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.