How I spend Christmas & NYE in Santiago

A totally different Christmas than that I have ever experienced before. With my flip flops wondering around in the supermarket searching for coolness because of the 30 degree temperature outside.

Christmas weekend

This was my last trip. It was the last place I wanted to see before I would leave Chile, because I don’t think I will ever come back to this country again.

It all started Friday evening. I took the night bus from Santiago Terminal to Pucón, a small city in the south of Chile. The bus departure was 22:05, but as you can probably already guess, did I take a little bit longer for the bus to arrive. I had never been in that neighborhood or either at the terminal before and get shocked by the immense amount of people. I had forgotten about the fact that it was almost Christmas and people would go away for Christmas to visit their families. It only looked like they were all moving out of their movies. All the stuff they will them, it was insane.

The reason why I wanted to go to Pucón was only one actually; climbing the Vulcan Villarrica. Jesse and the others already climbed it, however during winter, still they told me to be prepared, because it was the worst thing they had ever done in life. I would lie if I would say that I wasn’t scared.

The day, finally

On Sunday was the day. At 6:30 I had to be at the agency and would we pick up our clothes and change ourselves. It really wasn’t the most fashionable outfit, but that made it sort of funny. It belonged to the experience.

Jesse and the others already told me that you are able to choose whether you want to take the chairlift, that saves up an hour of walking or not, in the beginning. They advised me to do it, of course you have to pay for it, but I didn’t know how heavy the other hours were going to be, so I rather took the chairlift. The tour guides called us clever, because of our group (total 15 people), only four people took the chairlift.

From the moment we got out of the chairlift, we had to walk in the snow. We walk in a line to make sure that it was save. It was all quite steep, but the tempo of the guide was very slow. Even so slow, that my heart rate did not go up and I sometimes even got a bit bored. However, the view was amazing and breathtaking. Once we arrived at the top, we had lunch which was sometimes a bit difficult to eat because we always had to wear our gas masks because of the smoke from the Vulcan.

I loved to go down. It was the best moment of the day. Because it would have been to dangerous, also for the muscles, we sledged all the way down. I felt like a child and got so excited, and sometimes went a bit faster than I should. You should have seen my happy face!

Back in Santiago

I arrived in Santiago on Monday morning very early. I went back to bed and relaxed the whole day. I didn’t have any plans for Christmas with other people, so gladly it was really warm (34 degrees) and I was able to lay in the sun and stay close to the swimming pool which we have.

So yeah, my Christmas was very relax and besides laying in the sun, reading my book, listening to music and some cookings during the evening, I didn’t do much. And actually, I didn’t really mind about it. The way the Chilean people celebrate Christmas here is different than how we do it in the Netherlands; atmosphere, decorations, etc. When I was in the supermarket on Christmas Eve and wished the employee a very merry Christmas, she looked at me like: “Why are you saying that?”, which is strange and uncomfortable for me because it is so normal for me. Besides that, didn’t I see one house decorated from the outside and are public places only decorated when it has the aim to sell something. Yeah, not really the happy Christmas vibe.

On the first day of Christmas I spoke with my family on WhatsApp video. They apparently still had some very nice presents for me. What a surprise! But that is what I also had for them. For the most of them, because my mom already knew it. However, now I can also tell you that I am coming home earlier than I planned. I would first arrive in the Netherlands on the 4th of February, but that is now changed into the 24th of January. On the 12th of January I will write another blog about what I thought about my five months in Chile, but if I should give a reason for coming home earlier it is just that I really want to go home. To my family, friends, just back in the Netherlands.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve was for me something much important to experience than Christmas. Like I said, I didn’t really have that Christmas feeling so I didn’t care about being alone, although many others told me how sad it was ha-ha. For me, being alone with New Year’s Eve would have been much more sad. It would be like, me wishing myself a happy new year with a glass of champagne in my hand. Yeah, I didn’t want that and gladly that didn’t happen.

My old housemate, Maria, who started to live together with her boyfriend invited me for a party with food together with some other friends. So, we first were at their apartment, the swimming pool on the roof and later, the men started to prepare the bbq and some other very delicious dishes.

The time past by very fast that night. At around eleven we decided that it would be time to go on the streets. We were in total with five people. In Santiago there were two places where the National fireworks was and luckily one place was like 800 meters from Maria’s apartment.

There were many many people, children, grandparents, adults, teenagers. Everyone waiting and looking at the screen until it starts to count off from ten.

Diez, nueve, ocho, siete, seis, cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno… Feliz año nuevoooooo !!!

The fireworks last for around twenty minutes and was really amazing! The vibe was very good and there was music until two from a band. All the people dancing and being happy (First time I saw Chilean people happy). Of course, I found it difficult that I wasn’t at home during this moment, but I am very glad that Maria invited me and made me feel so welcome. I really helped and I enjoyed!

The end

My time here in Chile is almost coming to its end. One week from now, I am back in Bogota for eleven days with Daniel and his family. Have to say that I already packed a part of my first suitcase. I am very blessed with all the moments that I have been able to experience, but it’s time to leave Chile and I honestly don’t mind at all.

I am ready for Bogota, but I am more ready to go home. See you soooon!

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