Chile · Travel

La Ballena

We are going a bit stir crazy with the lack of internet access, but there is still plenty to do around here. Between the dog’s care, the gardens, and keeping the house and AirBnB clean, our days are never empty. Santiaguenses come to the beach to get away from the heat in the city. Santiago gets very hot in the afternoons and without a/c or even fans (really, why can’t they put fans in the houses?!) life in the city can get pretty miserable. Their heat only lasts a few hours and it’s a dry heat and quite laughable compared to Houston. Generally the weather here has been warm in the afternoons and pleasant in the evenings and mornings. For the last few days the weather has gotten cloudy, cold, and windy. Although it hasn’t rained it has misted a bit. This kind of weather gets us off to a late start. We often sit around drinking our morning tea until the dogs insist that it’s time for a walk. After the walk and the morning chores we might go down to the rocks for a modified game of badminton, or a search for shells. We often have to prepare for new AirBnB guests or clean up from previous guests.

We have enjoyed running the AirBnB. It has been fun to be on this side of the door. Being a host is interesting and a great way to get to know people from all over the place. We had a few guests from Santiago that invited us to barbecue with them. They are really the only Santiaguenses that we have hung out with. The best way to get to know a country is by getting to know the people

We’re lucky here to have such different ecosystems to enjoy on our daily hikes. We have the rocky shore of course, but there are woods here too. Often we’ll take our walk in the pine and eucalyptus forest. It doesn’t seem like much of a forest from afar, but I’m partial to pines. These are not my familiar, towering, East Texas, loblolly pines. The pine trees here are much shorter due to the constant ocean breeze, there are none taller than forty feet. But they are lovely nonetheless, the wind causes these trees to take interesting forms. The trunks and branches twist and turn. They create tunnels and fortresses for the boys to explore. Some of the pines are so short they seem more like bushes than trees, but they still have the familiar pine scent, the smell of home. There is also quite a bit of Eucalyptus growing here and the eucalyptus forest smells even better than the pine. I’m sure these trees are not endemic to Chile, but I enjoy the forest anyways. The forests here are quite mysterious and intriguing. I always want to follow the trail to explore more (even though the boys are seldom as enthusiastic as me). Every time I hike it gets my brain moving and helps to clear my thoughts.

 

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