Of all the thrilling excursions and spectacular places we had heard about in the Atacama Desert, the Valle de Arcoiris wasn’t a hotspot that immediately captured my imagination. It was only by chance, on the flight from Santiago to Antofagasta, that the Llama read about a hike into the valley from the Sky Airline magazine. We tore out the page, folded it up and stuffed it between the pages of the guidebook I often carried but rarely consulted.
So you took high school Spanish, maybe even some classes in college. It’s been a few years, but you at least know how to say “hello,” “goodbye,” “I want a beer,” “where is the bathroom,” and “thank you.” Right?
Not so fast, there, weon. Chileans don’t frequently use “hola” or “adios.” They say “alo” and “ciao ciao.” Continue reading