The Chile Eclipses Thread

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Britkid
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:06 pm

I saw the 1999 eclipse under clouds. Even under clouds, I got to see a ring of light all around the horizon and the shadow of the moon racing across the land at a mile per second or so. I think it's worth going up to high ground, to get these effects. Of course, the down side of that is that you will have to share the high ground with others.

That's the only one I've "seen", so I've never seen one without clouds.

I think some of you underestimate how good a total eclipse of the sun in a clear sky is. Not many that see it say it wasn't very good.

You are talking about 3 minutes or so that are really very, very good though, the rest is no different to a regular partial eclipse.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Thu May 16, 2019 10:13 am

I had a look on Air B n B a while ago and there were plenty of deals, but I haven't checked recently. I think that is going to be the solution for most. Avoid hotels which are over priced or sold out and look for an apartment rental instead.

Here is a recent article:
https://www.latercera.com/que-pasa/noti ... os/650119/

Ignore the clickbait, wildly exaggerating headline to get you to read it.

Actually the key points from the article are:
Return bus from Santiago to Coquimbo 28,000 vs normal price of 17,000.
Flights 200,000 return instead of 40,000.
Plenty of availability left on Air B n B n a variety of price ranges.
Not too bad at all.

If are considering going, my advice is:
1. Book apartment not hotel - Air B n B or informal arrangement - avoid booking.com type sites.
2. Plan not to drive any significant distance on the day incase traffic is bad.

However events like this are going to be somewhat unprecedented, and therefore somewhat unpredictable.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Julito » Thu May 16, 2019 11:00 am

As of a couple of weeks ago we´re fully booked for 3 days by a group from Europe. They booked direct and the deposit is paid, the thinking being secure the accommodation first then book the flights. They´ll get back to us next month with a decisiion to stay extra days or not. We´ve since had inquiries from the UK.
We were talking to the never travelled Chilean owners of another hotel a few days ago and they say they´re not going to accept bookings until the last minute, they´ve convinced themselves they´re going to make a real killing. Perhaps they will, but I doubt it, the international tourists will have their accommodation fully organised well before then and Chileans won´t be willing to pay outrageous prices to see something they can observe from just about anywhere, including parked on the side of a road somewhere. The last full eclipse I saw I didn´t even have to leave home.
An old mate used to chase eclipses and his experience was that the majority they attract are people who have never seen one ie. young backpackers who camp and have a big party.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Julito » Thu May 16, 2019 12:22 pm

To clarify things, I´m talking Dec 2020.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Thu May 16, 2019 8:25 pm

I think the right strategy is to start off asking for 5x normal price a year before, reduce it to 3x normal price a few months before as needed. But those prices would be just for the 2 nights before and after. The other days surrounding that maybe 1.2-1.3x normal price might be about right.

The group that has booked with you will not likely be able to confirm definite dates next month because most flights are not sold until about 11 months (ish) before the date of the flight. They won't be able to book a flight until about January or so.

If this year's eclipse is in clear skies, then everyone will turn on the TV and see people raving about it, and the TV will report "another one in Chile in December 2020, last one for xx years in Chile" and everyone will make a mental note to go to that one, and that will drive demand a bit. If this year it's clouds everywhere that might dampen the demand for the next one.

This one is going to catch people out. People won't realize how good the solar eclipse is, or haven't given it much thought. Next time everyone will be ready and more people will go.

Plus 2020 is in summer when schools break up.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Julito » Thu May 16, 2019 11:33 pm

You´re over thinking it. Our guests are only trying to figure if they´re going to arrive earlier or stay longer, when they can actually book their flights is irrelevent. They´re obviously planning to travel around and might arrive in Latin America much earlier or depart to home much later than the eclipse.

As to your pricing strategy, that´d work for a full solar eclipse in a world famous well established international tourist destination with multiple 5 star hotels etc etc already attracting well heeled tourists.... but at the bottom of world where most have never even contemplated going?
I don´t think so....

A solar eclipse is good to experience, but would I have ever payed 3-5 times the normal price for accommodation to see one? Nup.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:42 pm

For the total eclipse of the sun on July 2nd (this Tuesday), I just looked at Coquimbo and La Serena forecasts and two of the forecasts were for sunny and one was for cloudy. I looked at forecasts for the Valle Elqui and for La Higuera (which is just to the north of La Serena and close to the centre line) and they were also for sunny. Didn't check any of the other regions.

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by admin » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:02 pm

just had a look at windy, and it is showing a clear tuesday around la serena, and i am not seeing any storms off the coast that might drop in next week.

I decided to skip the eclipse. I am going sking next week, and hoping the eclipse draws a few people away from the slopes.
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by nwdiver » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:04 am

I hear busses are going up for the day from Santiago......accommodation has been booked out for the last year, I know several people driving up and back on the 2nd.....
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:03 am

It's usually sunny at about 3 pm, and the weather is pretty consistent here from day to day. And I've been seeing lots of ads on yapo, etc. for places to rent for the eclipse:
https://www.yapo.cl/coquimbo/arrendar?c ... n=36&ret=2

So if anyone is still looking, I think you'll be able to find something.
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:04 pm

Traveling to or from the region on the day sounds like a bad idea to me as I am sure some of you realize - but this will be unpredictable because there's no precedent. I would expect bad traffic on the day of the eclipse and the morning after (3rd). I could also see bad traffic going into Santiago on the afternoon of Wednesday 3rd including the rush hour. I bet there will be people stuck in traffic trying to get home for the Copa America semi final. We are traveling up tomorrow Sunday and coming back Wednesday.

The weather forecast is the same as before. I'd give a 70%-75% chance of seeing totality at this point if you go. The 3-day forecasts are often pretty good. The December 2020 total eclipse is 50/50 or slightly worse odds. After that I just had a look down the list of eclipses and it looks like 2048 is the next total solar eclipse in Chile in Patagonia.

For watching the eclipse (whether partial of total) make sure to think about the site where you will be watching it, because the eclipse will be low in the sky. You need a clear view to the horizon to the NW and WNW. In the area where the totality is, the partial eclipse will start at an altitude of 23 degrees, and the totality is at 13 degrees. The numbers are similar in Santiago. In the south of Chile, a bit less with the sun being lower in the sky. The end of the partial eclipse will be much lower altitude, just before sunset so ideally you want a location where you can also enjoy the sunset. For totality areas, a clear view to the horizon also means you may be able to see the shadow race across the Earth.

http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/so ... pFull.html is a good map of the eclipse and you can click on any location and it gives you specific details - including the details of the partial eclipse anywhere in Chile.

Do not try and drive up the roads into the mountains towards one of the observatories if you haven't contacted them in advance. La Silla observatory has a sold out event, and, from the description on its website, looks like it will have guards at the bottom of the road to the mountain stopping people without tickets from going up.

If anyone has any thoughts on specific sites to view the eclipse in the totality area, let me know.

The totality length is 2 minutes in Coquimbo (where I'll be staying) which can be increased to 2 and a half by driving north to the centre line around La Higuera (72km). La Serena is about 2 minutes 15 seconds.

Does anyone know well the roads going north from La Serena or into the Elqui valley as well? If there are clouds on the coast, will it be possible to drive along and find places to park the car by the side of the road with a clear view to the sea? There need to be lots of such places for this to be a good idea,or a few with parking space for hundreds of car. If there only a few spaces it will be difficult....

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Donnybrook » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:26 pm

>>Does anyone know well the roads going north from La Serena or into the Elqui valley as well?<<

Last night in the news they said that the road to Vicuña will be exclusively to the east until 5pm, and exclusively to the west until 8pm. An email from UK.GOV said the road to Vicuña would be closed. I guess the police will decide on the day.

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