande Almirantazgo Sound Dawson Island Isla Navarino Lennox Picton Nueva Hoste Islands Mornington Island Food tidbits to look into: chirimoyas - she describes this fruit as tasting of pears and honey papaya - "the stalls on the highway out of La Serena were touting papaya honey, syrup, juice, sweets, cakes, bars and peeled papayas suspended in jars of sugar syrup. There was clearly nothing which could not be made out of a papaya." (ooh gotta love a challenge)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    A woman traveling (mostly) solo in South America for 6 months. How could I possibly not love this book? I'm still trying to figure that out, as I've been looking forward to eating it up. The author's account of traveling from the northern tip of Chile to the southern tip manages to be boring. How can that be? Everything about South America is fascinating to me. I haven't been to Chile, but the other parts of Latin America I have traveled in have been lively, passionate, gorgeous, heart-breaking, A woman traveling (mostly) solo in South America for 6 months. How could I possibly not love this book? I'm still trying to figure that out, as I've been looking forward to eating it up. The author's account of traveling from the northern tip of Chile to the southern tip manages to be boring. How can that be? Everything about South America is fascinating to me. I haven't been to Chile, but the other parts of Latin America I have traveled in have been lively, passionate, gorgeous, heart-breaking, extreme, alluring and funny.... it's hard to make it boring! The writing style felt snootily-British to me. (In a manner I haven't really encountered in contemporary writing.) Seeing Chile through what came across as unengaged, uninterested eyes was bizarre. I couldn't finish it, despite the fact that I assumed the book would get better the longer she traveled. For someone who writes travel books, she doesn't come across as enjoying it all that much. It's a shame the writing wasn't different, because many of the things she did were brave and inherently interesting, despite not coming across that way in the book. I know this because I've done similar things in South America, or, turned back from similar things because my instinct told me the activities were too reckless, too slap-dash, or just too bizarre for a solo gringa. I'll have to cleanse my travel writing palette with some Pico Iyer now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Kelly

    I read about a hundred pages of this and decided I wasn't very interested in finishing it. The set-up is enviable: an extensive, top-to-bottom, six-month-long tour of one of the countries I find most interesting. However, Wheeler's prose style isn't particularly alluring, her characterizations aren't very precise or captivating, and none of her adventures (at least in the first several chapters) are very interesting. I lost interest rather quickly. I read about a hundred pages of this and decided I wasn't very interested in finishing it. The set-up is enviable: an extensive, top-to-bottom, six-month-long tour of one of the countries I find most interesting. However, Wheeler's prose style isn't particularly alluring, her characterizations aren't very precise or captivating, and none of her adventures (at least in the first several chapters) are very interesting. I lost interest rather quickly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Subtitled A Journey Through Chile, Travels in a Thin Country is a memoir of Sara Wheeler's exploration of the entire length of this South American Country. I love travel books, and was eagerly anticipating being immersed in this one, but I found it a bit disappointing.  First, where were the locals?  It seemed as if Wheeler, despite taking extensive language courses beforehand, never talked to native Chileans.  Every single person she came into contact with was an expat.  It gave you the impressi Subtitled A Journey Through Chile, Travels in a Thin Country is a memoir of Sara Wheeler's exploration of the entire length of this South American Country. I love travel books, and was eagerly anticipating being immersed in this one, but I found it a bit disappointing.  First, where were the locals?  It seemed as if Wheeler, despite taking extensive language courses beforehand, never talked to native Chileans.  Every single person she came into contact with was an expat.  It gave you the impression that  either a) Chileans didn't exist or b) Wheeler was a cultural snob who did not wish to fraternize with the locals.  Second, if Wheeler's descriptions are any indication, Chile is nothing but mountainous desert and frozen tundra, with a city in the middle.  The other day I watched an episode of House Hunters International, where the family decided to relocate to Chile.  It was so beautiful!  The footage of mountains, lakes and stunning ocean vistas were so gorgeous, I would never have guessed this was Chile if Wheeler's book was all I had to go by. Before I completely turn you off of this book, I will say that Wheeler presented an interesting history of Chile and some amusing anecdotes.  So it wasn't a complete loss.  But it could have been so much more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gwenyth

    I am giving up on this. Other reviews have commented that the author doesn't seem to absorb her surroundings and isn't likable. That's my impression as well. It seems as though she wouldn't be able to get from one place to another without the assistance of locals, expats, and other travelers; she repays them all with mildly patronizing character sketches. It might be bearable if she stuck to poking fun at the "tack" she sees everywhere (manjar blanco, nescafé, peasant children clumsily named for I am giving up on this. Other reviews have commented that the author doesn't seem to absorb her surroundings and isn't likable. That's my impression as well. It seems as though she wouldn't be able to get from one place to another without the assistance of locals, expats, and other travelers; she repays them all with mildly patronizing character sketches. It might be bearable if she stuck to poking fun at the "tack" she sees everywhere (manjar blanco, nescafé, peasant children clumsily named for Lady Di), but once she gets into talking about the Chilean revolution I was even more turned off and had to give up. She isn't snarky about that part (which is good) but it just seems like she reduced stories that were probably intensely personal and emotional to her sources, in a facile and not very thoughtful way. I'm sure there are better books about Chile out there.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Another book I read in advance of our upcoming trip to Chile. I loved this travelogue describing the six months the author spent wandering Chile from top to bottom. Her dry British wit had me laughing out loud, and she managed to work in lots of information about Chile's history and culture at the same time. My one disappointment was that she spent so little time in Torres del Paine National Park (only a day!) because that's going to be the focus of our trip, but that's a personal quibble. Overa Another book I read in advance of our upcoming trip to Chile. I loved this travelogue describing the six months the author spent wandering Chile from top to bottom. Her dry British wit had me laughing out loud, and she managed to work in lots of information about Chile's history and culture at the same time. My one disappointment was that she spent so little time in Torres del Paine National Park (only a day!) because that's going to be the focus of our trip, but that's a personal quibble. Overall this was delightful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    I'd give it 1 1/2 if I could, but will round up to 2 since she did bother to toss in some history, simplistic and anglo-centric as it was. The marketing pitch: Solo female travel writer tackles traveling the length of Chile, a country she's never been to before. Working her Rolodex and waving her press pass, she contrives to visit parts of the country off-limit (or off good sense) to either the average traveler or most Chileans: a private tour of the Presidential Palace, the Chilean Air Force's A I'd give it 1 1/2 if I could, but will round up to 2 since she did bother to toss in some history, simplistic and anglo-centric as it was. The marketing pitch: Solo female travel writer tackles traveling the length of Chile, a country she's never been to before. Working her Rolodex and waving her press pass, she contrives to visit parts of the country off-limit (or off good sense) to either the average traveler or most Chileans: a private tour of the Presidential Palace, the Chilean Air Force's Antarctic station, parts of wineries not open to the public, etc. The reality: Solo female travel writer tackles traveling the length of Chile, a country she's never been to before and seems to care little about except for what travel bragging rights it will give her. Working her contacts and waving her press pass, she manages to get people to either arrange for or act as her host to amazing places, none of which seem impress her in the least except that she can then check them off her list and can bring them up to other travelers over drinks at some point. Interspersed with her monotone and shallow observations and always slightly derisive comments about the people and culture, she includes some bits of history that feel like she pulled them out of a college textbook, one written with a decidedly English slant. (It couldn't be from Wikipedia. The Wiki page on Chile is far more interesting than anything in this book.) If she's paying, she makes it a point to stay in the worst accommodations (also for bragging rights--she points out hos disappointed she was not to be able to find an F or G-rated flophouse, which is the very worst rating.) If she's not paying, she still finds something condescending and snide to say about her hosts and their accommodations, no matter if it is the humble shack of someone who took pity on the dumb gringa and gave her their bed for the night or the uber-rich winery owner who played host by offering access to his luxurious home and staff. When her guides, usually locals who are excited to be showing a foreigner their country, bring up anything that even remotely touches on British history (Drake, the Faulkland Islands), she contradicts them with the English version of history. She wants to see the homes of Pablo Neruda (got to check those off the list), but she states he "wasn't a very good poet." So, basically, instead of this being a fascinating look at a complex country and its people, it is perhaps one of the most boring and superficial travelogues ever. It is six months of bitch, moan, grouse, complain, condescend: the food isn't very good; the weather is too wet/dry/windy/unpredictable; the poor people's houses and clothes are dirty; the roads are bad; nothing runs on time; the children are unkempt. (She actually calls a couple of eight year olds "thuggish"); the houses and stores are tacky; the men are sexist. (No shit, Sherlock, So are most of the men in Asia, Africa and a fair number of them in your beloved Europe.); this village in the middle of nowhere isn't very interesting; people won't discuss traumatic and politically sensitive topics with me; I picked up fleas from some child I held; Patgonia is very flat; the south part of the country is windy. Well, gee, thanks for that sparkling commentary and such detailed, insightful observations. All I can figure is she must be a hell of a lot more charming a conversationalist in person than she is in her writing because she comes across as a most misanthropic, ethnocentric, arrogant, and thoroughly unpleasant person. About halfway through the book, I noticed that the only time she seemed interested in anything, there was a drink involved and/or she met up with someone from England. Maybe the first clue was when she was unduly miffed that her traveling companion of the moment "forgot" to get wine for their foray into the desert. (Smart man.) Seriously, if the only things she's interested in is drinking and other Brits, why not keep her butt at home and just go to a pub? I'm sure the Chileans wouldn't have missed her, especially the ones she makes snotty remarks about in the book. There was one anecdote that amused me. The first is that she manages to get a tour at one of the amazing observatories in the Chilean desert and seems to have these delusions of channeling Carl Sagan or something. These are telescopes that scientists must wait months, if not years, for a chance to spend mere hours using. (I'd give my eyeteeth to tour this place.) The fact that she thought her little press pass was going to get her time on the telescopes was laughable, but that she thought she was going to have bragging rights on these scopes in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY had me in stitches. I finished the book for (apparently) the same reason she travels, to check it off my to-do list. I certainly don't recommend it or think I got any return on the investment of time or money. The only remarkable things were that someone could make an entire country and trip seems so boring and that she makes a living doing it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sjonni

    In the early 90's, Sara Wheeler leaves Britain for Chile, a country unknown and appealingly rectilinear. Fascinated by the prospect of having to pack for both deserts and glaciers, Wheeler sets out to map the entire territory one region at a time, one national park at a time with the humorous self-confidence only a Briton can have . From north to south and onward to Antartica, Wheeler opens up an entire society for the reader, from Bolivian truckdrivers to the Santiago elite, from llamas to exot In the early 90's, Sara Wheeler leaves Britain for Chile, a country unknown and appealingly rectilinear. Fascinated by the prospect of having to pack for both deserts and glaciers, Wheeler sets out to map the entire territory one region at a time, one national park at a time with the humorous self-confidence only a Briton can have . From north to south and onward to Antartica, Wheeler opens up an entire society for the reader, from Bolivian truckdrivers to the Santiago elite, from llamas to exotic birds with precise English names, "bejewelled Argentinians" and Russian souvenir sellers in Antartica, it's a magical ride through that exclamation mark land that links the bottom of the world and an accidentally romantic reminder of the era of fax-machine, poste restante and cassette tapes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Fueling my wanderlust Reading about Chile as I continue to socially isolate during this pandemic. The author manages to paint a picture of Chile through a foreigner’s eye without being annoying and self aggrandizing which I appreciated. Having traveled south to north in Argentina, this book managed to make me feel nostalgic for a place I’d never been.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ron S

    Sublime, droll, insightful, effortlessly amusing, brilliant travel writing. Wheeler travels the length of Chile post-Pinochet, pre-internet, apps, GPS and smart phones.

  13. 5 out of 5

    mis fit

    This was perfect quarantine 2020 reading-- going along on a trip through Chile with an amusing and knowledgeable guide. Also refreshing and exciting to read from the perspective of a woman traveling alone. Hope to get back out into this big world sooner than later.... alas..

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I enjoyed Travels in a Thin Country even though I had my misgivings about the author. She certainly knew how to write well, but I felt she went about her travels the wrong way. She landed in Santiago with a little black book full of names and addresses, but with very little deep understanding of Chile, its culture and literature. She picked up some as the trip moved from the Atacama Desert in the north to the colder south around Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and even Antarctica (where Chile lays I enjoyed Travels in a Thin Country even though I had my misgivings about the author. She certainly knew how to write well, but I felt she went about her travels the wrong way. She landed in Santiago with a little black book full of names and addresses, but with very little deep understanding of Chile, its culture and literature. She picked up some as the trip moved from the Atacama Desert in the north to the colder south around Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and even Antarctica (where Chile lays claim to a slice of the subcontinent). Somehow, I would feel unequipped to write about Chile without understanding more about its world-famous Poets, Neruda and Mistral, as well as a host of historians and writers of prose fiction. Instead, Sara Wheeler gives a voice to various backpackers and others encountered during her long journeys down the Pan-American Highway and the Carretera Austral -- as well as all the detours to the Andes and the Pacific Coast. Fortunately, she didn't just associate with roving Aussies and Austrians, but also made some effort to interview the people of Chile. This is where the book shines. Where it fails is when she is spending too much time dealing with random foreigners she meets up with and travels with. Having just finished an extensive reading program in preparation for a 3-week trip to Argentina (November-December 2011), I thought that surely there must be more that she could have added by more preparation. Her book has a rather random bibliography and does refer to some classics, such as Chatwin's In Patagonia and Lucas Bridges's The Uttermost Part of the Earth. But I was put off by her dismissal of Neruda's poetry and her failure to discuss Gabriela Mistral except in passing. I rather suspect that, writing about Chile, was General Pinochet was still in power (no longer as President, but as Commander in Chief of the Army), Wheeler was a bit overly sympathetic with the former dictator -- especially as so many of her Chilean contacts were big landowners and latifundistas. However leery I am of Miss Wheeler herself, I admit that she writes well. But when compared to Bruce Chatwin and Lucas Bridges, she is far from the highest levels of travel literature.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alethea

    I was given this book just before my current my trip to Chile. I lived in the Vina Del Mar area for a year and a half during 2009-2010. Travels in a Thin Country captured Chile magnificently. Written almost twenty years ago, this book manages to paint the nuances of the country so well that the armchair traveler gets a real sense of what it means to be in Chile. Wheeler's descriptions of the regional flavor, the society, the political landscape is spot on to this day. Some reviewers seemed to re I was given this book just before my current my trip to Chile. I lived in the Vina Del Mar area for a year and a half during 2009-2010. Travels in a Thin Country captured Chile magnificently. Written almost twenty years ago, this book manages to paint the nuances of the country so well that the armchair traveler gets a real sense of what it means to be in Chile. Wheeler's descriptions of the regional flavor, the society, the political landscape is spot on to this day. Some reviewers seemed to resent she came with credentials. Well, she was a sponsored writer. Good for her! Others complain of the posh digs she stayed in. My memory is that though there were a few accommodations I will never see the likes of, most of the time she stayed in pretty humble lodgings. Her bout with scabies is testimony to this. I loved her writing style, her dry British humor, her wonderful vocabulary, and her spunk. In regard to Pinochet, she writes about the same confusion I have had living and visiting here. I have heard more people than I would ever believe, from the ricas to the fishmongers, say things like "Pinochet saved Chile." This has been the most disturbing part of living in this country, though the economic tragedy of Allende´s tenure created great scars in the country as well, created in a large degree by Nixon and Kissinger´s manipulations in Washington. I have also heard of human rights abuses during this time as well. In many ways Chile is my second country. By the end of the book, I felt my understanding of Chile had grown, and I felt her sadness when she left reflects my own bittersweet feelings each time I return to the U.S.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara Foster

    I bought this book a few months before I moved to Chile. Sara tours Chile from north to south and shares her experiences that she has with residents of various towns along the way. I found the book useful for learning a little about the geography, history, and spots of interest in Chile, but the author's style turned me off a lot. I almost felt like she felt her way of traveling was superior to other backpackers because she had a more authentic experience and did things off the beaten path. I al I bought this book a few months before I moved to Chile. Sara tours Chile from north to south and shares her experiences that she has with residents of various towns along the way. I found the book useful for learning a little about the geography, history, and spots of interest in Chile, but the author's style turned me off a lot. I almost felt like she felt her way of traveling was superior to other backpackers because she had a more authentic experience and did things off the beaten path. I also lost interest during some of her anecdotes when she rambled a little too much. I wish I could have gotten all of the information but in a different style.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thia

    Dry. I would not have finished this book if it weren't for a strong interest in Chile since my son will be living there for two years. This book truely was mainly about her travels - how she traveled and who she traveled with and not enough about the country she traveled thru. I had to look up the areas she visited on the internet in order to get a visual due to a lack of description. Once I saw the beautiful country she was in I wondered why she wrote this book if she wasn't going to give it ju Dry. I would not have finished this book if it weren't for a strong interest in Chile since my son will be living there for two years. This book truely was mainly about her travels - how she traveled and who she traveled with and not enough about the country she traveled thru. I had to look up the areas she visited on the internet in order to get a visual due to a lack of description. Once I saw the beautiful country she was in I wondered why she wrote this book if she wasn't going to give it justice? However, I did learn a few interesting things about Chile, thanks to the interenet as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Lofthouse

    A great introduction to a country I may never see despite the book being twenty-years plus. The flow of the writing is easy to read and follow. I always enjoy a book more when there are no long-complicated words that you have to keep stopping to look up the meaning. Old travel books are a snapshot of modern-day history. Some of the places described will have changed since the author’s journey was taken. Perhaps some have not. Chile is a country with so much diversity reading this book makes you A great introduction to a country I may never see despite the book being twenty-years plus. The flow of the writing is easy to read and follow. I always enjoy a book more when there are no long-complicated words that you have to keep stopping to look up the meaning. Old travel books are a snapshot of modern-day history. Some of the places described will have changed since the author’s journey was taken. Perhaps some have not. Chile is a country with so much diversity reading this book makes you want to pack up and follow in the footsteps of the author.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Penny Klabunde

    Lovely description on page 281: and the next morning I disappeared for good, on a bus to Balmaceda, whence a plane took me to Puerto Montt. It flew low, and the late afternoon sun turned the multitudinous rivers into gold ribbons between brown crepey mountains. The glaciers rippled, like folds of glossy cloth, and out to the west the archipelago throbbed, suffused in an amber glow.

  20. 5 out of 5

    S Roberta

    This book is a 1st-person account of a British woman traveling through Chile. I got through about two chapters before having to return it to the library. The author is not a very likable person and I don't think it was interesting enough for me to finish. I liked the title, though. This book is a 1st-person account of a British woman traveling through Chile. I got through about two chapters before having to return it to the library. The author is not a very likable person and I don't think it was interesting enough for me to finish. I liked the title, though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    This book just didn't captivate me enough to finish. I did learn some interesting things about Chile's history and my memory was refreshed about Pinochet and Chile's diverse geography but her travel stories were not enough to hold my interest. This book just didn't captivate me enough to finish. I did learn some interesting things about Chile's history and my memory was refreshed about Pinochet and Chile's diverse geography but her travel stories were not enough to hold my interest.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    Very uneven writing style. I persited because i am interested in Chile.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jared Millet

    This is what I want out of life: to go on really long vacations and get someone to pay me to do it. I picked up this book in anticipation on me and my wife Lea's upcoming trip to South America, and Sara Wheeler does a really good job painting a picture of what it is to "rough it" through a country that's barely visible to the casual American. She also drops in a lot of information on the history of Chile, its people's political views, and the state of its indigenous populations. It should be note This is what I want out of life: to go on really long vacations and get someone to pay me to do it. I picked up this book in anticipation on me and my wife Lea's upcoming trip to South America, and Sara Wheeler does a really good job painting a picture of what it is to "rough it" through a country that's barely visible to the casual American. She also drops in a lot of information on the history of Chile, its people's political views, and the state of its indigenous populations. It should be noted that this book is almost twenty years old, so the Chile it depicts is not the Chile of today, but that of a country still coming out from under the thumb of the dictator Augusto Pinochet. I have to admit that the only reason I know about Pinochet's rule is because Sting wrote a song about it. But that's American education and news media for you.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    I read this before and during my two week trip to Chile. I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is, an extended travels in Chile in 1994 by a British woman journalist. First, can I say that she has guts, way more guts and adventurous spirit than I have. Also, the datedness of the book is the point. Her adventures aren't meant to be a travel guide for those of us visiting in 2018, but a snapshot of a country at a particular and difficult time period. Some of the politics, the views of citizens regar I read this before and during my two week trip to Chile. I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is, an extended travels in Chile in 1994 by a British woman journalist. First, can I say that she has guts, way more guts and adventurous spirit than I have. Also, the datedness of the book is the point. Her adventures aren't meant to be a travel guide for those of us visiting in 2018, but a snapshot of a country at a particular and difficult time period. Some of the politics, the views of citizens regarding Allende and Pinochet, are kinda scarily relevant today. I read this right after reading Dorfman's Desert Memories and I really liked having read them together. They complement each other on issues of history, and of course their perspectives are different, so that adds to a sense of the complexities of the country.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I had hoped for a lot with this book because it's one of few travel memoirs about Chile, a country I'd love to spend time in. Sadly, I found the writing to be a bit...not to my liking. I can't describe it well, but it just seemed to jump around a bit in places or begin stories that seemed poorly concluded. Still, I'm happy I read it because it introduced me to some new places to add to my travel list I wouldn't have found otherwise. I had hoped for a lot with this book because it's one of few travel memoirs about Chile, a country I'd love to spend time in. Sadly, I found the writing to be a bit...not to my liking. I can't describe it well, but it just seemed to jump around a bit in places or begin stories that seemed poorly concluded. Still, I'm happy I read it because it introduced me to some new places to add to my travel list I wouldn't have found otherwise.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carol Palmer

    I really enjoyed reading about all the parts of Chile I've never seen. I'm only familiar with Santiago. I was quite surprised to read how easy it was for Wheeler to find travel-mates and get rides to remote sites. I've always felt fairly safe in Santiago, but I don't know that I would have the guts to do what she did! It was wonderful to get a feel for the country as a whole. This is one of the best travel adventures I've ever read! I really enjoyed reading about all the parts of Chile I've never seen. I'm only familiar with Santiago. I was quite surprised to read how easy it was for Wheeler to find travel-mates and get rides to remote sites. I've always felt fairly safe in Santiago, but I don't know that I would have the guts to do what she did! It was wonderful to get a feel for the country as a whole. This is one of the best travel adventures I've ever read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    I have been reading about Chile in my advanced Spanish class and I thought that this book would fill in some gaps. The writing did not pull me in and her trip was not very interesting. The book is also seriously out of date.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Brooke

    Good intro to the place Interesting tale of an English woman who traveled the country from end to end, including Antarctica, in the mid-90s. Not a travel guide, but personal experience.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marcine

    I read this because traveling to Patagonia has been a lifelong dream. I recommended this to a friend just before she went and she just returned and raved about how rich her travels were to Chile because of this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura Bedingfield

    Spring break research...not a book you'd normally pick up. 3.5 stars. it's a bit tedious at times and she has a case of thesaurusitis (where one uses a much bigger word for something just to sound fancy), but if you're looking for a primer on traveling in chile, this is your best bet. Spring break research...not a book you'd normally pick up. 3.5 stars. it's a bit tedious at times and she has a case of thesaurusitis (where one uses a much bigger word for something just to sound fancy), but if you're looking for a primer on traveling in chile, this is your best bet.

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