January 19, 2012: Duraznos de Chile

My last full day in Chile. How time flies; que extraño.

My mattress dogs were there this morning to say goodbye. Can you spot them both?

I woke up in mid-morning, called E., and then strolled down the hill to meet her for a final lunch at our dear Emporio La Rosa. I ordered my jamón con palta sandwich (ham and avocado) with a café con leche, while E. had her usual gigantic beef salad of joy. I meant to take a picture of the sandwich, but then it was too appetizing and I’d eaten half of it by the time I remembered. We had cheerful, interesting conversation, and then another round of invitations to come visit each other’s home countries, and last goodbyes.

Once I had parted from E., I took some time to wander around el centro de Valparaíso a little. I mentioned before that the mercado had disappeared; it has since been resurrected as a slightly different mercado with many of the same vendors, but with only one row of stalls instead of two. I spent some time talking to a vendor-woman from whom I’d bought something at the very beginning of my trip, who remembered me and said hello.

Dog sleeping beside the mercado-in-construction.

It was a lovely afternoon. The sky was a pure, cloudy white, so it was warm but with lessened risk of sunburn. The seagulls were out in abundance, flying over my head and chatting loudly with each other. There was a very soft ocean breeze.

I walked back up my hill, instead of taking a colectivo, attempting to memorize all the city’s details and sights. I do wonder if I’ll ever be back, and if so, whether it will be like returning home, or like stumbling into a brand-new, altered city.

When I got back to V.’s, she mentioned she had some extra duraznos (peaches) and told me to eat some if I wanted. I zipped to the kitchen and took full, delicious advantage of the durazno-surplus. As long as I’ll soon be heading back to wintertime, I may as well!

In the evening, I finished my customs-list-of-stuff-I-bought, and then did most of my packing, wrapping my delicate new items in clean clothes. I very much hope that it all survives intact. I decided to use my tote bag as a carry-on, as it can actually fit my laptop and a few other things, instead of buying a new backpack. My room looks so much barer now that I’m nearly packed, and that feels really weird. I will finish the rest of the packing tomorrow, since my flight doesn’t leave until evening. I will be in transit for a full 24 hours; the next time you hear from me, I’ll likely be deposited back in the U.S.

5 thoughts on “January 19, 2012: Duraznos de Chile

  1. Please let me know when you are safely on U.S. soil again–when you have recovered from travels, that is. Look at me–“responding”!! Wuv, Gr.

  2. Hello, loveen. It must be very sad for you to say goodbye to a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a never-to-be-forgotten chapter of your story. How wonderful that you’ve done this.

    Don’t be sad. If you want to, you will find a way to go back. But if you do, it’ll be a different place.

    I hope your trip is going swimmingly—no, wait. That would not be good. Fly gracefully.

  3. I’ll miss the writing and the nature pictures and the cultural notes, but [turning to a mattress dog and cradling its extended face in her hands], I think I’ll miss you most of all.

    There’s no place like home.

  4. Byyyyeeee Chile! Yes, you’ll find a way to get back if you want to. This post was so quiet and mournful. I’m so proud of you-did you know? Hope you’re adjusting okay back here on our boring old mattress-dog-less, non-jamon-con-palta sandwich-having soil.

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