Don’t you hate it when the internet drops out just when you click “publish” on a long blog post? One that you didn’t save to the clipboard because you didn’t think you’d need to? And lose the lot? I had just finished a long post about the last three days of our trip, but don’t think I can resurrect the finer details of it. The essence of it was that we wanted – and got – a thoroughly relaxing end to our holiday.
In fact we relaxed much more than I expected during this trip. Our last big journey through Europe in 2007 involved six cities in two weeks, and while great it was exhausting. This journey we wanted to spend more time in destinations and less time travelling between them. We succeeded admirably, and while we had quite a few big nights out we actually had more quiet nights in just reading, chatting or watching a movie. We spent hours in cafes quietly reading, and through the trip I read four books cover-to-cover: Haruki Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance, Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight and Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boelyn Girl. All very good to sublime (Murakami is a genius) apart from Twilight, which was a passable page-turner but hardly worth all the hype.
Rather than visit somewhere different for our last three days in Chile, we decided to return to the most peaceful hostel in the most beautiful city we’d seen: Valparaiso. Unlike our previous visit when we had the place to ourselves, this time it was near-full (about 15 guests) but still retained its sense of calm. We had one sociable night at a barbeque with the other guests, which was boozy and lots of fun. We had a very quiet following day, where we only left the hostel to go for lunch at a nearby restaurant with heartstopping views over the city and bay. We did nothing else that day except sleep and read, and then hung out that night with some other guests in the back yard. We went shopping for souvenirs in Cerro Allegre, Cerro Concepcion and the nearby resort town of Vina Del Mar. We read some more and enjoyed the sun.
I didn’t miss television at all while away. Nor radio. I didn’t even check what was happening in the world much, and didn’t mind not knowing what was going on. I relaxed more than I have for ages. And I don’t have an ounce of stress about going back to work on Monday.
What more could you want from a holiday, eh?