And still more Chilean wine country
Trip Start Nov 05, 2006
182Trip End Jan 14, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We settled into our guest house high on the hill and met our host, Rene. Rene's guest house is not your typical hostel. Rene's house makes you feel like you are home. Upon our arrival, Rene sat us down in his kitchen and suggested an itinerary for the next three days. With a detailed written guide he sent us off on a walking tour of the city. You could spend days wandering the alleys and staring at the neighborhoods. Rene's walking tour included wine tasting stops, art galleries and recommendations for eating and drinking. Intent on making sure we enjoyed our stay, we were served local "specialty cocktails" in the evening.
We spent our evenings with the other house guests sampling different bottles of wine and enjoying a great barbecue with Rene as the chef.
Who is Pablo Neruda? I had never heard of Neruda until one of my ex-coworkers named her cat after him. She explained that he was a poet with strong political beliefs. I didn´t share her politics and naming your cat after a political poet just seemed weird, so I never bothered to look him up. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about him.
...Chilean writer and communist politician Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto. Having his works translated into dozens of languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. Neruda was accomplished in a wide variety of styles, ranging from erotically charged love poems (such as "White Hills"), surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. Some of Neruda's most beloved poems are his "Odes to Broken Things," collected in several volumes. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez has called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language". In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a controversial award because of his political activism.
So it would seem that he is a "somebody," and a communist somebody at that and we should visit his house "for the people" even if we don't really see the point in visiting a poet's house. I can understand visiting an artists house since it will probably have a collection of their work, but a poet? So we went and toured the rooms and looked at his possessions. It seemed like he was a fun person, and definitely enjoyed his cocktails in addition to being a communist poet. When he wasn´t busy trying to change the world, he did take the time to write a collection of poems called Ode to Everyday Things. Yes, in his world, there was poetry in everything. Here's an excerpt from Ode to Potato. Try to read it with William Shatner's voice in your head, and be sure to apply the Shatneresque "dramatic pause." Poetry is always better this way...
did not cradle
There in the dark,
she did not prepare
copper and submerged
or the blue severity
but rather, with her hand,
as though in a nest,
in the most tender wetness,
she deposited your balloons
Do you feel poetic now? I thought you would.