I spent three days and two nights in Caldera, Chile. My first night I spent in a decent hostel on the edge of town, and my second night I spent with a really great CouchSurfing host. What did I do during the days? Not a whole lot honestly, but that was okay with me! I spent the first day just walking around the small fishing town of Caldera, checking out the local handicrafts and watching the sea lions wrestle each other for a good spot in the sun.
My second two days I went to Bahía Inglesa, which I had been told is the most beautiful beach in Chile. I rented a bike and cruised around the area but spent most of the two days laying on the beach and occasionally braving the frigid, crystal-clear waters. There are lots of little rock islands right off the coast that you can swim out to, and if you’re lucky enough to not understand Spanish, you’ll have no idea that the signs say not to dive off of the rocks. The water isn’t that deep and the rocks aren’t very tall, but nonetheless it’s fun and refreshing!
After my first night at the hostel, I got a message on CouchSurfing from a host accepting my request to stay the night at his apartment. When I opened the door, I found myself inside a café, a little confused. Gino, my host, took me through the café and into his apartment, the back half of the building. He showed me to my own room where I set my stuff down before getting the full tour. This place was very cool. Gino is not only a café owner, he is an interior designer, and his apartment was a clear example of his skill. The whole place had a very simple, laid-back design to it, perfect for a beach town. Best of all was that he let me use the whole café, which I took full advantage of. He even showed me how to make Colombian arepas, a gluten-free kind of biscuit made from corn-flour.
Caldera and Bahía treated me very well, providing some well-deserved relaxation after camping and mountain biking in San Pedro de Atacama. Leaving was bittersweet because my next two destinations, and last two unless I can manage to squeeze in a day of climbing, were Valparaíso and Santiago, both big cities. I am not a huge fan of traveling in big cities. I much prefer nature and fresh air to architecture and smog. But I was also filled with excitement because I was only a week away from leaving for another great adventure, this time with my awesome girlfriend in Thailand! I still can’t believe it!