Monday, May 04, 2009

La Serena, Vicuña y Valle de Elqui

I was fortunate enough to travel again this past weekend. I traveled with two girlfriends, Cali and Elizabeth and we traveled north up the coast. It was fun to be on an adventure and fun to explore! We learned a lot in these three short days of traveling.

We left friday morning at 8:00am and were on the bus alll day until about 5:0opm when we got into La Serena. We checked into a cute little hostel, with a really quaint family feel. We explored the town a little bit, found some really cool art shops and then had a nice dinner in town. We also got ice cream after which always makes for a great day. The town was pretty upscale, but the buildings were very old, which was a really nice feel.



Saturday morning we explore La Serena a bit more, and then took a 2 o clock bus to Vicuña, which was a fairly small town, which felt very much in the countryside. Everything was just a little smaller and a little slower there. We really liked the feel of it though, the people were very friendly and we were surrounded everywhere by mountains. We checked into another hostel, which was a house owned by an older german woman. She was so friendly! No one else was staying there so the three of us girls got reign over the kitchen, the living room and our really comfy room and bathroom. We explored the town a bit and visited the museum of Gabriela Mistral (famous chilean poet) For dinner, made a delicious stir fry (which we bought all of the ingredients for 3 dollars since it was all vegetables and we were in farmlands) then Saturday night we went to an Astronomers Observatory. This was rated one of the 6 best places in the WORLD to view stars, given the caliber of the telescope and clarity of the sky. It was an incredible experience! We were up in the middle of nowhere for about 2 hours which just 6 other people and two guides who knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. The coolest thing was seeing the moon up close through the telescope. i REALLY liked that part. We learned so much in that short 2 hour period!


Sunday morning we got up and ate a delicious meal served by our Germany hostel lady, then we took a bus into Valle de Elqui... the bus ride in was incredible, passing the greenest vineyards surrounded by the mountains and the bluest sky. We took a tour of a pisco vineyard (pisco is a type of alcohol that is typical to chile and peru and is made from the fermentation of grapes) The tour was really interesting and gave us some free taste testing and then an entire pisco sour at the end. We took all of our tours in spanish, and it was a really great way to practice. it was also cool that we were learning so much in a hands-on way. I really enjoyed my time there. After the tour, we took a little lunch break where we are out picnic we had packed for ourselves (sandwhiches with fresh avocado, tomato and cheese - again purchased lunch for under 3 dollars in TOTAL) Then we embarked on about a 1.5 mile walk through the Valley into another small town, Monte Grande. This walk was so gorgeous and filled with natural beauty. In Monte Grande we viewed Gabriel Mistrals house and then took a bus back to get our stuff in Vicuña, ate another delicious dinner with some friend we met in the hostel, and took the bus back to La Serena.



Unfortunately, the trip ended a little bit on a bad note. We thought we had tickets for the middle of the night 1am on sunday night or monday morning, but we had been confused and the tickets were actually for Sunday morning at 1 am, meaning saturday night... so we were stuck in the bus terminal without a way back. We waited another 2 hours, until 3 in the morning where we boarded a bus back to Santiago, (because none were going to our place) and then took a 2 hour bus back to Viña del mar. Needless to say I am very tired today!

But all in all it was a great trip! Pretty relaxed but also a ton of fun. Cali and Elizabeth were really good travel partners who stayed upbeat the whole time and always seemed interested in doing the same things i was interested in doing! Overall it was a great experience! I feel so lucky to be out and seeing the world!!

Sending Adventures your way,

Nessagirl.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, another wonderful adventure!!! I look forward to seeing the rest of the pictures. Your dad is in Denver this week for meetings. He is going to be amazed when he sees that picture of the moon!!!
Take Care
Sherry

Anonymous said...

Nessagirl,

Another great adventure. I am so happy you are getting these experences. I encourage you to keep exploring every chance you get. I only wish I were there to share the fun.

Love you Bubba!

Dad

Anonymous said...

Ness,
It is so nice to have a better perspective of your life in Chile after having visited you.
You seem to have really found yourself in South America. I so enjoyed your wonderful friends too, especially Calle!!
Sorry about making you intepret so much, especially about the all the financial stuff. There were times when you looked at me like, "there is no way I am going to be able to explain that" and then, you did.
I am so proud of you and impressed with your Spanish.
I also very much enjoyed meeting Rosanna and Valentini--hope she has enjoyed her New York Sweatshirt.
Miss you like crazy, but am grateful for your experience to follow your dreams.
Have tried to skype you several times and have not been able to connect.
I am in AZ for a top advisor conference until Sunday.
Love from your mom

p.s.
I put the alpaca blankets and pillows on your cream bench in your room and it looks fantastic.

Steve said...

Hi
I was looking at google earth and see where you went. Quite a tour ...especially with the bus detour to Santiago. It seems that the Devil is always in the details. Anyway be safe and have a good week.
Don't you love BLOGWARS??!!
SEE
Ps I enjoyed parts of my trip there to visit too..