The sun took a few days to show itself. This made me a bit sad. But I persevered, determined to explore the city and made my way to the Japanese Garden on Saturday. What a lovely day for just walking around and exploring. (pictures below) I also found a skate park (one of at least two in the city). It’s so lovely to see kids out and about, playing and jumping and running. We see that too seldom in the U.S. Though my Chilean friends admit that kids here also spend their fair share of time with video games, I cannot help but notice that kids seem more active here.
The beach at La Serena is just as beautiful as every other bit of Pacific Ocean in Chile. As I walked, I stopped for lunch at a stop at a place that had the best crab and cheese empanada I have had yet. So yummy!!! The pictures below were taken at a place called La Herradura (The Horseshoe). The bay is in the shape of a horseshoe – I’m learning so many new words! And in context – so I won’t forget them. 😉 During this visit, I did not make it to Valle de Equi, which is supposed to be a beautiful spot about an hour outside the city. On my own, I am less adventurous to go far outside my ability to walk. Once I make some (more) Chilean friends, and/or my Spanish improves, I will definitely be back to La Serena. Since it is only 6 hours from Viña, it is an easy trip.
My job search was less successful here. There does not seem to be a market here for more English teachers. I’m not sure if they want native Chileans, or if there are simply no openings, but my resume generated no interest. Ah well, it was a lovely few days here and the perfect transition to my continued Chilean adventure.
As I contemplated my next step, I reconsidered my original plan. I was going to go to Santiago next to job search. Here, I felt I was being a bit responsible. So many people have told me that the job market in Viña – my ideal city – is very, very small and that “all the jobs are in Santiago”. I have even considered simply finding a job in Santiago, but living in Viña. Since there are plentiful buses several times a day that go between the two cities, it seemed feasible.
But I didn’t want to be in Santiago. I wanted to be in Viña. So I changed my plan. Am I being brave, or simply foolhardy? Only time will tell. I am at least being true to myself. I found an Airbnb apartment in Viña (yes, I treated myself to an entire apartment – which cost me all of $36/night). The privacy will be wonderful!! I cancelled my trip to Santiago. I’m traveling again. My heart is full of joy to return to a place I’ve so loved. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it.