Travels

Valparaíso and Pablo Neruda

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Róisín and I arrived in Valparaíso from Santiago, Chile. The person in charge of Residencial San Patricio, a hostel where we were staying during our stay in the capital, put us in touch with a friend of his who ran a guest house very close to the hills. We paid 7,000 Chilean pesos (about 10 euros) for a room with private bathroom and with the right to communal kitchen, it was not bad. Walking through this romantic and multicolored population, we immediately realized that poetry is breathed through its streets, especially that of an illustrious Chilean, Pablo Neruda.

From the book 20 Poems of Love and a Desperate Song, more than ten million copies have been sold worldwide, and will continue to be printed. In turn, the name of Valparaíso will continue rolling on the seas, until the seas themselves stop rolling. These two names, Neruda, Valparaíso, are united in songs, poems and seafaring visions that belong to both.

A very interesting visit is what you can do to La Sebastiana, the last house that the poet acquired and that is located on the Bellavista hill. The house has countless rooms and a privileged view of the port of Valparaíso. Observing the immense Pacific Ocean from its magnificent windows I completely understood where the charismatic writer had come from.

The entrance fee is 2,500 pesos (1,000 pesos for students and seniors), and the visit is definitely worth it.

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