Chile: Weekend Adventures – Part 2

Hi all!  So I finally broke the once a month post streak I had going there.  I am back with a continuation of my last post on weekend trips I’ve taken while here in Chile.  So I’ll go ahead and dive right in!

El Tabo, Quisco, La Isla Negra, and Algarrobo: (2-2.5 hour bus ride to Santiago and then another 2 hour bus ride directly west to the coast)

This was a weekend trip that was planned by fellow volunteer, Kate and one of her Chilean friends from Santiago.  This area of the Quinta Region is known for it’s nice beaches along with being the location of one of Pablo Neruda’s homes in Chile (a Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner).  Kate and I traveled to Santiago first, met up with her Chilean friends, and then traveled to El Tabo to meet Jessie there.  Her Chilean friend, Xavier, had organized the lodging and we were staying in the apartment of one of his friend’s family.  He also brought a friend, Ferid, along for the weekend.

Before I share any photos, I wanted to talk about our journey to El Tabo.  Kate and I met up with Xavier and Ferid in Santiago and while waiting for our next bus decided to buy some beers for the ride.  It was my idea, but the Chileans were all for it so I assumed it was OK.  Once we were off, we opened the beers (bought a 6-pack for the four of us) and were chit-chatting quietly.

Well at some point, Xavier and Ferid start to play some music on their phones.  I remember thinking it was rude to do on a public bus.  That would NOT fly in NYC, but since I’ve seen people do it on other buses here in Chile, I didn’t say anything.  Well in the middle of Ricky Martin’s “Vente Pa’ Ca” video, a nearby older lady starts yelling at us, in Spanish of course.  The guys immediately shut off the music.  Kate and I continued to talk to each other quietly since we were right beside each other, but we stopped talking to guys behind us for the time being.  Well the lady continued to glare at us and even started commenting on how we should not be drinking beers and acting like we’re on a party bus.  At this point, the beers were long gone.  The guys continued to be polite, but eventually things became a bit heated.  I played the gringo card and pretended like I didn’t understand what was going on.

Anyways, eventually the lady got off the bus and we were all relieved that she was gone.  But then the bus is stalled for a moment and suddenly two police officers come on board and walk right up to Kate and my seats!  They ask us to step off the bus with them and aren’t even concerned with the guys, who to be honest were the loud and rude ones with the music!  So I ask the officers if we need to bring our things and they respond no.  I then intentionally take off my jacket and lay it on the seat to cover up the plastic bag that had the empty beer cans in it.  The guys accompany us off the bus and there the lady is waiting for us.

The cops start asking what happened, the guys are explaining how she asked for us to cut off the music and that they did immediately and that there was no beer.  Which of course is a lie.  One of the cops goes back to our seat to see if he sees anything.  He comes back and says no (whew!) and the lady is still yelling at Kate and me.  She keeps telling us that we should not be acting this way in another country.  I continue to play the gringo card.

The cops eventually ask for our ID cards and start writing down some information in a notebook.  They tell us to behave and to be respectful of others and then we get back on the bus (that has been waiting during the whole ordeal!).  The other passengers are obviously a bit annoyed because of the delay.  Though some of the ones that sat near us commented on how the woman clearly had a problem with us foreigners.  I asked if we would be receiving a ticket or anything in the mail and the guys said no.  If they don’t ticket you there, you are good to go.  They were just writing down our info to make the cranky B happy.  So anyways, there you have it.  At 32, this experience takes me back to my pre-21 days.

In our defense, the bus interior does give off a party bus vibe.

Anyways, it was an interesting way to kick off the weekend.  We finally arrived, went grocery shopping, and settled into the apartment.  The apt is in El Tabo which isn’t far from La Isla Negra, where we stopped and visited Pablo Nerudo’s house (which was a lot cooler than the one in Valpo in my opinion) the following day.  We slowly made our way north along the coast making short stops in the towns along the way.  We visited a view point in Quisco and walked along the beaches in Algarrobo before heading back to the apt.  We cooked most of our meals at the apt including an asado on Saturday evening and I taught everyone some American drinking games after.  We tried to go to a local club, but it was pretty empty (we went too early for Chilean standards and didn’t want to wait several hours) so we decided to have a small dance party at the apt instead. 🙂

Some photos from the weekend:

Group shot at Pablo Neruda’s home (Xavier, Kate, Jessie, me, and Ferid)

We decided to bring a few beers and snacks to the view point in Quisco:

Algarrobo Beach
Algarrobo Beach
Drinking games with my fav Aussies 🙂

Overall it was another random, fun weekend in the Quinta Region!

Quillota: (1.5 hour bus ride)

Since Kate, Jessie, and I have been placed so close to each other, we decided we’d try and visit each other’s host families and placement cities.  They both came to visit me and my family in La Ligua one weekend and we also planned a Quillota weekend, which is where Jessie is placed.  Quillota is closer to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso and is much larger than La Ligua.  It is known for its avocados and is the location of a military base as well.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and the weather was pretty crappy.  It was pouring rain and super windy.  There was actually a tornado that had touched down just outside of Quillota a few weeks earlier!  I didn’t even realize Chile had tornadoes until seeing it on the news.  Jessie said she didn’t even know about the tornado until other volunteers started asking her about it though so must’ve not been that bad.

Anyways, since the weather wasn’t so nice, Jessie and I decided to make mulled wine that evening.  It was perfect for a cold, Friday night at home (I am saving the recipe to make for when I return to the states!).  We took the time to start planning a travel itinerary for once we are finished with the program.  We are going to travel together for part of it and wanted to sync up our schedules along with do some research on places we’d want to see in the areas we will be visiting.  Since then, we’ve had a few planning sessions and finally have an itinerary we both are happy with.  🙂

Kate arrived on Saturday and the weather still wasn’t the best, but Jessie’s family took us around Quillota anyways.  Jessie lives with a mom, dad, and daughter; they are all really nice and sweet.  That evening the 3 of us split from the fam, ate sushi for dinner(!) and we ended up going out to a local bar and after party with some of Jessie’s family friends.  They tried to teach us cueca, a Chilean dance, and we socialized until the wee hours.  It was another chill, yet fun weekend with my Aussie friends. 🙂

Me and Jessie in the campo (country) of Quillota
We made a stop to see the military base with Jessie’s host dad which was previously an Equestrian Center.  They still train with their horses here.

Fun fact: The previous Equestrian Center is where the World Guinness Record for the highest jump took place in 1949.  The horse, Huaso, is buried there as well.  (2.47 m = 8′-1.25″)

I’ve sorta slacked on the picture taking lately, starting with this weekend (rainy weather doesn’t help) so I do not have too many to share.  I’ll have to up my game again.

Well that’s it for now.  I still have a few more weekend adventures to share, but to prevent this post from being any longer, I will be posting a Part 3 as well.  Hope you’re all having a great week!!

Until next post,


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