How to stay young....

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South America » Chile » O Higgins » Pichilemu
March 10th 2018
Published: March 18th 2018
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And so somehow we came to find ourselves in Pichilemu, the surfing capital of Chile, on the Pacific coast. Not the most obvious place for us to be as the last time we had attempted to surf (11 years ago) we had agreed that there was nothing wrong with being unable to do something.

One of the many things I love about Pete is his indefatigable optimism. What had been impossible 11 years ago could very likely have become possible in the intervening years, with the additional wisdom and agility gained in the intervening time..... And as I dropped him at surf school and headed out to enjoy the sunshine and the fishing boats, I knew he would be a star....

(Pete; actually I’ve improved immensely from 2 seconds standing up to a full five seconds by my (usually conservative) reckoning.)

I returned a couple of hours later to do my best to look like a surfer babe awaiting my surfer dude’s exit from the sea and also to take a few pictures. It wasn’t easy to make out who was who but I think these ones are both Pete.

I had a lovely couple of hours watching the fishing board being dragged up the beach to be welcomed by the local ladies all vying with each other to buy the best of the catch. The chosen fish were than taken to the gutting and filleting tables where the gutters took literally seconds to do their work. All fascinating stuff and after a hilarious and stilted chat with them I was pleased that they allowed me to take a couple of photos of them doing their work.

We have heard that one of the ways of avoiding becoming “an old person ” is to maintain your flexibility both physically and mentally. Hence the surfing I guess. We still have to become expert at the lotus position but mental flexibility is becoming an art form for us at the moment as we have changed our plan for the last few weeks of our adventure about 4 times so far. Patagonia was a brilliant place but we knew that when January and February were over, it would get a bit cold and that's how we came to fly north to Santiago. Our plan was to fly further north to San Pedro but when we arrived in Santiago it was so hot that we realised we had overcooked the biscuit and there was no way we could cope further north. That’s how we ended up going north from Patagonia to Santiago then south to San Fernando and Santa Cruz and then west to Pichilemu.

So then we decided to venture slightly north from Santiago to La Serena and hire a car to be able to access all the beautiful areas round there. That was before the day of the hire-car and the one-way streets and the unpaved roads. So as I sit writing this blog we are back on the bus, heading to La Serena where we will catch another bus east to a hippie valley where they believe that the star of Aquarius has moved to make this valley (I’m not fibbing, it’s called the Elqui valley if you want to look it up) the magnetic centre of the universe. Apart from that it is apparently a beautiful rural valley where there are no one-way roads, they rent out bicycles and they are also near the pisco distilleries. Hopefully perfect for us and not too hot. Also the very dark sky means there are lots stars and lots of telescopes.

So we are agreed (for the moment) not to venture north of a line roughly between Santiago in Chile and Buenos Aires in Argentina which believe me is far enough north at the present time. We still plan a quick bunk north to Iguazzu just before we return home but who knows how we will manage that.

But the changes in our plans meant that we had to risk the perils of Santiago bus station once more. We again took no chances and when Pete swanned off to the loo (how could he?) leaving Jan in charge of all our worldly goods (except the ones that were secreted about Pete’s person in the usual overdramatic way) she made a barricade of rucksacks between herself and the general public, had a cup of hot coffee ready to throw at a anyone who was daft enough to come near her, and her Swiss army pen-knife ready to finish them off. Santiago bus station was a much safer place for everyone once we had safely got on our bus and left......


18th March 2018

Loving it.
Love your blogs, am in awe of your sense of adventure. Have more fun. X
23rd March 2018

I'm so glad you've made it to the Elqui Valley!
Hi Jan and Pete, I stayed in Vicuna for 4 days when I was in Chile and had a marvellous time there. I hope you've found the bike rental place in Vicuna. What a lovely couple who run it and the various bike rides are great. If you're still there please give them my best!! Also, if you're still in the area, it's well worth taking the bus from La Serena about 2 hours north to see more penguins (only Humboldt ones this time) and sea lions fairly close up. The bus ride is part of the allure of this trip. Hugs to you both, Anne
23rd March 2018

Yes we biked!
How lovely that you were in Vicuna! Yes we did the downhill ride from the top and the one round the area. Both great as you say. Sorry we have already left or I would love to have passed your regards to Lincoln and his wife. they were both great weren't they? Camping in Pisco Elqui currently and sadly no time for pinguinis. Almost coming home the time has gone so fast! Lookforward to sharing "we love Chile" times. When are you off on your celebratory trip?
23rd March 2018

We love Chile!!
What marvelous memories it brings back to hear that you're in Pisco Elqui. I too look forward to sharing our Chile stories. We're not off to Peru until mid-July so there will be plenty of time to catch up when you're back. Enjoy your last few weeks!! XX

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