Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My First Trip to Concepción

Hello everyone! Sorry that I've been terrible about keeping this whole blog thing updated... two months here and only five posts! Some math-y person from my family is bound to come up with the average number of days between posts, I predict :P Anyway, now I have lots to write about and post pictures of! I'm going to split up my posts about my two separate trips that I've taken in the past couple of weeks so that my readers don't get overwhelmed.

The GV "crew"

Where to begin? Well, two weeks ago classes ended for the week-and-a-half break to celebrate Chile's independence day. This week is essentially a week of partying, eating, drinking, and spending time with family and friends. I took full advantage of this break by traveling with some of my GV friends. James, Hayley, and I all took a day trip to Concepción (otherwise known as Conce by locals), Chile's second-largest city that is only about an hour from Chillán. We wandered a little around the city, then met up with our friend Chilean friend who lives near Conce, Karen. She acted as a guide for us and helped us manage the bus system to go to Talcahuano, a seaside town about a half hour from Conce. From there, we took a short boat tour around the harbor. During the tour we got to see a some of the ships up close and personal, a docked military ship and submarine, and, my personal favorite... SEA LIONS!

Pretty excited

This was my first time seeing sea lions, or lobos marinos ("sea wolves") in the wild. From this first encounter, I learned that they are extremely lazy and very smelly. I don't know exactly why they entertain me so much, but I really love to watch them... perhaps because their antics and sounds are honestly quite hilarious. They were by far my favorite part of the tour (:

Talcahuano harbor

After the tour, we took another bus over Talcahuano's hill to another fishing town, Tumbes.

This little town was ravaged by the tsunami caused by Chile's massive 2010 earthquake, but is now on the mend. We decided to explore the beach in both directions, and walked the length as far as we could go either way (although James, a.k.a. "Bear Grylls", would likely argue that we could have gone further if we had just gotten our feet a little wet). It was an absolutely gorgeous day, as you can see from the pictures. I really enjoyed wandering along the beach, finding seashells, and just admiring the scenery... and I got to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever!
Touching the Pacific Ocean!

That was pretty exciting for me, as silly as it may sound. One more lifetime goal completed!

Hayley and me in Tumbes

After exploring the beach and having lunch in a local restaurant, we returned to Conce and went to El Parque Jurásico de los Dinosaurios (the real Jurassic Park!), a children's park with four life-size statues of dinosaurs and other various dinosaur-themed play areas. I will admit --- the T-Rex was actually kind of scary. I now understand why they are known as the "kings" of the dinosaurs. After this very full day, we had a light dinner and took the bus back to Chillán.

So scared

Well, that's what I've got for right now. Stay tuned for my next blog post about what I did during my Independence week trip! Teaser: there are a lot of pretty pictures ;)

Thanks for reading everyone! Sending lots of love from south of the Equator!

Chau for now!


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