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