Managing money in other countries can be difficult, especially when you don’t understand the value of each bill it can make it hard. For those of you traveling to Chile here are some examples of Chilean Pesos and their value as compared to US Dollars.
As of right now, 665 Chilean Pesos is equal to 1 US Dollar. Here in Chile tips aren’t always expected but are appreciated. For example, if you go to a grocery store and someone is there bagging your food you can give them anywhere from 100 to 1000 pesos depending on how many bags you have and that is considered acceptable. If you are driving a car in Chile and someone helps you enter or exit a parking space most people tip 100-500 pesos depending on how much they actually help you.
If you have any further questions feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Chile has many beautiful sights to see. I have been fortunate enough to be able to drive North and South of Viña del Mar with my in-laws and wife. There is a lot to see and it reminds me of California with a highway going along the coast similar to the Pacific Coast Highway. On Wednesday we went to Maitencillo, Cachagua, Zapallar, and Horcon in search of some waves to surf. We drove to Maitencillo and didn’t find any great spots to surf so we continued up the highway to Cachagua which was beautiful and there was only one other family on the beach.
Side note: Chile is a great place to visit from March-May because most of the summer tourist have left which makes it a lot less crowded.
We walked the beach and found a rock pathway that went along the coast and was next to some huge houses. After walking around we decided to go Zapallar (further North) to continue the wave search but Zapallar is very enclosed and had no waves. As we went down into the city of Zapallar we passed through the quaint city center and as we were driving down the hill getting closer to the beach the houses started to get larger and looked like the belonged to affluent people. We made it down to one of the beaches and as we were walking down the stairs off in the distance my wife saw dolphins so we ran over to some rocks to try and get a better view. The dolphin was shy at first and then it started jumping around not too long after and we stayed and watched it for a while.
After watching the dolphin we decided to head back home. On the way, we decided to make one more stop in Horcon. It wasn’t the prettiest place because it is a humble fishing town but we saw a rock arch and made our way over to it.
We walked past an artisan market and there was a bridge with many ribbons tied to it, they call it the bridge of desires puente de deseos, because you write your desire on a ribbon and then tie it to the bridge. We took some pics and continued to the arch.
We then walked back and on the way back we were able to watch a beautiful sunset, it was unexpected because it was such a great view from a place that wasn’t as pretty as all of the other places we had visited.
Yes, we are still alive and well but the struggle is real. At first I didn’t have any trouble thinking of things to write about and expound upon but we have fallen out of the routine of writing and updating the blog. I still have a lot of fun things and trips to write about but it can be hard to sit down and actually do it. If there is something that you are prorastinating find the best way for YOU to get it done as soon as possible. Personally I can have a hard time starting projects. No excuses should be made, I know it might sound cliche but Just Do It!
Once I start, my focus is set on completing a task as soon as possible. For example I recently made a video edit of some of our adventures in Chile. I started it one day, worked on it for about 2 and a half hours then finished it the next day in about an hour or so. It still a skill that I am developing but video editing and filming is fun for me. I like being able to capture moments that we have enjoyed and having the ability to go back and relive them later. It’s the same as photos. I don’t like being in photos but it’s fun looking back at all the memories I’ve had with my wife.
Back to the adventure part of our stories, we have been doing a lot of fun things here in Chile. We have been to the sand dunes in Concon, surfing in Reñaca and Concon, made a trip along the coast from Valparaiso heading down to San Antonio, day trips to around the city of Valparaiso, and a trip to El Cajon de Maipo.
We had planned the trip to El Cajon de Maipo 2 weeks ago but were unable to go one weekend because of the weather up in the mountains. The next week we made the trip over to La Cordillera Chilena, Chilean Mountain Range. It was a long trip because we didn’t want to go through the tolled part of Santiago, the tolls can be pretty expensive but can cut your trip in half, it also didn’t help that the family dog decided to join the trip. We were about to leave the house and their family dog figured out that we were leaving and got inside the car and wouldn’t get out. They decided to bring him but he didn’t cope too well with all the traveling and the cold. The un-tolled roads en route to El Cajon de Maipo had so many curves and turns, I don’t usually get motion sickness but it was too much for me this time. Most of the highways here have many turns and it can be hard to get used too. The dog, Doki was freaking out most of the drive, he was changing seats and moving all around. It took us a long time to reach El Cajon de Maipo because my In-laws insisted on taking pictures every 5 minutes it felt like.
Finally we made it to our destination a natural hot springs camping area called Termas Valle de Colina. After about an hour and a half of Mika’s mom dissaproving of various camping sites we finally found one and set up camp. Doki wasn’t feeling good and started to decorate our campsite with what he had eaten. We set up camp and then made our way over to the hot springs, it was extremely crowded with tourists and many people from Santiago. There were two hot springs at the very top the highest one being the hottest, which nobody was in, and I put my feet in the second hottest one for about 5 minutes and my feet turned red, it felt like I was boiling. We then went down two more levels to be with Mika’s parents and some friends.
The views were great from that hot spring, you coud see snow in the mountains and the valley below, but it was lukewarm so we went up to the next hot spring which was more like a jacuzzi. We stayed there as long as we could switching back and forth from lukewarm to hot enjoying the scenery.
After a couple of hours we went back to camp had barbequed some pork then prepared to go to bed. Doki slept in our tent and was walking over everyone the whole night. One of the friends, Francisco, helped let Doki out five times for him to do his business. Needless to say I didn’t really sleep that well because it was freezing and because Doki walked on my face two times.
I woke up around 8 in the morning and left the tent because it smelt horrible! It was like an several animals had died and a sulfur factory, I wanted to burn my clothes to get rid of the stench. I quickly changed and invited others to go but nobody followed. It was a nice relief getting into the hot springs because I was no longer cold. After a while more and more people started funneling into the hot springs as well as my wife and everyone else that I came with.
After a couple more hours of relaxation we went back to camp and packed up. Doki had made landmines almost everywhere and it wasn’t a pleasant smell when packing up so we were glad to get that done.
We stopped several times on the way back becuase Doki was sick and we went to a waterfall we had seen from the road driving up to the hot springs.
On the way back we decided to go check out a natural water resevoir that provide the water to the City of Santiago, it was 22 km up a road we passed on the way to the hot springs. Guess what, it had a lot of curves as well! We made almost to the top but decided to get out and walk because there were about a thousand cars that were blocking the entrance and exit and had made a ton of traffic where there shouldn’t be. We made it to the resevoir and it was a pretty sight.
We walked back down and got back on our way down to the main road. Like I said before there were many curves and Doki wasn’t enjoying it, in fact he threw up, mostly water, in the very back of the car with Francisco. We stopped as soon as we could and did some quick clean up and continued on our way…..like usual making stops every hour or so.
Being in South America has been great except for the fact that I’ve had diarrhea for almost 2 weeks. This may seem weird to talk about, but it seems to be a common problem because of something in the water. When I lived in Uruguay before I got food poisoning 2 times and it was miserable. Until about 2 days ago I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but now it seems to be either a virus or stomach flu. I am fortunate enough to get it when we just got here and now everyone including my in-laws think that they know what it is and how to cure it, as well as telling me not to eat practically everything.
Having your in-laws tell you what you can’t eat really limits your diet, they have also been making me take disgusting medicines and herbal teas (which I can’t stand). I know they are trying to help but not being able to drink tap water and eat is terrible. In conclusion to my rant, the water is bad and you should avoid drinking it. Many people from the States get sick here in South America from the water so it might be more safe to either boil water or to not drink the water unless you want to be very familiar with your in-laws or hotels toilet!
Enough of that boring stuff we can now continue with adventures. Recently we went to Valparaiso and had a good time touring around the city.
It reminds me a lof of San Francisco but with a South American spin. There is a lot of great street art/graffiti. I have never been to a place where I have seen so much good and detailed graffiti, which makes the city unique. It also has many steep hills like San Francisco and narrow roads.
We went to Valpo with Mika’s parents and her grandma/aunt. Her aunt and Grandma were freaking out when we were driving up one of the roads to the top. They were covering their eyes and saying how they didn’t want to die. We made it to a high spot and had a great lookout view.
On the way down they were scared again while the rest of us were having a good laugh. We made it to the bottom and continued driving around the city center (centro). We then went and drove along the coast and stopped at a couple of places to walk around and take pictures.
After a fun and stressful experiences, we made it to Chile! Mikaela’s parents came to the Santiago airport to pick us up. We drove all the way back to my Inlaws house in the town Quilpue which is on the outskirts of Viña del Mar and is very laid back.
We have been enjoying our time here. Mika’s parents have been treating us very well and had a welcome party/reception for us.
I have been looking for a surfboard and wetsuit for the waves in Viña del Mar, Concon, and Reñaca. Last time I was here in Chile I was able to surf in Reñaca and had a good time.
It has been fun getting to spend more time here and getting to know Viña del Mar and surrounding cities better. The other day we went and walked around the by the beach and the pier in Viña, they recently restored the pier and it is a pretty place to walk around.
Yesterday we went to the beach in Concon then made our way over to Reñaca for the sunset. Mika is loving being home and had a good time laughing with her dad trying to take a jump picture.
Today we went to the dunes in Concon and had a really good time. We rented a sand board and I was able to ride it several times. I thought it would be more like surfing but I had a lot less control. I ate it several times and was covered in sand, which made me look like I had a full beard. We went back to the house and I still trying to get all the sand off of me.
Where do I start? Peru has it’s pretty parts as well as it’s not so pretty parts. Most people are familiar with Machupicchu and recognize it as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. 2 Novembers ago I went to Uruguay, Peru and Chile and was able to go to Machupicchu and see other pretty things in South America but recently my wife and I spent 3 nights in Lima and it was completely different.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the interior (not city part of Peru) but Lima was mind blowing for me! I lived in Montevideo Uruguay and Vancouver Canada for almost a year and neither are similar to how crazy Lima is.
First of all NEVER I MEAN NEVER rent a car in Lima! It was insane driving there in Lima. We almost were ran into more than 50 times in less than 2 days. Everyone there is extremely aggressive when driving and never follow any of the so called “rules”. The police hardly do anything to help. Public transit drivers are the craziest, bus and taxi drivers will do anything to steal your lane. My wife was freaking out most of the time becasue she was scared we were going to get hit. I was trying to stay calm and not show that I was nervous as well. I used the car horn like I was going to be in an accident pretty much the whole time I was there and it felt like it could happen at any moment.
We rented a car the second day were there and met up with some friends of Mikaelas brother and then we went to the city center (Centro), and parked in a playa (which are parking places around Lima). We walked all over the city center and saw many cool buildings and old architecture. After being in Centro for a while we were hungry and went back to Callao where we were staying with some friends. Mika and I got my favorite dish Lomo Saltado and we decided to pay for their lunch as well and in total it ended up only being $17 which I found ridiculously cheap for 4 people to eat.
Later on, we drove to El Barranco (the cliff) and walked around that neighborhood which is more lively at night. It was fun seeing all the interesting people walking around and some crazies dancing humorously.
The second day we wanted to take it easier and wanted to go surfing at the beach Miraflores. The drive from Callao to Miraflores is different because it is right on the coast and has a lot of trash and rubble everywhere. Even though they are close to a pretty coastline it isn’t very well kept. The highway down to Miraflores is nice and they don’t drive as crazily over there. As we were driving from Callao to Miraflores the scenery gets progressively nicer, they are working on cleaning up the coastline and making it look more touristy I think. The surf there was pretty decent on the day we went and we decided to rent boards. We walked to many vendors and we asked them prices for a board for the day. Most of them are 20 Soles which is about 6 dollars but their selections are pretty limited and not very nice. We finally got one to lend us 2 boards for 30 Soles. We surfed for 2 or 3 hours and had a great time in the water.
On the way back to the airport before we returned the car there were 4 legal lanes of traffic which was then funneled into 5 by local traffic. We were bumper to bumper for about 15 minutes and I was very liberal with the horn when taxis or buses tried to steal my spot.
As I am sitting here contemplating the last week or so time has gone by too quickly! I know I have been terrible about being consistent in my posts, but in my defense we are in between moving and I just graduated from 4 years of school at a University! Let me have a little break!
These last 2 weeks have been great, my parents came out to Hawaii for my graduation and we were able to stay in Honolulu for a week near the Honolulu Zoo. My wife and I feel that we have gained about 10 lbs from the excessive food consumption my parents were forcing us to eat.
My Mom and Wife climbing Koko Head
My mom, wife and I on a trail to Manoa Falls
El Gringo surfing on the North Shore
Mika likes to call my mom superwoman because whenever she travels she goes HARD! She doesn’t sleep until she has seen everything possible in one day. My dad on the other hand likes to be more relax on vacations while my mom forces him to go out and adventure.
My parents flew in earlier than expected (flying standby) because it was easier for them to get to Hawaii on those dates. We picked them up from the airport on a Wednesday night and showed them around Laie. Then on Thursday morning I took my last final and we went up to the North Shore to show them some of our favorite places there. We drove up to Ehukai Beach Park (most people know it as Banzaii Pipeline) and my friend and I went surfing at the Ehukai Sandbar. After surfing we got food and pies from Ted’s Bakery. Then we went on our first hike all together. The Sunset Pillbox Hike is a short 30-45 minute hike (depending on pace) that I have done several times and enjoy the views of the seven mile miracle and many famous surf breaks from up above.
As I am sitting here in the last week of my college life contemplating my college experience I feel extremely blessed! Not only have I had the opportunity to live in Hawaii but I have been able to make and cultivate so many great friendships and the University as well as outside of it. I will always be grateful for the time that I have been able to spend here. Graduation is an interesting thing because, even though I am about to get my degree I am still unsure of what exactly is going to happen in the future. I think that is normal for many people but I want to eventually be a self sufficient entrepreneur, which is very hard to do if you don’t have any money to invest into your own company. I have however invested a ton of time into some of my ideas and ventures.
I don’t want to go into full detail of all of my ideas but there are many that I have right now and one that I am working on right now in specific is the Intentse Hanging Tent.
We made this from 2 tents and a hammock
It’s not the prettiest sight but it was a beginning
A couple of months ago I decided to enter my Universities’ Great Ideas Competition, which is an entrepreneurial competition for students/community members, 21 out of 200 applicants made it to the semi-finals and I was lucky enough to be one of those finalists.
With the help of my business partner and friend, James Astle, we started Intentse and haven’t looked back since. We also acquired a great mentor James Zolman thanks to the networking through the University who has helped us tremendously with digital marketing along the way.
Back when we started I had no idea how to do digital marketing, how to do advertising for a brand, how to write outreach emails, I basically didn’t know how to do anything and still don’t know how to do everything. As a whole I have learned so much that I know I wouldn’t have learned if I wouldn’t have tried. Granted James Zolman has been there to help guide me along the way and motivate, but I have made the decision to go forward by myself despite it being something new or scary to me.
Before we started Intentse I was nervous about ridicule or what criticism I might receive for my products or ideas but where would I be now if I hadn’t tried? I would still have the doubt or be thinking what if I tried doing this or that idea. If you have anything that you want to do or try just go out and do it! You may suck at it, you may have a natural ability or talent for it or you just may not like it all after you’ve tried, but at least you made an effort and tried!
The hard part is getting going but once you have taken those steps and made your first prototype or sent out 100 outreach emails you will feel a sense of accomplishment and you should reward yourself for your achievements. I’m not saying go crazy and party but be happy for what you have accomplished and continue trending forward.
This week I will graduate and have to go into the real world. The Adult world…..now I have to figure out what will be my next leap of faith!
My wife and I had a pretty laid back Valentines Day this year. I personally believe that it is a huge sales/marketing ploy but that is beside the point. We spent time together and I organized/cleaned the house and washed the laundry when my wife was at the gym. I also surprised her with some Plumeria flowers that I climbed in some trees to get (yes there are flowers in trees). It wasn’t the biggest deal but it’s the thought and the gesture that she likes. Funny thing was that neighbors saw me climbing in the trees and were wondering what I was up to. I even had a broom and was trying to hit them out of the tree which made me look like a complete idiot but I was motivated.
I digress from the real story, today I had the day off from school so we decided to go on some adventures. We went to the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout and met up with some people that we had recently met that are visiting from Spain and wanted to go on some hikes. We climbed up to the Pali Puka (Puka means hole in Hawaiian) even though it was kind of dangerous because it was raining and there are parts with cliffs on one side. I personally don’t like heights (except for when I am jumping into water) so I was hugging the side of the trail and going slowly. At some parts on the hike it is about a foot or two wide and is very nerve racking. We finally made it to the Puka and then we went down slowly.
At the Puka unfortunately because of the weather you couldn’t see the background
On the way day, spending time trying not to fall off the side!
After the Pali Lookout and the Pali Puka we went on a waterfall hike nearby. It was a short hike that takes you trough some pretty scenery and arrive at a really nice waterfall. We took plenty of photos and played in the falls while it was raining most of the time. By this time every article of clothing was drenched and were starting to get cold. We hiked back down and decided to go get some plate lunches from a good local restaurant in Waimanalo.
We then drove and stopped at some scenic points on our way to one of my favorite places Spitting Caves. Took more photos as per usual and then went to China Walls which is really close to Spitting Caves.
China Walls is a popular local hangout spot for Hawaii Kai residents. Explaining it with words doesn’t do it much justice but we jumped into the ocean from a small 10 foot cliff and were able to watch a beautiful sunset with our new friends from Spain. Overall it was a great day!
This whole blog thing is still very new to me and even though it may not seem difficult for some people I find it difficult to organize my thoughts and write about things we have done. With that being said we have been able to do a lot of fun things since we started dating. Our second adventure was visiting Deep Cove and doing a hike up to Quarry Rock which is a part of the Baden Powell Trail. It is a short hike through a forest and once you reach the top there is a great lookout over Deep Cove and is a great place to go during the summer.
The first time we hiked it Mika was mad at me because I went off ahead and didn’t accompany her the whole trail, I was used to going ahead of other people because I enjoy hiking quickly and arriving to the destination quickly, which I learned I would no longer be able to do with a LATINA! She told me that she was not like other Gringas (white girls) and that I would have to stay with her or she wouldn’t go on hikes with me anymore. I learned quickly and slowed my pace down on the way back.
As you can see the views are great from Quarry Rock. If you want advice on how to get to Quarry Rock quickly, send me an email or reach out to me on social media for shortcut info!