Stepping outside of Santiago

As my time working in Santiago draws to a close (my last day of work is next Friday!) and I start to prepare for travelling around part of South America for 2 months, I realised that I’m rather behind on my blog posts.
Also, when I do start travelling the posts will probably get shorter and have more photos, which I’m sure you’ll all prefer anyway! 😉

The first place I went to outside of Santiago, several months ago now, was Algarrobo. This is a seaside town where many people from Santiago seem to have second homes, or know someone that does and it’s really popular during long weekends. The problem with Chile is that even though it is a country made up of coastline on one side, the Humboldt Current means that you’d never really want to go swimming in the sea. Even during summer the water is freezing I’ve heard. So Algarrobo is good for sunbathing, sailing and looking out onto a nice sea-scape I suppose. The first day I was there the weather was quite overcast, cloudy and grey so I wasn’t really seeing the appeal, but then the next day I awoke to beautiful sunshine streaming through the curtains! Popped out onto the balcony and the sea was a bright, sparkling blue and there was a sailing lesson going on. It was really cute actually; 1 big boat trailed by about 15 really tiny ones that made it look like a mother duck being followed by all her little ducklings.

Next up was my first (and only to date) foray into the wilderness! Cajón del Maipo is a large nature area just on the edge of Santiago. One Saturday I woke up super early, dragged myself to the bus stop, and a friend and I went hiking for about 6 hours there. Now before this the last time I had been hiking I was back in Réunion, so it was a huge change. Réunion was hot and humid but also really verdant, lush and green with waterfalls everywhere. The part of the Cajón that we went to was really dusty and dry and orange-y. Still really beautiful, but very different. We started off in a valley and then hiked up and up and up for several hours until we stopped by a little pool to admire the view and appreciate all the hard work we’d done. We were of course accompanied by a dirty stray dog that liked to pretend he’d run away only for him to come bounding between our legs all covered in dust. Also, at the pool he decided to cool himself off by taking a dip and then shaking off all the water right next to us! (Another reason why I prefer cats).
It feels like ages ago since I went to Cajón del Maipo and I remember promising myself that I’d go back and I’d go hiking every weekend! I’m not sure what happened to that resolution…I guess I forgot, woops!



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