As I left Villarrica, my home for the last three months, I took my final night bus, heading north to a city called Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a famous port city just a couple of hours from Santiago. I arrived early morning and made my way to the hostel where I dropped off my bags before going out to explore the place.
I walked miles that day, enjoying the views the hilly city offered. Early evening I returned back to the hostel where I discovered I was actually the only guest staying that night. Luckily both of the girls working there were friendly and good company. I had my final night in a hostel enjoying my meal of instant noodles washed down with Demasiado Chilean wine.
It was a short stay in Valparaiso but I was pleased to have squeezed in a visit. Next day I made my way back to Santiago. I met up with Alicia, an old friend from university. Alicia and her French boyfriend Paul were very generous and I’m very grateful to them for having me to stay on my last two nights. In my last four months in South America I think I paid for two nights accommodation which goes to show how cheap you can make travelling when you need to. On my last full day in Santiago I first met up with Ania and Joao who I had met almost a year ago back in Venezuela. We had both spent a long time on the continent but our paths hadn’t crossed so it was awesome to see them on our final day. For them, the next part of their adventure was starting as they flew to New Zealand that evening. After relaxing in the sunshine we said our goodbyes and I went off to meet Nick Hill. Last time I saw him he was ‘Sir’ or ‘Mr Hill’ as he was my PE teacher at Denstone College where I went to school. Nick was now teaching and coaching rugby in Santiago and thoroughly enjoying it. It was great to catch up but when he told me it was 8 years ago I felt very old! We enjoyed a few pints before I had to leave again. I never expected to have such a busy social calendar in a city halfway across the world! I met up with Alicia again and we grabbed some food before heading back to their apartment. I have to say I admire Alicia and Paul who met in France before moving to Chile. They’re both fluent in English, Spanish and French and Alicia, being half German can also speak that!
Me, Ania and Joao
My time all too quickly came to an end. After my morning taxi to the airport I started my journey back to England with a quick stop in Madrid. I made the most of my last chance to speak Spanish and definitely felt I had one up on the majority of the English who fumbled their way through conversation. Two hours later I donned my broken waterproof, picked up my broken rucksack and began the adjustment back to reality. Well, what a year I have had. I don’t have the words to sum it up. All I can really say is a thank you to everybody I’ve been lucky enough to share an experience with. Far too many people to name here but I hope to stay in touch with you and if you’re ever in England then you know you have a place to stay! I’d also like to thank anybody who is reading this or any of my other blog posts. Thanks for putting up with my rushed words and repetitions of ‘incredible’, ‘unbelievable’ and ‘amazing’, amongst others. Your comments have helped give me the motivation to keep recording my trip.
Well now I’m back in England and after a couple of weeks catching up with friends and relaxing I’ve moved to London and started a new job. My new commute involves sharing a tube with hundreds of others which is a little different to driving a 4×4 up the side of a volcano! South America, I will be back but perhaps there’s a few other places on the list first. As for the blog, that’s it for my experiences. I will put some more info up on here soon about some of the things I’ve done, particularly the volunteering. For anyone reading, don’t be a stranger.
Thanks to everyone who has read my blog!!
Gracias a todos que han leido mi blog!!