This past weekend was my first overnight excursion in Chile on a tour called “La Costa de los Poetas” and the translation is fairly straight-forward: Coast of the Poets. We left Friday morning to head to Isla Negra, the home of Pablo Neruda, arguably Chile’s most famous poet. Photos are not allowed within the house so, sadly, you’ll have to try to visualize it or google to see if anyone was brave enough to break the rules and post the results on the internet. His home is now preserved as a museum and the closest thing I can describe it as is a shrunk down version of House on the Rock in Wisconsin. The first room housed around 15 figureheads, which are the statues of naked women on the front of ships, and other random nautical artifacts. The second room was his dining room with is the large window that can be seen in my above photo. His writing spaces were by far my favorite rooms because they had everything from navigation equipment to a bug collection to a large wooden horse. The random collections in his house ranged from the most exquisite shells and a narwhal tusk to a hundred ships in bottles.

Outside of the house.

After the house tour, I spent about 45 minutes in complete awe of the ocean. I love Lake Superior, but there is something special about the ocean. The colors in these pictures are actually a little muted. There were ten different shades of blue in the quarter-mile stretch of wave that I could see depending on the light, the depth, and the exact shape and placement of the wave. The sky was also my favorite shade of grey, so that added to my infatuation with these rocks. I have fallen in love with nature here, in part because I’ve given myself the time to just sit and enjoy my surroundings. Sadly, I could not sit and watch the ocean pass for the rest of the day.

We drove to a restaurant a half hour away from the house and sat down to empanadas, fish, and heavenly manjar-stuffed crepes and ice cream. Manjar is the Chilean word for dulce de leche, which is like a caramel made from milk. In short, its delicious. After lunch, it was off to another poet’s house, Vicente Huidobro. His house was set up much more formally like a museum, but the tour was very quick, so I did not get as much out of it as I did from Pablo Neruda’s. However, I did learn that Huidobro was the creator of the creationism literary movement. Finally, we were off to the hotel for dinner and relaxation.

The next day, we drove to San Antonio Port, the busiest in western Latin America, for a boat ride around the huge transport ships. I was shocked to be right under these large ships and all of their freight. It was crazy to see so much economic activity happening in such a peaceful place. The highlight was seeing a sea-lion basking on a rock, though. Afterwards, on the boardwalk, we saw a lady performing tango-style music. The last event of the day/trip was lunch at an Italian restaurant owned by a South African man. The wine was superb and the pasta was homemade, so it was the perfect ending to the trip.

I had an amazing time catching up with people I had met during orientation but don’t have class with and exploring more of Chile’s rich culture and beautiful land. I still can’t believe I am here sometimes, but needless to say I am loving it. One odd thing I’m currently struggling with is forgetting some English words. I really didn’t expect to have that issue, so if there are any grammatical errors that I didn’t catch on this post or older ones, please forgive me! Looking towards the future, on April 6th, I’ll be heading to Puerto Natales in Patagonia to hike Torres del Paine. It is one of the best hiking spots in the world, so I am very, very excited to see the mountains and the glaciers.

Until next week, ciao!

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