This is Forest Key’s blog, about work related stuff.
Forest Key’s family blog can be found here
Hi Forest – My mom just showed me your blog & I read the entry about Caetano Veloso and your experience w/ the king’s court. Made me feel instantly in sync with you! Would love to catch up one of these days, though I know how busy life gets. Besotes a todos, Nina
Hi Forrest, thanks for you amazing blog! We are from the Netherlands and planning on flying to Cile, buy a car and driving it to North Amrica :)
We read some tips on buying cars in Chile, but perhaps you can give us a few pointers? We are especially interested in cars one can sleep in. What are the chilenean rules on camping off-site?
There is a great book on the subject of driving a car from Chile to far north in Alaska at the top of North America, it is a bit dated as it was written 20+ years ago, but given your interest in that itinerary/trip, i still would highly recommended. The author is Tim Cahill who i love and is a great fun-to-read travel writer. The book is called Road Fever, here it is on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Road-Fever-Tim-Cahill/dp/0394758374
Buying a car in Chile–cars cost a lot more in Chile because of import duties based on the size of the car’s engine, and cost of the car. So cars are about 40% more expensive in Chile than they are in the USA. Compared to Europe/Netherlands, they may be approximately the same. If you are buying the car with cash, you will need to find a way to get the $$ into Chilean Pesos into the country, which can be hard to do if you are taking about $20,000 or more Euros… i did it by moving $10k USD at a time via wire transfers, took a few weeks to get the funds settled. Once you have the car, getting insurance was a hassle. So, as an alternative to buying a car and driving it all the way to the USA… you might think of renting a car in each country and not dealing with the border crossings? I took my car to Argentina for a weekend, and it was a huge huge huge hassle… nothing like the convenience of driving between Netherlands and Germany ;)
As for sleeping in a car and or camping: I don’t think you’d have any trouble car camping on side of roads/etc. throughout Chile–it is sparsely populated and there is lots of land/space. There are also many national parks/monuments where car camping is common. I think from a security perspective, you would also be ok in the smaller towns, but not in the big cities where you would be safer/more comfortable getting cheap accommodations in a hotel.
All of that said, driving a car around Chile is wonderful. I was just down there again a month ago, and did a good 8 hr drive to the north and loved every minute of it. We stopped in small towns for walks and meals, and just super enjoyed as I hope you and your family will if you make the trip! let me know if I can answer in more detail on any subject.
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