We’ve been at the seaside! Which sounds very old-fashioned and quaint, but Pichilemu is kinda old-fashioned and quaint. Founded in the 19th Century and modelled on European seaside resorts, the town is looking a bit tired and past its prime, but it’s a still very popular destination for both Chileans and international visitors because of its surf beach, Punta de Lobos, and other beaches in the area. It was affected by earthquakes in 2010, but has recovered, and there are Tsunami evacuation signs everywhere, advising safe routes to higher ground.
Pichilemu is almost straight across the Pacific Ocean from Sydney, and several surf championships are held at Punta de Lobos, the long beach just south of the town. We saw signs claiming that it’s the ‘surf capital of the world’, but a few places claim that, so ….. hmmm. It is regarded as having the best surf in South America all year round. The beach has grey sand, which is a bit disconcerting to look at, but you realise it’s not dirty when you actually stand on it. In the usual Chilean way, access to the beach is not easy – most of it is blocked by private properties, but there is an access road at the far south of the beach, with some parking, but on a busy day it would be total chaos, I think.
We booked an Airbnb ‘beach condo’ for the last 3 nights of our trip, with just an overnight stop in Santiago before we fly home. It gave us a chance to stop in one place for a while and not do much, which was a very good thing as we both got gastro, thankfully not at the same time. And thankfully we’ve both recovered, in time to face 3 days of plane travel to get home.
The morning we left to drive to Santiago, we stopped at the main street to try and find the stainless steel bowls and cup we lost in the Great Rio Bravo flood. Most of the shops were not open at 10.30am, but we found a cup in a bazar (we’d call it a $2 shop), and the bowls in an open-air market a couple of streets from the main drag. Along with the best quality fruit and vegetables we’ve seen the whole trip. And we didn’t buy any of them. However on the way back to Santiago, there were a lot of roadside stalls selling strawberries, other berries, whole watermelons and tomatoes, so we stopped to get some fruitillas strawberries for Greg. I picked the smallest container (which was not very small at all!), it cost 2,000 pesos AUD$4, and the woman then opened the container and crammed a couple more handfuls in it! There must have been at least 1.5kg of strawbs, and they were delicious! I’m not keen on fruit apart from pomegranates, and even I ate quite a few!