Saturday I joined a school tour to three destinations: a small town known for its pottery, Isla Negra (home of Pablo Nehruda, a famous poet) and a beach with some fantastic boulders to climb. My favorite part? Seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time since 2012. Oh I have missed the ocean, especially my 3 block walk to see the sunset when I lived in Carlsbad (so, so many years ago). I hope that I can walk to the beach when I live in Vina Del Mar.
But back to 2017 for a moment. Getting up on Saturday was an accomplishment all by itself. We had been up late the night before enjoying several bottles of Carmenere, music and conversation. But we all managed it! One of my friends needed a bit of help, as she would have slept right through the departure if we had not gone to wake her up. Once awake, she moved very quickly. 😉
I admit that I’ve amazed myself with my ability to just get up in the morning and BE FUNCTIONAL after a long night of drinking. Someone joked that I’ve got my “drinking legs”. Whether it’s Chile, the wine, the whole experience, or something else, there is so much that just feels different here. I’m more relaxed here. (Insert pause) Perhaps that’s an obvious thing to say. It’s difficult to explain. I don’t get “hangry”! How about that? That simply may be the heat. Maybe I’m just happy. Maybe it’s as simple as that. I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s wonderful.
Back to the trip – sorry for the tangent. When we arrived at school, we were all dismally surprised to see a large van ready to transport us for the day. They managed to cram 15 of us into this van. Sigh. Fortunately, I waited until the end and snagged one of the better seats right behind the driver. 😉 Our first stop was this little tiny town selling lots of pottery. If it had been the end of my trip instead of the beginning, I might have bought something. But I did not feel like carrying it around pottery fo the next 2+ months, so I just looked. Dale (my older PhD friend from Athens, Georgia) and I hung out most of the day, talking about life in general. We got along really well.
Lunch was traditionally Chilean, and very filling. The soup was delicious, and I was happy to stay away from the heavier choices. 🙂 Next stop was Isla Negra. Despite its name, it’s not an actual island. That was just the name of his house. I had never heard of Pablo Neruhda until I arrived in Chile. He was a very famous poet about 50 years ago, and even served as the Chilean ambassador to France. He was friends with the last president of Chile (Allende) before Pinochet took over as dictator in 1973. When he heard about the military coup, he took to his bed and died 4 days later.
The house was beautiful, as you would expect of an artistically-inclined person. And it was right on the ocean, to serve as inspiration. My favorite part was the story of an old door from a shipwreck that washed up near the house – which he turned into his desk. He said to his wife, “Look, the sea has given the poet a gift. Let’s go get it!” He had it beautifully finished so it had a smooth surface and glistened with varnish.
Our next to last stop was the beach. We climbed some boulders to get a good view of the ocean. This was my favorite part of the day. The wind and sea made it a bit chilly, but the climb kept me warm.
By this point, it was 7 PM. And, of course, our illustrious tour guides had not planned for dinner. Or, this is what I assumed from the ad hoc method in which we proceeded to get food. (Insert image of your favorite logistician pulling her hair out, trying very hard to breathe and remembering to be zen) :). Fortunately, the place we stopped at was willing to feed all of us (we stretched its capacity to bursting) and the empanadas were fantastic!
All in all, a good day. Pictures below. Hope you are enjoying the adventure with me!