After the amazing trip to Colombia, it was difficult for me to return back to my “normal” life. Gladly, I could fill my weekends with great trips and activities.
Cajón del Maipo with Belén
So, Cajón del Maipo. Translated as the “Box between the mountains” and a beautiful getaway place from Santiago. After I arrived home from Bogota at around three in the night, I would meet Belén at her house around twelve in the afternoon. After I unpacked and packed my bag for four days, I took the Uber to Belén. We would go first take the metro and then the bus before her dad picked us up at a town and we would then further go to the village they live in called; El Ingenio. In total, it is around one and a half hour to arrive.
Belén her parents have their holiday house in El Ingenio for already many many years. They were the first ones in the village. The house is literally amazing and feels as if you are in Austria because of the style (all wooden). Besides that, the view which they have is so wonderful.
I am now wondering if I have ever introduced Belén to you? Because I actually do not think that I did.. “oh-oh impolite Isa”. So, Belén and I know each other from England. We were not really friends actually, not that we did not like each other, but we just had a different group of friends. However, Dani and Belén for example, always had class together and sometimes when we had a dinner in the flat of my neighbour (Omar – a Mexican), Carmen and I got invited and Belén was there too because she was in that group of friends. All clear?! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me of course haha. This sounds so like the (almost) last sentence of a formal email.
Since I am here in Chile, we have met a few times and we really get along. No expectations or anything, just all very relaxing. So, yeah that was this long weekend too. We slept, ate, read, talked and relaxed a lot. We played Catan with the neighbours (Daniel and his girlfriend Claudia) and went to a place called Embalse El Yeso (I will tell you later about that).
A funny thing to know is that their neighbours are like family. They share lunch and dinner together very spontaneous and just come by without telling like it is the most normal thing to do. I like that, so relax and no worries at all.
Rayuela con Terremoto
We also played a game called Rayuela and drunk Terremoto with it. Terremoto means earthquake in English and is a mix of alcohol (sort of white wine), pineapple ice cream and a very sweet/sugar full sirup. Nope, I did not like it, but I liked the game Rayuela and according to the locals I was quite good for the first time playing it. From around 7 meters you throw an iron oval “thing” as close as possible to the white line in the middle. You have two changes and play with a partner against two others. Easy as it is; the couple with their “iron oval things” as closest to the white line in the middle, win points. The ones who have as first ten points win! Belén and I ended up in the finals but lost with our heads up, because they were very good with lots of experience (just old men actually, oopsie… haha)
Another thing I told you what we did was eating. During the afternoon, they eat big, but for me, that is like big. Besides that, I stopped eating meat but every lunch there was meat. I liked it and thought why not, I just try it another time and see how my body reacts, was a bad idea people, a bad idea…
Embalse El Yeso
On Saturday morning the weather allowed us to go to Embalse El Yeso. We woke up at eight and left around 9:30. The last week it had snowed, therefore the top of the mountains was white, and they called me “the lucky woman”.
The road was quite bumpy because of the stones and in the end, it was even closed, and we needed to walk the last bit. No problem for me, I was happy about stretching my legs again after a while haha.
We arrived at the Laguna made pictures, played a bit in the snow and Daniel who has lots of knowledge about all this place explained to me about the water system.
All the water that comes from the Andes mountains goes into a big tube to Santiago. There is only like that one important thing. If you would try the water over there, it is insanely clean, but in Santiago, as I also experience it really is not! By the way, I do not drink water from the tap in Santiago. A few times per week I walk on the street as a clumsy person with every time too many water bottles to carry in my hand and let one drop once in a while.
Another thing about water. Belén told me that I should wash my hair while I am there. So, I did and really, the first eight hours I could not stop talking about the fact that my hair was so extremely soft and looked beautiful. According to my family, I touch my hair a lot to create great beachy waves with good volume, right guys haha? (yes, I know you are laughing at me now). I can tell that it would have been worse for you that day, only now my hair was just naturally perfect. All thanks to the water!
Spending the weekend at the coast with Julia
My first trip with Julia. Who is Julia are you probably wondering, because I haven’t introduced her yet either. So, Julia is one of my flatmates who I get along with very good actually. She is from Sweden and studies here in Santiago for a while. We decided to go together for the weekend to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.
We left Santiago on Saturday at around ten in the morning by bus. It took us one and a half hours to arrive in Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a harbour city and lots of neighbourhoods are located on the hills, which are called “Cerro” in Spanish. The Airbnb we booked was also on a hill and it took us some stairs to get there, but it was great! Cute and clean, and in the middle between all the graffiti. Because that is mostly for what Valparaiso is famous for, its graffiti. However, I would more call it art, because it is not just something, it is extremely beautiful.
Furthermore, I will not have a lot to talk about, besides the fact that Valparaiso is poorer than Santiago, which can be mainly seen on the streets in the centre because of the homeless people and dogs. We liked it more to stay up in the hills and wander around over there.
Because all the sightseeing is on the hills, we walked 15 kilometres on the first day; Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. Not to forget to mention the sweat… We had loads of full and because in the end, it is actually only walking around and taking pictures, there was a lot of time to get to know each other and talk about our lives. Since Julia and I live together in one house, we still mainly saw each other in the morning during breakfast and talked a bit about our days. There wasn’t really time for sensational conversations, because I needed to go to work and Julia to school. Therefore, it was even nicer to really get to know her better. She is a beautiful girl with a great personality!
Back to the beach in Vina del Mar
On Sunday morning, when we finally had our breakfast after searching for 45 minutes for a restaurant that was open, we searched for the bus to go to Vina del Mar. We took the local bus and, although it was very cheap (420 pesos = 0.50 cent), we did not really know where to get off after we had been sitting for around twenty minutes. The bus driver only stopped when the other passengers told him to stop. So, when we arrived somewhere where was “live”, we told him to stop and eventually, we made a good choice because we were there.
It felt as if I have never left the beach in Hoek van Holland. I was so happy and glad that Julia and I decided to go to the beach because after I had come home from Colombia, I did not feel very good and when I am at the beach, as you maybe know, I can always empty my head. Julia also has the connection with the sea and the beach, so after we had been walking around for thirty minutes and had taken some pictures, we decided to sit down on the beach and just look at it and be quiet. The weather was by the way amazing and pretty warm, around twenty-four degrees. Lots of Chilean people were having the same idea as us. They only took their food, drink, and towels with them.
We ended our beach day at a delicious Italian restaurant. I ate a great vegetarian Cannoli and we watched a football match between the two rivals of Chile.
Horseback riding with Santiago Exchange
Last Saturday, I went for the second time horse riding. I booked it through an organisation which is made for students that live in Santiago and want to go to parties, do trips, and/or activities. It started at 15:45, so I took the Uber and ended in the middle of nowhere surrounded by real cowboys. I must say, I liked the horse riding in Colombia more than the one I did that day. Mostly, because I changed of horse and also the second one was not really listening and following my orders. However, the view which it gave me, over Santiago, was amazing. It was the first time that I was seeing the whole city with the mountains included in the back. So beautiful, although it would have been even more without the pollution cloud. But that is the thing which you, unfortunately, get with it, when you live in Santiago.
How is everything going with me and with work?
So, as what I have said, I was not feeling that positive and happy the week after I arrived back home in Santiago from Colombia, but after that day on the beach I felt good and I was ready to start a great week again. I even decided to write my own book, as some of you probably know. I do not want to say too much, because it is just the beginning (although I have already written 17.000 words), and I do not want to spoil anything. I made up a schedule and want to finish it before I am going back to the Netherlands. In this way when I get back home, I have time to decide and look up if I have the possibility to publish it and if I, in the end, want to publish it. Although, I want to tell you, that I am already very proud of what I have written. It feels as if my fingers were just waiting for me to start because I have wanted to do this for already a long time, but I just never gave myself the time. It is a dream and a great life goal! Besides that, about my work, I am not doing a lot, because there is not a lot of work for me to do. Please, don’t tell any of my teachers from school, because I don’t think they would be very happy to hear that. I also know that I am actually there to learn, but yeah, this is how it is and I mostly fill my days with writing my book. Another way of being efficient, right?
On Thursday, I had my first Body-Tec training for twenty minutes with a personal trainer. And yes, of course, my trainer had to be very handsome and I was already red before I even did something… I will put a link to Youtube for the ones who do not know what Body-Tec is because I can understand if you don’t, over here. I liked it so much, although, I had sore muscles for the next three days, that I am going to have a class every week.
Only from that Thursday evening, I started to feel sick. Although, is feeling sick a big word. I was just a coughing seal with pain in her throat and her nose totally full. Still, I decided to go to the bar on Saturday night with the other Dutchies. Only when I woke up on Sunday morning, I felt realllyyy bad. Since that day, I actually did not do much for the rest of the week. Tomorrow I am flying to Buenos Aires, therefore, I post the blog now already, with a part of the Dutch crew. Although I am still not feeling very well, I am very excited! I will tell you about it on the next blog.
Speak to you soon! XXX