Just have a little faith

Trip Start Jul 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 14, 2010

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Flag of Chile  , Valparaíso,
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Well this weekend I had some time to take advantage of things that are either within Vina del Mar or literally the next town over.  I know it is better to take advantage of time and opportunities while you have them because there are no guarantees that the 'optimum' time will come. I decided to put my homework aside for the time being and see the National Botanical Gardens, the dunes and the city of Concon. I am glad that I did...

The National Botanical Gardens:

 On Friday afternoon I decided that I wanted to see the National Botanical Gardens because I had been hearing so much about it. So I had managed to get a group of friends together and make a day trip out of it. Since everyone lived in different areas of the city we had to meet at one of the metro(subway) and then go from there. It was really easy to get there even with going out of my way a little bit, I did not realize how close this opportunity was. Anyways, we took a micro(bus) from the subway station and were drooped off at a bridge and were told to cross the other side and then we would find it, and we did. As soon as we crossed the bridge, I could see the scenery change and feel the temperature drop a little.

We walked through the front gate and it felt like I was beginning to walk through a series of Thomas Kinkade's photos. The air smelt so sweet and maybe for the first time I could tell what flowers tasted like. It seemed to me that the outside noise hit an invisible barrier and couldn't break through it. All I could hear was the birds chirping, I know that was so cheesy but its the only way I could describe it, or better yet I will let the photos speak for themselves. At first we were wondering how we were going to pass the time before the park/garden closed but the time passed by itself just fine, and way to fast I may add. This place is only a 20 minute micro ride away and I definitely plan to go back again.

The Dunes:

With the directions from several of my friends through my study abroad program I thought I would make it my way to the dunes and everyone I went to the gardens with yesterday wanted to join. So, we just took my friend's word for it and went on a micro that said 'Ositos' and we sure enough ended up at the dunes. They were not hard to miss. People told me that they were a good place to walk around and see more of the coast but no one told me that you could go sand surfing/sledding.

When my friend Iraimi saw the side station to rend boards to ride down the dunes she ran over there so fast it was obvious we were going to use them. We payed 1$ to use them for a half an hour, I chose to use a sit down sled because the dunes were so high up. They were so steep it took me half the time to walk up them.  I felt like I was in a desert for a moment, even though the ocean was on the other side of the mound of sand I had to climb, just because my foot sank in the sand with every step, talk about a workout! Once I made it to the top I had to take a minute to sit down and first take a deep breath but then just soak in the view. If I looked straight ahead all I could see was the ocean and if I looked down the dunes overlapped into themselves.

Since I didn't have a lot of time left, I had to snap out of my trance and get sledding! It turned more into my going fast for a few seconds, getting scared, turning off my sled, then laughing at myself. After my short-burst of adrenaline it was time for us to turn in our sleds. With our ears, eyes, mouth and hair full of sand(thanks to the wind) we went onto Concon.


Along side the dunes was a street with one lane going in one direction and one lane going the other. This made it very easy to get to Concon. All it took was for us to do was cross the street and wait for a micro to pass by. Before we went to Concon, I was told "Las Delicias"(the delights in a literal translation)  was a very good place to eat and let me tell you the empenadas were very delightful. But before we ate we saw a group of people with about twenty five horses tied up on the beach. We just looked at each other and said, nooo way! We weren't sure if we could ride them but thought it was worth a shot to ask. It turns out we could ride them, it was a business set up for people to come and ride horses on the beach, and so we did!!! We just payed five bucks and were free to take a horse and trot around the beach, they didn't have a guide come with us, but that being said we could only stay in a certain area(half a mile or so) and the horses were really well-behaved and trained. While I was riding I realized the last time I was on a horse was during my FYJ trip to Baja my freshman year at Redlands. This time I was in Chile as a junior, where did the time go?

*I wasn't able to get pictures because my camera was not working but as soon as I get them from my friend I will put them up. That being said, when I got home I was trying to get my camera to work and trying things I could see progress but still no dice. Then I went to ask my host dad what I should do and he told me to leave it out for a day or two just in case there is moisture that needs to dry out.  And then he said, "just have a little faith"(but of coarse in Spanish) and went on his way.  I couldn't agree with him more. If somehow my camera has to rest in peace I am not in the middle of nowhere, I can always get another(but I hope I can still avoid this all together if possible.) After he left I just thought to myself that this is so simple but yet one of the hardest things to do. A little faith can go a long ways.....

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Mamacita on

What a great day!!Riding,sledding and beautiful sights!!I liked your comparison to Thomas Kincaid. Love the artist and love the girl!!You're missed!!

Robbin Ward on

I just got onto your blog (I've been following Amanda's quite closely. I spent the New Year in 2000 in Renaca! I can tell you that it is a beach like one in So. Cal. Enjoy that. Take any trip that the school offers! I hope you can get to the south b/c it is really pretty. Take care and have lots of fun. Oh a study hard also!

amandajoy on

Sister I WANT TO DO THAT! All of that! That looks like fun! And now every time I read your blog, I look forward to seeing you in just THREE SHORT WEEKS! I love you sister!

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