Travel Post

Getting Started: Picking a City and Finding a House

I guess my first post on my brand new blog will be a little info on where we are! We came to Santiago, Chile, on September 2, 2015, not really knowing where we wanted to live. We knew we didn’t want to be in the big city, so I booked two tickets to Valdivia on Cruz del Sur . The receptionist at the hotel we stayed at in Santiago was very helpful in getting these tickets, as the site asks for RUT numbers for the passengers and we don’t have those. It is very easy to just go to the bus station and purchase the tickets. This is what we do now.

So we get on our day bus to Valdivia…12 hours of Chilean countryside! The thing is, those buses are so comfortable! Aaaaand we totally slept the whole time and missed everything but the bus stops along the way. Oops. Valdivia was nice.

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Beautiful day in Valdivia!

It has a cool open air market right on the water and a sea lion colony, but it just didn’t have the feeling we were looking for. So Seb (the hubs) said, let’s try Castro! I went to the bus station and got our tickets and we were off!

Castro, Chile is a delightful little town on the Island of Chiloe in the south of Chile. We stayed at the Palafito Waiwen for a week while we checked out the area. If you are going to Castro, I HIGHLY recommend this hostel! We had such a wonderful stay there. The people who own and operate it really know how to make you feel welcome and at home. It had a great vibe…guests from all over the world gathered in the kitchen. We made a seafood smorgasbord one night with the resident chef there–WOW! So good! My husband is also trained as a chef and his crab cakes went nicely with the dishes Nicolas prepared.

We decided we wanted to stay here for a while. With the help of our new friends at the Palafito, we found a temporary home.

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View from our temporary house. Wish it was available year round!

But we still needed a place for a long term lease. The search for a house was not easy. We wanted to rent a furnished house with wifi…sounds simple right!? Well summer is coming…and that means most of the furnished houses for rent are just daily rentals and that is just too expensive to do by the month. We scoured the interwebs! I checked these sites everyday for new properties:

One thing you have to look out for on the web pages is the posts are not always recent! I found a few perfect houses, but they were posted in June 2009 or something (not helpful). You also should call, rather than email or text. My Spanish is ok, but I have a real hard time understanding Spanish speakers on the phone, so I texted quite a few of the numbers listed under the ads and very few people responded. You just gotta bite the bullet and call them to set up a viewing. I finally mustered up the courage to call on a cute little house just north of town and it worked! He understood me, I understood him! That’s a serious win for me! We ended up liking it and are planning to move December 1. We got this 3 bedroom/1bath house for 200.000CLP per month (around $280USD).

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Yay! New house!

So there we are! We made it, we like it, and we plan on sticking around for a bit! We’ve already been in Chile almost 90 days, and that means it’s visa-run time next week! This type of thing gives me anxiety for some reason, so I’m going to be posting about our experience and hopefully that will help anyone going through the same thing!

Saludos,

Sarah

 

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