Ahhh...the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean, the feel of my tingling skin after having a siesta on the sand under the sun...I’m at the beach and loving every second! Well, maybe not every second. Last night was a little bit creepy, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Right now I’m sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee, gazing out into the ocean and about to finish reading “Turn of the Screw” for our bookclub meeting on Wednesay. I am sitting in absolute solitude. There is nobody else around. During the week in the winter, not many people come to the beach and so the only people I have seen in this resort complex so far have been the occasional gardener. What a drastic change it is here compared to the busy life in Santiago where you’re constantly walking and talking with people or pushing and shoving them.
My lungs are so grateful that I’m finally taking a break from the Santiago smog and breathing this delicious clear air. The air here is so pure, your body literally goes dumb from breathing it in all day. Here I tend to sleep a ridiculous of amount of time and I just can’t seem to exercise! Every time I try, I can’t run or do nearly as much exercise as I can when I’m back in Santiago. I’m sure it’s because of the air and the process of detoxification while transitioning into a state of pure clean bliss and relaxation.
The plan was to come to the beach on Friday after E finished work but then I forgot I had two free tickets to Inti Illimani given to me from work and since they are one of my absolute favourite groups, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I have actually been waiting to go to one of their concerts ever since the first time I saw them a couple years ago! They are truly amazing. If anyone has not seen them yet, please go! However, make sure you go to the group entitled “Inti Illimani”. There is also a group called “Inti Illimani Historical” (or something along those lines) which is actually a different group. The former is the better of the two in my opinion because they incorporate new talent and instruments into their group and so their music is such a dynamic mix of sound and energy and they get better and better every time. The latter group is a branch off the original group who refuse to change and keep to the same style as all their original songs. I’m not exactly sure on the history but years ago, the original “Inti Illimani” group split up because half of the musicians wanted change and wanted to re-vamp their music a bit by adding in some new members and new ways of doing things while the other half wanted nothing to do with the idea and so the group split.
Like I said, I’ve seen both groups play but the group entitled “Inti Illimani” is just so much better because their music is always evolving and getting better and they always find new ways to incorporate unique sounds and instrumentals. Their music has such power and it captivates me every time. This group holds a firm place in Chilean history and it’s original members were forced to flee the country during the dictatorship because of their leftist ideals. Many of their songs speak of things like revolutions and communism. There is one song entitled, “El Pueblo Unido” (I think that’s right) that is heavily geared towards the lefties and during the chorus, everyone raises their left fist and together in unison pumps it up to the rhythm of the music while singing the chorus...the effect is powerful. Many of their songs contain such meaningful words and you can hear and feel the oppression, determination, and emotion in their voices as they sing. Their music is so lively and energetic and when they add their voices to the mix, it is absolutely spellbinding. In both my times seeing this group in I was fixed in an unbreakable trance until the concert was over. In both concerts, nobody in the audience could stay in their seats for long and before we knew it, everybody was up and dancing, even though on Friday night we happen to be in a theatre! When the group was finally going to take their leave, it took them 4 more songs to satisfy the audience before they could go and even then, the audience was cheering and yelling for more! I left that concert with the same feelings and emotions I had when I saw them for the first time: awe and a deeper connection and understanding of Chile, its history, and the incredible musicians it moulded. You must go see this group!
Anyway, back to the beach...We got back from the concert late and we were both exhausted so we thought it was best to spend the night in Santiago as opposed to braving the 2 hour drive half asleep. Saturday first thing we went to the supermarket and feria and then hit the road. Saturday was spent being lazy and taking a nice long siesta after lunch followed by a walk on the beach where E and I decided to be creative and take some pretty pictures with the camera. That evening we went to our favourite empanada place, which just so happens to be the best empanada place ever. It’s an adorable, rustic little place right on the beach with sand for the floor, candles in paper bags on the tables, and cute little lanterns hanging all over the place. Then we went to our favourite little pastellaria (bakery) to buy some homemade goodies for dessert so we could have something to munch on while we watched, “El Secreto en Sus Ojos”, an Argentine film which turned out to be pretty good!
I don’t even remember what we did Sunday in part because we slept for most of the day and it just went by so fast. The day consisted of some blend of walking on the beach, going to the cute little village just a kilometre or two up the beach, and lounging around. I attempted to go out for a run at some point, but as I’ve mentioned, doing any kind of exercise here is almost impossible and I failed miserably after about 20 minutes.
On Monday morning, bright and early, I went to drop off E just a few beaches down from here where his work was meeting for a two day retreat. This meant I had all of Monday and Tuesday to myself. Monday was glorious! I read all morning, took a walk on the beach, and then took a siesta on the beach. Though the sun was shining, it was still a bit chilly but with my two sweaters and the sun beating down, it was perfect. I even managed to get a bit of a tan/burn on my face! Then I read the rest of the afternoon away and watched a movie. Sigh...such a relaxing day!
Once it started getting dark, I started realizing just how lonely it really was here. As I looked around, I noticed that not a single other person was here at the resort. This resort complex is made up of about 60 apartments strung together in a half moon shape facing the ocean so I can see all of them. It's also very isolated. There are only 3 apartment/resort complexes in this area which are surrounded by a forest on one side and a desolate and empty beach on the other. The actual village is a couple kilometres away and you have to walk down the long empty stretch of beach to get there. Because of these facts, one feels completely isolated in this little corner of the beach. When I noticed that there was not a single other car in the parking lot and not a single other light on in the resort complex, I started remembering a flood of horror movies that took place in exactly this type of setting and of a sudden, my fantastic, relaxing, beach holiday had turned into a creepy horror movie setting! There was even a light mist slowly creeping in off the ocean and everything was so quiet...even the waves appeared to have settled down so I couldn’t hear them as loudly as I usually do. Ahhhhh!!! Then of course my mind started playing tricks on me and I thought I heard someone knocking at my door every so often as well as some freaky noises coming out from the dark abyss that had once been my beautiful view of the ocean. All night these terrifying yet ridiculous scenarios started running through my mind like, what if there was maniac hiding in the forest who noticed that I was all alone and the only one here and wanted to come break in and kill me?! Ahhh! I don’t know how I finally managed to get to sleep last night...I suppose downing half a bottle of wine had something to do with it, but thank-god I finally managed to get some rest. At one point I thought I would have been up all night freaking myself out. Yes, I’m a big baby. But seriously, if you had been here you would have understood!
But alas, I made it through the night and now it’s morning. I’ve just finished my wonderful coffee and breakfast and I think I’ll go walk into town and along the beach for a photo-taking spree. I love this quaint quiet little village. Oh it’s so good to still be in vacation mode on a Tuesday! This week is so wonderful, I only work Wednesday and Thursday and have Friday and Monday off! Whoo hoo! You all probably want to kill me right now. At any rate, I hope everyone’s having a great week!