Warning: mysql_query(): Unable to save result set in /home/curiou27/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1879
Curious Lines chile - Curious Lines
PhotoBlog

chile

Viewing posts tagged chile

Warning: mysql_query(): Unable to save result set in /home/curiou27/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1879
class="post-5140 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry" id="post-5140">

Surfing in Arica, Chile

First of all, thank you to those who shared my previous posts on Bolivia as it did bring some new visitors to the site. I’m always happy to share photos with more people 🙂 For now I’ll take a little pause from Bolivia (I will get back to it with more). This one is from northern Chile. An alternative title to this could be “the dumb luck”. I arrived late to Antofagasta without a particular plan. The city wasn’t of particular interest to me and I wasn’t in the most energetic state to look for a bed in the middle of the night. Instead I went to the bus terminal to see what’s out there at night that goes along the coast. The bus to Arica presented itself with perfect timing.

Isla del Alacrán. Competitors surfed “Ole el Buey” and “Ola el Gringo” on the southern side (left of the picture)

Shortly upon arrival I overheard that there is a surfing championship taking place. I’ve rushed towards the southern part of the city to la península del Alacrán (or isla del Alacrán) where the better surfers ride the waves. I’ve only managed to catch the preliminaries of the event, which were still massively entertaining. Even more so given that none of this was planned and I stumbled upon all the fun thanks to some dumb luck.

My exposure to surfing doesn’t go beyond the occasional trips to gorgeous Tofino in British Columbia. Generally speaking, I don’t have a lot of experience with board sports beyond snowboarding. Looking at surfing with that reference point makes it an interestingly unique sport. What I find special is the dynamism and the fundamental need to respond to your environment. Mountains do vary and the conditions do change from day to day, from hour to hour. While it takes a lot of experience to be able to read the mountain and keep safe, the response to your environment is not as dynamic. Sure every part of the mountain presents a different obstacle and that’s part of the charm but in the moment the mountain is static (unless you get hit by an avalanche or something). This is not to say snowboarding isn’t dynamic (that would be wrong to say), different dynamism would maybe be a fairer description. Both sports present a rousing combination of patience and energy. Trying to read a wave is a challenge for me, it dictates the setting and prompts you to respond that very moment. It may not mean much coming from me, given how bad of a surfer I am. And surely reading waves becomes second nature to those who practice but I imagine the thrill of responding to them would still remain for many.

Surfing in AricaWatching the pros in real life has turned out to be a special experience. It’s an addicting environment and even in these cold rocky waters it’s easy to see how one can get sucked into this lifestyle. Waves in this particular spot break onto rocks which keeps beginners out of the waters. I thought they were large enough to keep a saneperson out. A week later towards the middle of the country I’ve met a guy from Arica. I showed him these photos and he partially unimpressed by the size of the waves replied that these aren’t all that special; that at times things get even more violent. He mentioned an incident a few years back when a brazilian surfer got sucked onto these rocks and seriously injured his head.

P.S. To end on a positive, I’ve come across this visually stunning surfing video that might be fitting with the post.

Surfing in Arica6

Surfing in Arica5 Surfing in Arica7 Surfing in Arica8

Surfing in Arica2 Surfing in Arica3

Warning: mysql_query(): Unable to save result set in /home/curiou27/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1879
class="post-5107 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry" id="post-5107">

La Sebastiana – Neruda

La sebastiana
Pablo Neruda is Chile’s second Nobel laureate in literature. This is a view from his bedroom and office windows in his house in Valparaiso (1 of his 3 houses in Chile). Neruda had a habit of naming his furniture as well as his houses. This one’s called La SebastianaHe described it as a “toy house” in a city that is “secretive, sinuous, winding”,  “twitches like a wounded whale” and where “eccentric lives” played out as an “inseparable part of the heart-breaking life of the port”.  Neruda dedicated a poem to this house and claimed that it gave him a unique perspective into the city, that the privileged view allowed him to see things others couldn’t. For example, he used to tell his friends that everyday at 9pm sharp in the blue house by the green one (don’t remember the actual description) a beautiful woman showed up in her bedroom, completely naked. No matter how hard his friends tried to find the house with the woman nobody ever did.

I was genuinely impressed with Valparaiso and was left with something I did not expect to find, likely because I knew nothing about the city in the first place. Neruda wrote  “If we walk up and down Valparaiso’s stairs we will have made a trip around the world.”, though the times have changed there are little subtleties around the city that make it hard to disagree with him. But more on that later….

La sebastiana 2

 

Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile

“Querida viejita: Qué es lo que se pierde al cruzar una frontera?

Cada momento parece partido en dos. Melancolía por lo que queda atrás y, por otro lado, todo el entusiasmo por entrar en tierras nuevas.”

Che wrote these words as he crossed the border into Chile from Argentina across this very mountain range (a bit south from Santiago) in 1952. It was his first border crossing on the famous motorcycle trip, I find these words to be true for many of my own border crossings. Santiago is my first city in the Americas south of Mexico, leaving me packed with plenty of enthusiasm. I had a burning desire to move here for school when I was 19-20 but it never came to be, I went to Europe instead. Years later I’ve finally made it and the first thing to spark my curiosity (entusiasmo por entrar) is the massive cordillera, steep and imposing. For the most part I grew up in a city by the mountains, so I’m no stranger to mountain views. However, mountains this massive next to a city this large is something special. Santiago, with its population of over 5 million is located in a valley surrounded by mountains trapping the pollution inside, making it one of the most polluted cities in South America. You can see the smog permanently hovering above the city. Yet the mountains tower above that too. 

%d bloggers like this: