Chile: The Vibe of Santiago and Valparaiso (Feb 5 to 11, 2015)

How did I spend 7 days in Santiago? Well, for the first day, I continued living la pura vida, Costa Rica style, and just chilled. After a long day of travel to Santiago via Panama, I arrived at my hostel at 1:30am only to find it without windows or charm. So, after breakfast, I used the spotty wifi to find a new hostel and made the short walk to a new hostel full of windows, charm, and lots of shaded chill space (Happy House Hostel). Now settled in my new Santiago home, I enjoyed the vibe for the day, chilled, stocked up on some groceries and chatted with some new friends.

Refreshed, I spent the rest of the week exploring Santiago: a wonderful art museum, gorgeous city parks and plazas, a few churches, a few bars, and lots of people watching. I also did a fun day hike to the Glacier San Francisco (about 2 hours SE of Santiago) with a fun brother & sister duo from New Zealand (their sibling interaction was very much like mine and Jabal’s) and enjoyed good wine, food, and company at the hostel with fun peeps from France (a documentary film maker) and Canada (a feed corn scientist). And on the day before leaving, I explored the lovely, coastal city of Valparaiso with my new Canadian friend.

Santiago is a lovely, modern, clean city with a welcoming charm but what stood out the most about this city, and Valparaiso, was the amazing street art, both the quality and the quantity. I was told that street art is a form of communication between residents of many Latin American cities, particularly as a way to transmit political views and allegiances. This is not unlike other cities, but what is different from US cities at least, is that street art is legal and encouraged in various forms including murals (as pictured below) and what we would call graffiti. For me, the charm and vibe of both cities is defined by the amazing, colorful, soulful, playful street art. Enjoy!

tmp_15679-IMGP02791647732237

tmp_15679-IMGP0319985480365

tmp_15679-IMGP02271530606465

tmp_15679-IMGP022849209199

tmp_15679-IMGP0226-1820240760

tmp_15679-IMGP0276~21803983467

tmp_24515-IMGP02031593463763

tmp_24515-IMGP0216-1841075427

tmp_24515-IMGP0219396478038

tmp_15679-IMGP0262-1841075427

tmp_15679-IMGP0253927534841

tmp_15679-IMGP0259396478038

tmp_15679-IMGP0256~21390528255

tmp_15679-IMGP0282-817048265

tmp_15679-IMGP0287~2-1994322850

tmp_15679-IMGP0305-77625675

tmp_15679-IMGP03001166800327

tmp_15679-IMGP0364-389785832

tmp_15679-IMGP03602047258710

tmp_15679-IMGP0354-811914937

tmp_15679-IMGP0371-583288622

tmp_15679-IMGP0369626472706

tmp_15679-IMGP0335-87922182

tmp_15679-IMGP03741334208525

tmp_15679-IMGP0359-173909081

tmp_15679-IMGP03731420877432

tmp_15679-IMGP0384782788596

tmp_15679-IMGP0351-496461858

tmp_15679-IMGP0344-1910704820

tmp_15679-IMGP0353-1598839093

tmp_15679-IMGP0338-1190212960

Travel notes: can take bus to/from airport (about $3 RT); recommend Happy House Hostel; tap water in Santiago is good (no treatment needed)

Advertisements

Costa Rica: Living la Pura Vida in Playa Grande (Jan 28 to Feb 5, 2015)

How did I spend 8 days with Steve in Playa Grande, Costa Rica? Walking the beach, watching pelicans and terns soar over the waves, searching for shells, exploring tidepools, playing in the surf, searching for tracks of nesting leatherback turtles, drinking fruity cocktails and local beer, eating delicious food, including lots of local seafood, meeting Steve’s wonderful friends who are both locals and expats, taking siestas in the heat of the day, enjoying fabulous sunsets….in short, embracing la pura vida. Which after all the packing and planning I did in the weeks before leaving the US, was exactly what I needed! Some of you know that sitting still is tough for me but here, it was easy, likely due to the company and the amazing location. Steve’s place is beautiful and very close to the beach. Check it out! http://www.apartamentosveranera.com

If you get the chance, visit Playa Grande and live la pura vida!

tmp_28252-image-577524807

stmp_28252-image-370301802

tmp_21894-image-647621311

tmp_21894-image1070298803

tmp_28252-image-82703463

tmp_28252-image-196068380

tmp_28252-image-647621311

tmp_28252-image-727687342

tmp_28252-image1070298803

tmp_28252-image1985656814

tmp_28252-image-95719444