Happy Travel Tuesday!
Can you believe we’re already at the end of my travels to Chile?…actually maybe you do, this has been going on forever ha!
The last time I was in Chile, that I felt the warm sun, that I celebrated Christmas and New Year with that side of my family, that I saw my grandmother, was already 5 years ago. I can’t believe it – time flies! It’s definitely a goal of mine to head back in the next few years, and bring the Brit along to see my family and to experience South America for the first time! Fingers crossed!
During my last year at uni, I took about 5 weeks of the Christmas break (and a little off my semester too…oops) to head out to Chile. It was the first time I was heading there by myself! It was absolutely exciting!
When I arrived, there were obviously reunion with family members in Santiago, I was paraded around and was so happy to be seeing everyone else for the first time in such a long while. If you remember the last time I was there I was just a teenager and I was now aged 21. You really notice how much people change in 5 years!
Before long, with my grandmother, we headed down to my dad’s hometown. I was taking a creative writing class during my last year at uni so I spent most of my mornings walking around, getting to know this little town and enjoying the sun of the early morning.
As with every other trip, I also tagged along on a trip to the seaside with my grandmother and her elderly friends. They were so cute, they were all grandmothers and took me under their wings. I was suffering from deep homesickness at that point of the trip and they were all cheering me on that I was one of a kind to spend my holidays with my grandmother and family instead of partying it up somewhere (though to be honest I was never one to party it up during my holidays).
Finally, just after Christmas, we went down to Valdivia to visit some more of my family. It was lovely to actually get to see the town.
A few days later, we were already on our way up back to the capital where we spent a few days before heading out to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso for the New Year’s celebrations. We visited the very steep hills of the two towns and they are truly some of my favourite places to visit in Chile!
We celebrated New Year’s Eve chanting in the streets with what seemed like the entire population of the city and New Year’s day was spent at the beach our hair still smelling of champagne.
Back in Santiago, I visited two very different and yet interesting places. First, I visited Villa Grimaldi, one of the camps used for ‘interrogation’ and torture during the dictatorship of 17 years in Chile. I was extremely shocked and touched by the visit. It’s too easy to forget the horrors that have happened there not so long ago.
I however, ended my visit on a high with a tour of La Chascona, one of Pablo Neruda’s many houses/museums around the country. It was an adventure that deserves a post of its own!
And finally it was already time to say goodbye after 5 short weeks! Goodbyes with family abroad is always the worst. This also marked the last time I saw my grandmother as she passed away a few months later. Thankfully these memories and photos will stay with me forever!
Ever spent New Year’s on the beach?xx