I am not yet ready to post in Spanish, however I am getting there, so for now, a heading in Spanish is what is representing my current comfort and level of the language.
So, an incredible travel has come to an end. After having been stretched emotionally and physically on my way towards Aconcagua, my wishes for Chile was to recover, relax and recharge. Said and done, the last week was about discovering Chile, Valparaiso, Vina Del Mar, Santiago and Rapel.
Valparaiso, by some articulated to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world by night (Based on my experience I do not echo that statement): One of the most impressive cities I have experienced so far in South America, partly because of its importance for Chile, and Argentina, being a port for important and export, but mainly because of what I will remember, i.e. watching the national dance of Chile, "Esquinazo", walking down the streets, being amazed by the structure of the city, its people. Being lost after having eaten dinner and being saved by a “micro”, a bus, which took us to safer grounds. Adrenaline, and curiosity are the key words I will take with me.
Vina Del Mar, a vacation paradise for Chilenians and the last few days for me and my love. Beaches, swimming in cold water, cooking good food, being, walking, caring and running were some of the components of the experience. A general feeling of being content and just enjoying were some of the dominating thoughts which shaped the experience.
Santiago, a city which needs to be rediscovered due to lack of time, however, what amazed me during my short time there was as opposed to other major cities in South America, the incapacity and the lack of structure around the bus terminal. Chile as a country is one of the most developed in South America but the bus terminal had the worse structure I have seen so far. Maybe that is significant for some of the countries here. Without drawing conclusions, I am recognizing that parts of the countries are incredibly well developed and working really well, but there is always something in the vivid picture, far from details, which is a challenge for the country and thus holds it back. The bus terminal in Santiago is just and example of this, there are many more. My question is, when the first country in Latin America will get all the determining details into place to be an inspiring and role modelling country for the region as a whole? I do recognize that this is a very generalizing question and not fair because of my lack of experience in the region, however, these are some of the thoughts and questions emerging as the day passes by.
Rapel – Francesco and Carlos, the lagune, the “moto”, the open arms of the family, the inspiration, the good food, the warm water and the relaxing atmosphere are some of the important components of my experience there. The very fortunate is Chile gathered around a laugune, which appears to be the paradise on earth. It was indeed and I am grateful towards the family who invited us to their home and made us feel like we were home. The stay there also reflexes the gap currently existing in the country, but also that in the calmest water it is possible to find quite dirty fishes. During a “city tour” by boat I saw incredible wealth and so in the middle of everything – the mafia house and drug producer. Everyone knew about it, but nothing to do about it, just be amazed by the house, the warning system built up and the general knowledge about the neighbors of how to deal with them. Indeed very interesting!
To wrap it up – the past week was really about recover, relax and recharge in a very different country compared to Uruguay and Argentina. The coming week will be about starting school, in Spanish and reconnect with Buenos Aires. I shall look forward to that.