Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.


Finally, a sleepy beach town…this is what I’ve been looking for since The Sister and I left Mancora oh so many months ago.  Pichilemu (~14,000 people, sea level)  is on the coast of central Chile a couple hundred kilometers south of Valparaiso.  Upside is a fat, black, and empty beach (insert your preferred sexual euphemism here) and a complete void of gringos.  I love being off the tourist track.  Downside is that the water is absolutely freezing and The Foot is, annoyingly, still not healed and does not take kindly to salt or sand.

We had a beautiful bus ride over from Santa Cruz (1500CLP, US$3) highlighted by miles and miles of grapescape and cornscape and even transitioning to pine forest before dropping down into town.


First on the list:  A walk-around and a run through the local markets.  Today’s shopping list:  3 bottles of wine, bread, cheese, and some fresh local cherries (US$10 in total).  But there is trouble in paradise:  the raspberries I saw along the way haven’t been harvested yet.  Screw job!!

Later that night, I made arrangements to watch the BCS title game at a local bar (sorry, Duck).  There were three drunk dudes on one side of us alternatively passing out, arguing incomprehensibly and knocking over chairs trying to get to the bathroom.  There is a couple on the other side alternatively laughing at my “passion” (“Somebody fucking tackle!!”  “Bullshit!”  “Punch him in the face!!!”) and then reverting to their own “passion” (i.e. making out and groping each other at the table…pretty sure I saw him run his hand up her skirt and go for third base, but I was desperately trying not to watch).  The amorous couple left at halftime, but mysteriously re-appeared at the end of the third quarter and started talking to us.  From what I could gather with my excellent Españolish, they wanted to join us and have a beer from my pitcher?  No worries, I probably didn’t need to drink two entire pitchers myself.  Two more pitchers of beer appear as well as two glasses of wine for The Becca.  Hmmm…must have lost something in the translation.  (The Becca says, “I’m pretty sure this is all going on our tab too.”  Cusco has poisoned her poor brain…I, however, have regained some faith in humanity at this point and am still thinking positively.)

Much (poor) conversation, giggling, and drinking ensue with an inordinate amount of whispering between Becca and our new friend Denise.  I tell Becca, “I’m pretty sure this is going to end up in a foursome.  You okay with that?”  After finishing her two glasses of wine (following the two we had previously bought…and the one with dinner…and the one we drank at the hostel waiting for the game to start), The Becca is done.  Kisses all around and she stumbles home, much to the dismay of Denise.  (Becca: “Hasta luego!”  Denise” “A mi casa!!!”)  I had been paying way more attention to the game up to this point, but now that The Becca is gone, I have to be a little more attentive to our new friends. (And drink faster…is this another fucking pitcher on the table?  Or was that there before?  Am I getting rolled tonight?  Or just forced into an awkward sexual situation?)

So now that I’m actually paying attention, the motives become crystal clear:  Denise wanted to take Becca home and was supremely disappointed that the message was not received.  I said, “No worries, we’re here until Friday and she’s totally into it.”  They paid their tab and went home.


Day 3: We finally see another gringo!  (Seriously, we had not seen a single gringo face for 72 hours.  Amazing.)

Day 4 Shopping List: 1 kilo local strawberries, 3 bananas, handful of fresh bread, 2 bottles carménère, 1 bottle chardonnay.  (Total: US$11)

Day 5 Shopping List: 1 kilo ripe cherries, 3 bottles carménère (this is the Chilean specialty and seems to be going down way too smoothly), 1 bottle sav blanc, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 1 red pepper, basil, oregano, black pepper, orzo…time for red sauce…mmmmm…………



After 4 bottles of wine and some delicious pasta, we (wisely) decided on a midnight karaoke run.  I can’t possibly tell you how that ended.  (Seriously, not because I don’t want to tell you, but because I have no fucking idea.)

But I think our favorite part of this stop was the sunset over the Pacific and fresh sushi at a cute little beach lounge called Secreto.  I had forgotten how delicious those Pacific sunsets can be.


Another admission:  I now spend two hours every morning drinking yerba mate.  The upside is that I normally spend this time writing and corresponding with friends, which I have struggled to make consistent time for in the past.  The downside is that I am an instant addict.  To both the drug itself and the ritual that goes along with it.  Just what I needed…  Fucking Andrew.  That goddamn trip to Bariloche is the gift that just won’t stop giving.

Overall, this was a really great stop.  Much like Mancora, I would spend much more time here if we weren’t supposed to be meeting other friends elsewhere.  Pichilemu features the World’s Largest Bougainvillea, fuchsia bushes the size of a small house, wildly varied and interesting architecture, black beaches for miles, beautiful break.  And one police for every 2.5 people.  (Seriously, I have never seen more cops anywhere in my life.)

Even though our hosts were quite gracious, we never really felt  like they were down with us using the kitchen.  Each day we were given “The Dinner Window” (usually 4pm…who the fuck eats dinner at 4 pm?) where we were allowed one hour of kitchen time.  But the good news is that I’m cooking again almost daily, which is better on the cash situation and means I’m possibly fully recovered from The Cusco Syndrome.  The Becca is still not quite over it, but another week on the beach and she should get there.  We’re on the way to Valparaiso to meet up with Reverend Dave

(it’s always better to travel with a Reverend…evidence here: ) and hopefully a couple friends from Cusco.






One Response to “Pichilemu”

  1. Jody says:

    LOVE the don't-run-over-the-road-constuction-worker sign!
    bummer about the raspberries.

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