Sunday, October 18, 2009

Group blog: First trips within Chile

Emily suggested a group blog on first trips within Chile
Rather than the first five, I'll highlight some of my notable first trips ...that don't yet overlap with the other posters first trips!
I'll try to get some more pictures up as the day goes on.

One of the first places I traveled to in Chile was Quintay. Its a little old whaling town along a rocky coast. For only around 500 pesos ($1) we entered into the museum and wandered around the ruins of the old buildings. It also had one of the most gorgeous sunsets I've seen in Chile.

I've been to Maitencillo a zillion times, give or take a few, but still remember very clearly my first and second times there. My first was the weekend of the 18th of September, and I very angrily climbed into a car at about 4am, worried the driver had been drinking, and ended up on the beach of Maitencillo along with a few thousand other university aged partiers.

An hour's bus ride away from the ocean, and another 20 minute truck ride with a girl who must've been the original inspiration for the jokes about female drivers, brought me to Quillota. Its a gorgeous area inland that seemed perfect for planting all sorts of things- our host had everything from avocado to a cactus garden. Despite my trip being mostly ruined by the owner of the house promising to kill me in my sleep because I'm from the US (I slept nervously in a tent in the neighbor's front yard instead), I did come away alive and with some nice pictures of the scenery.

About an hour's bus ride from Valparaiso, Horcon is little fishing village famous for its empanadas and nudist beach. Through the workings of a guy friend I made here, he sent me off with his girlfriend and all her friends to a cabin for the weekend. As much as I really wanted to get to know some Chilean girls, I was fully thankful the second night when carloads of guys showed up the second night for a barbeque, and to break the mood. Despite many future trips, as a good friend now lives there, I have never actually been to the nudist beach.

Los Andes
I love this city. I've been to Los Andes a number of times, and absolutely love this peaceful, hot (in the summer), cute little city surrounded by mountains and campo. This was actually one of my first trips in Chile, as I took off by myself to go camping with a friend of a friend who'd I'd only talked to on the internet. It sounds quite sketchy, I know, but he picked me up as I jumped off the bus in front of a gas station outside Los Andes and we camped up in the mountains with his friends, and I got to meet some real huasos (though I couldn't hardly understand a word they said as the people who live in the mountains seem to have a rather mumbled, ungrammatical way of speaking). Again, I lived to tell the tale!

Some of the other cities I've traveled to in Chile include:
South: chiloe (4x) (ancud, castro, some other little cities on nearby islands), puerto varas, puerto montt, frutillar, villarica, pucon, temuco, valdivia
Middle: rancagua, santiago, limache, quillota, los andes, lo campo, san felipe, llay llay,
Middle coast: quintay, valparaiso, vina, concon, ventanas, pechuncavi, maitencillo, horcon, quintero, maitencillo, zapallar, cachagua, san antonio, isla negra
North: la serena, valle del elqui, san pedro, calama

My top desired trips include: Juan Fernandez, Iquique, Rappa Nui, and various wine country trips in the center inland.


Emily said...

Ok, my list of random beach towns cannot even remotely compete with yours! The empanada I had in Horcon was good, but this summer I really want to go back to Quintero where we ate the BEST empanadas...mmm, nothing like cheese and fresh seafood all fried together, haha.

Sara said...

I loved Horcon. Apparently, we had a picnic on the nude beach, but it was sort of cold and windy so there were no nudists. A little early in the season I was told.

lydia said...

Haha, Sara- actually, its possible I've been there under similar circumstances and not even realized it. I think last time I went to Horcon we went to the beach at about 4am so chances are I wouldn't have seen any nudists even if I were in the right spot!

Emily- empanadas are one of life's highlights. you're right, nothing like cheese and fresh seafood! so very tasty...
I've been lucky to have lots of little trips here and there, visiting people and attending events. Its often a shot in the dark chasing a rumor (e.g. I've been waiting over and over and over for the "dia internacional de Horcon" but it keeps getting postponed) ...but sometimes things work out and I get to wander around a new place! But usually we just go back to the same places over and over again, as I'm sure most people probably do when they find somewhere they like.

Annje said...

You have some gorgeous fotos! I love all those little beach towns. I never saw the nudists in Horcon either, but was not disappointed about that!

Mamacita Chilena said...

I loved Quintay when we went there once, just randomly driving up the coast from Algarrobo. It was so beautiful I almost convinced Seba that we needed to buy a parcela there.

Lucie said...

Ohhh reading your post makes me realize I need to do more spontaneous day trips in Chile! And god do I miss empanadas! First thing I'm going to do in Chile is get my self a nice big fried cheese and shrimp empanada!

Have you ever tried the ones at the market in Providencia on Antonio Bellet? I lived near there last time in Chile and went there just about every day to eat empanadas. Apparently they're pretty famous. And you can get baked empanadas too which I love! They fill them with so much cheese and shrimp!! Mmmmmm! Sniff...I want empanadaaaass!!!

Katie said...


and was the guy actually serious enough about killing you that you had to sleep in an actual tent?!

lydia said...

Katie- The guy was drunk, but serious enough that 5 other people felt uncomfortable enough at his place that they left to sleep in a tent with me. So who knows... he was pretty graphic about his plans.

Lucie- i dont remember specifically about that place. My favorite are by far fried though!

Annje- thanks! hahah, yeah i wasn't searching out any nudists but people always mention the beach so I am curious to whether I've been.

Kyle- If you buy a parcela in Quintay I promise to come visit often ;-)

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