Hi everyone! I am officially finished with the program and have already started my post-program travels. Hoch arrived last Friday and we’ve been exploring the south of Chile together! It was a bit surreal seeing him at the airport. It really is crazy how fast the time has flown by. Before I know it, I’ll be back in the States looking for work (womp womp). Anyways for this post I will continue with a 3rd installment of my weekend adventures in Chile. I have two more weekend trips to tell you about. 🙂
Peralillo and Pichilemu: (2-2.5 hour bus ride to Santiago and then another 4-5 hour bus ride)
Peralillo and Pichilemu are both small cities in the O’Higgins (Sixth) Region and is the furthest south I was able to travel in Chile during the program. A bunch of fellow volunteers planned the Pichilemu weekend for a long weekend/birthday celebration. Pichilemu is a small surf town. There were 14 of us total and most of the volunteers were actually traveling from further distances than me, so we only booked a house for Saturday and Sunday nights. I also happened to not have class on Friday, so a few of the girls and I traveled to Peralillo which is where Lucy (Canadian) is placed and is only an hour away from Pichilemu. Peralillo is a tiny town and Lucy definitely is getting a “campo” experience. Her family lives on a farm and while we were there, they slaughtered a pig for a weekend celebration. We could actually hear the pig screaming. I’m sure it was delicious, but I was able to meet the pig the day before and it acted like a big dog. 😦 Anyways, we did enjoy a girls wine night with her host mom and then headed to Pichilemu the following day.
As I mentioned before, there were 14 of us and the house was meant to sleep 10 so it was a bit tight. I brought the family air mattress for us to use and people used it along with sleeping on the couch. The weather was crappy and rainy and the road to our house was super muddy which lead to us all staying couped up in the house for the majority of the weekend. We all went in on groceries and had pasta one night and an asado the second. Two of the girls were Chilean and made some Chilean dishes as well. We did make it out to Punta de Lobos which is a big surf spot. The waves were crazy, so no one was surfing though. It started to rain and we could not find any colectivos (like taxis, but cheaper) so we actually all ended up having to hitchhike back to our house. Hitchhiking is actually really popular here in Chile and it was my first time trying it. Even though the weather sucked and we didn’t get to see much of Pichilemu, we still had a fun time hanging out at the house. We definitely drank a little too much, but catching up with and learning about other people’s experiences with the program was nice.
Some photos from the weekend (again I did not take too many photos, most of these were taken from other folk’s FB posts or sent to me via Whatsapp)
Colliguay: (2-2.5 hour bus ride into Viña, then a 30 min metro ride to Villa Alemana or Quilpué, then an hour and a half bus ride to Colliguay)
Colliguay is a small, secluded area in the middle of small mountains and is not very touristy. We were trying to plan another Quinta Region get together and wanted to go somewhere different, but not too far away. Fellow volunteer Brenden had heard about the area from a co-teacher and arranged everything. There is only one bus to and from the area each day and it was a little complicated to get to. It really is an area in which you need a car to get there, but we decided to try public transit anyways. We debated several times on how many nights we wanted to stay and to be honest, I thought the trip would fall through since things kept coming up. But everyone was really chill and go with the flow about the whole trip and I am really glad we all stuck it out.
The house we stayed in was super nice, cheap, and could accommodate up to 12 people comfortably (we had 6). The owner was a Swiss lady, though she has been living in Chile for 30+ years. There was an asado area, a fireplace, a nice kitchen, and lounge chairs for star gazing. We settled in almost instantly, ate a pasta dinner, and enjoyed red wine by the fire, following by star gazing (which was excellent). The following day, we went for a hike with the Swiss lady and were going to leave for Valpo that evening, but we liked it so much, we decided to stay a second night. We had limited options for food at the grocery store there (a tiny family owned store) and ended up with more pasta and box wine for that second night (FYI All red wine is good here in Chile, even the box kind!). Again, we enjoyed the fireplace and stargazing before calling it an early night. The following day, the lady took us down the mountain (the buses don’t run on Sundays) and from there we had to catch a micro (small bus) back into town. It may sound like an uneventful weekend, but it was an unexpectedly awesome place that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in stargazing, hiking, and relaxing. 🙂
Some pics from the weekend:
Well that’s all I’ve got for this post. For more photos (including Quillota mentioned in my Part 2 post, check out this Google photos album: Chile: Quillota, Peralillo, Pichilemu, and Colliguay.
Until next post!