Friday, December 9, 2011

Pichilemu Part One

I´m typing this from an internet cafe in Pichilemu now.

Pichilemu is a small beach town about 3 and a half hours away from Santiago by bus.  Its streeets are tranquil but a bit run down.  The people are welcoming and tranquil.  They have parks that resemble a Japanese garden, and there are basketball courts with skate parks next to them.  Empanadas are everywhere, as is the seafood.  The beaches have black sand, and the dogs lay about just as they do in Santiago.  American influence has even reached this beach town.  Although there are no signs of McDonald´s or Burger King that seem ubiquitous wherever I´ve traveled, as I walked past a go kart racing track they were blasting The Kids Aren´t Alright and Pretty Fly for a White Guy by The Offspring.

Pichilemu is not as close to Santiago as Valpo or Viña, but it gives you the sense that you´ve escaped from the hustle and bustle (and pollution) of the city.  You can get around most places walking, and the community feel of a hostel is always a nice feeling about traveling.

My trip started out with the bus from Santiago at 7 AM Thursday morning.  It was a holiday and I was concerned about being able to get to the bus station with buses running less frequently, but I made it without a problem.  The ride was uneventful, and when I got in my hostel told me to call them and they´d pick me up from the bus station.

I was greeted by a blond haired, blue eyed guy that was about my age.  His name is Oliver, and he´s the owner of the Sleep Eat Surf hostel that I was staying at.  He´s from Switzerland, so me and him have spent a good amount of time speaking in German.

After chatting with the people at the hostel, I was off to the beach for a few hours.  I really enjoyed sitting along the beach and taking in the sun while listening to my Ipod.  After a few hours I got an ice cream and walked down the length of the beach and made my way back into town.  There are small restaurants throughout Pichilemu, mostly serving either fast food, empanadas, or seafood.  There are also small shops selling buckets and beach toys, and other typical beach items.  I settled on getting some empanadas from a stand near the beach before heading back.

In the evening I relaxed at the hostel and chatted with the other guests.  Most of them were German, so it was nice getting to talk to them.  Zack arrived a few hours later, and so it was cool having someone around that I knew too.  Then Oliver decided to have an asado for everyone, and it was really good food.

Today has been just as relaxing.  After breakfast Zack and I headed out to the beach.  It was cloudy and cool, and I watched him surf for about an hour.  Then we walked along the beach and set up a mini canvas with his surfboard and my towel and talked for a while.  After a while the sun came out and Zack decided to do some more surfing, and I made my way back into town.

I had a late lunch of a kebab plate with french fries, and here I am at the internet cafe.  I´m really glad to have this opportunity to get out of Santiago for a few days, and it´s a way of recharging my batteries to stay motivated to work throughout the summer here.

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