Viva Chile

JD points out:

with the rescue of “los 33” from the mine and Presidente Piñera telling the world to come and visit Chile,today is a good day to post this

You might have seen the name Isla Negra on the shelves of your local wine merchant. It is also famous as the place where Pablo Neruda built himself a house. In case you don’t know he was Chile’s most famous poet and a Nobel prize winner.

The house and the stuff he collected to put in it are really amazing. It is not really a museum nor is it a shrine to the man and his works. It is just his house, or one of them, I was lucky in that I was working in Chile at the time so I didn’t have to pay to get there but I would say it is worth travelling half way round the world just to see this place.
(Sorry my pictures don’t really do it justice.)

This is the first thing you see, even before going through the gate into the house and the grounds. It is a steam engine, made in Lincolnshire! You cannot help but like a man who puts a steam engine in his garden even if it is never going anywhere again!

Two views of the gardens at the back of the house. Does that look like an ideal place to live? Or does it look like a perfect place to live? This is one of the places I would love to go back to, the location of this house is about as good as it gets. Not too remote but incredibly peaceful. Just imagine sitting in your garden or even in your front room (see below) and watching the waves……

Two more views; the front garden. In the left hand picture, the steam engine is hidden by that tree on the right and as you follow the path round to the left you come to what you see in the other picture.

There was no photography allowed in the house so I’ve taken the following two pictures from the souvenir book about the man and his house. (Yes, I fell for the tourist trap shop but the book is pretty good).

Overhead view into the main living room, window onto the sea is at the left. Among other things, Neruda collected old ship’s figureheads one of which you can see on the left. According to the young lady who was leading a party of tourists through the room, one of the figureheads was from the ship of “the famous English pirate Captain Morgan.”
The picture was taken from a balcony running along two sides of the room and this balcony was his library complete with armchair and small side table.

This is the only upstairs room.
Now I think you will agree that is one exotic bedroom!

A very beautiful and peaceful part of the world. It is easy to see why he wanted to live there.


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6 comments for “Viva Chile

  1. JD
    October 14, 2010 at 13:19

    apologies for the quality of the photographs.
    When I get my scanner fixed I will do them again.

  2. October 14, 2010 at 14:01

    JD – you’re getting the hang of this editing lark, all right. The post is most interesting, especially that living room and thanks, as usual.

  3. Patrick Harris
    October 14, 2010 at 16:34

    You would have to have a heart of stone not to applaud the bravery, the skill and dedication of the rescuers, but that should not stop one from observing that industrial accidents in that country last year took 433 lives, many of them in mining – which contributes 40 percent of the government’s income.

    Thus, it was no coincidence that the Chilean president, Sebastian Pinera, should be present to greet every rescued miner. It was a political statement as much as a humanitarian gesture. But would a politician stoop so low as to exploit the rescue of these trapped miners? It hardly needs an answer. At a cost of $22m maybe the Chilean President should take a good look at his Government’s industrial safety legislation.

    The BBC sent a crew of 25 to the area for the duration of the rescue.

    There’s always two sides to the story.

  4. October 14, 2010 at 22:04

    Ah now you make me want to visit. I would quite like to see if Valdivia but then I have a liking for Thomas Cochrane and his career

  5. JD
    October 14, 2010 at 22:10

    to make amends for my wobbly photography follow the link for a selection of better images-

  6. October 14, 2010 at 23:32

    Wow thanks 🙂

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