From Patagonia to Peru, Chile stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. Squeezed between the ocean and the Andes, it is only 190 miles wide. If superimposed on North America, it would touch the Arctic Ocean and the Texas Rio Grande. Master filmmaker Stan Walsh will take you on an armchair tour of the country Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall.
Chile offers nature's most majestic landscape at Torres del Paines and the mysterious Atacama Desert where rain rarely falls. The area has remains of a paleolithic civilization. You'll observe pastoral valleys and pampas and reflect on the heritage of Chile's liberation from Spain in 1818 by Bernardo O'Higgins.The film begins in Arica, Chile's most northern city, where you'll see the cathedral of iron, designed by Eiffel. You'll continue up the Lluta Valley with its domestic llama herds and the old adobe church at Poconchile.
Chile is open-pit copper mines, attractive seaside resorts, harbors, fishing boats, pelicans and market days. It is roadside flower vendors, Valparaiso and Santiago, with its contrast of colonial and modern. It is Santa Lucia Hill, La Moneda, the presidential palace and the changing of the guard.
You will leave the mainstream and travel to Valle Nevada, Chile's newest and largest ski resort.
Chilean cowboys assemble for a festive parade. And then the film will take you to Pomaire, noted for its fine handicrafts. Hancienda Los Lingues is a horse farm that dates back 400 years. Chillan is the birthplace of O'Higgins, who is credited with liberating Chile from Spain. It is also famous for its black ceramics and the inspiring LaJa Falls.
The lake district has glaciers and snowcapped mountains, active volcanoes, deep blue lakes and forests.
Stan Walsh has a taste for the unknown and shares his passion for far-away places with travel-film audiences across America. All the world's a film stage for him. A native of New Jersey, his youthful explorations included wild berry hunting in the famous Pine Barrens. His chance to fly and travel came with the Air Force. Later he attended the University of Southern California and moonlighted as a projectionist for globe-trotting lecturers, including Burton Holmes, Lowell Thomas and Sire Hubert Wilkins.
As a new graduate engineer, he moved his family to Italy to practice engineering and to produce his first travelog, "Tuscany - Italy's Golden Province." He is the recipient of the Seven League Boots award on TV's Golden Voyage series.
University Travel Club presentations are open to the public. Tickets are available by mail or phone. Call 581-7100. Park two blocks south of Kingsbury Hall in Rice Stadium parking lot, where you can board a free shuttle.