As far as cities go Santiago is top notch, but whenever I escape it I realise that I’m just not a city person. I like my small towns and open spaces. There’s a feeling I get when I start noticing the increase of space between buildings, the decrease in traffic lights, the amount of storeys averaging out to about one and the fact that I can see the earth, literally. It’s a feeling of pure joy and relief. This time we were heading for the coast. To a place I’d actually been before (which I said I wouldn’t do but reality gets in the way). I’ll spare you the complicated details of how plan A changed to plan D.
Plan D developed into this: Pay a friend’s family member an overpriced amount to rent his old VW combi (which we named la Bala Blanco- the White Bullet), head to the seaside town of Pichilemu for a couple of days, use the VW as a means of transport and accommodation and accept the fact that we were only three because no-one wanted to join us. We = Yannek, Jimmy and Vicky.
Due to said complications, la Bala Blanco was only ready to leave Santiago around 8pm on Saturday night. This got us to Pichilemu past midnight. We kidded ourselves for a while thinking that we’d sip on vodka drinks to the sound of the ocean when really the combination just put us to sleep. An uncomfortable night behind us, we woke up to the most glorious blue skied day. Not a hint of pollution in the air and a day ahead filled with no plans whatsoever.
Pichilemu attracts far too many tourists in the summer (a personal observation from my last visit) but this beautiful June Sunday we had the place almost completely to ourselves. To the Beach! The black sand beach! Initially a bit off-putting for me since I associate black sand with dirty sand, but don’t be misled, no pollution here. The only reason its black is because it’s volcanic- no biggie! The day was crisp with an average amount of wind. The sea far too cold to consider swimming in and yet still littered with wet-suited surfers taking advantage of winter’s big waves. I look back and consider it one of my best days so far, perfect in its imperfections.
La Bala Blanco took us about 10km’s south later that day. We followed the road that followed the river and came upon a tranquil and to say the least, visually pleasing, camping spot right on the water’s edge. You know one of those moments when you sit back and purposefully say nothing between you just to take in what an awesome moment it is? Shortly after arriving and ‘settling in’ we shared one of these moments particularly to appreciate the lack of ambient sound. This spot was better than any campsite id ever been to, free, accessible, empty (except for some sheep), and safe. The boys left me at some point around 10pm to retrieve (steal) more firewood. And what a luxury it was to be left alone in such a place, with the full moon highlighting my surroundings and the fire ever captivating, it was a magical 10 minutes.
That night we rearranged the mattress to better suit our needs. It was a bit of a squash but I managed to sleep through some A-team snoring. Two sick boys on either side of me, within a seriously close proximity makes that fact pretty impressive. It’s only a matter of time before my own sickness roles in. Especially with the lovely recycled air I’m breathing in while I sit here on the train on one of my longer commutes to work. Back to reality.