RAIN, OUR HOUSE, AND THE NEIGHBORHOODS OF CASTRO!
Life in Winter on the Isla de Chiloe is much much rainier than I imagined! I’ve lived in Seattle and then we were in Vietnam for 1.5 years–these places are famous for their rain. Vietnam even goes through a Monsoon Season! Yet nothing compares to this Chilote rain! It goes on and on…serious downpours for days/weeks at a time. Our yard is a moat! Our poor Bruno, my POOR FLOORS!! Mud, mud, and MORE mud everywhere.
Anyhow…let’s talk about something else…anything else! Haha. I wanted to do more posts about everyday stuff, so today I’m going to be showcasing our house (Ohh la laaaa) and also take a look at what we find to be best neighborhoods in Castro, Chile.
Our house is ano corrido, which means you can rent it all year long. Many of the houses for rent here are only from March-December and then they become vacation homes in the summer. It is also amoblada, which just means it comes furnished. We got our current house in the Pablo Neruda area of town, thinking it would be just great, and also because we needed to move out of our temporary housing in kind of a hurry (Here’s why we were rushed). It’s just ok lol…we didn’t realize a lot of houses here don’t seem to have insulation and have only single-paned windows, which means this place is cold as balls! We’ve had some nights get down to freezing, and with all the rain, it is a really wet cold that seeps into your bones practically. We only pay 210.000CLP per month (about $330USD) for a two bedroom house with a fenced
moat yard, so we can’t complain about the price!
But maybe I can complain about a few things? haha…number 1…the kitchen. What were we THINKING!!?? My husband is an amazing chef ok, I’m super spoiled with all the fantastic food he makes me! Look at this closet, I mean kitchen!
We bought the cupboard thing on the right so we would have a few feet of counter space and we try to hang as much stuff on the walls so it doesn’t get too cluttered. It’s quite funny when both of us are in there cooking together…there’s a lot of “accidental” grabbing and bumping as we squeeze past each other haha. And I long for the day I will have a dishwasher!! OH! How sweet that will be! Or even a double sink! Haha my mom says it would be easier to do the dishes in the bathtub (and she’s right, I totally have to do the big pots in there). We’ve found kitchens don’t seem to be very important to people here. Most of what we’ve seen aren’t much bigger than this, and yes, we’ve even seen smaller!
Now let’s talk about the bathroom…not bad in general, it has a washing machine! When we lived in Argentina, we didn’t have a washing machine and I had to go all Laura Ingalls and wash everything by hand! So we are very thankful for our washing machine. Forget about a dryer, I’ve only seen one house with a dryer here. I’m fine with that since I usually shrink everything in them anyhow! BUT LOOK AT THAT TUB!!!
This is actually the standard size of bathtubs in Chiloe, maybe in all of Chile. I’ll admit, I’ve taken a few “baths” in there and it is HILARIOUS! I might have better luck with a 10-gallon bucket! Hahaha…I’m cracking myself up thinking about it.
Another thing is the water pressure, or can you even call this pressure? The water dribble…never again will I look at a potential house without checking the water pressure!!! We had major issues when we moved in. Some days, nothing came out of the tap…zip. Thankfully our landlords are really great and they talked to the powers that be so now we at least always have something when we turn on the faucet.
So, why haven’t we moved? Well, we’d like to! We figured when the summer was over there would be loads of houses available and sadly, there just weren’t really that many that fit our needs. Our current house is in the Pablo Neruda area, close to the Polideportivo (a big sports complex/pool/gym thing). A lot of people have told us this is a dangerous neighborhood and we should never walk around at night. We do take precautions, but overall we feel quite safe here. The prime areas we have been hoping to move to include:
Nercon-South of town with a lot of nice houses, close to Ruta 5 so transportation is really easily available with busses and colectivos.
Villa Guarello– This is where our first, temporary home was and we loved it! We were right overlooking the bay and it was about a 3 min walk to the water. We’d love to be back in this neighborhood. Near Casino Enjoy on Ruta 5.
Bordemar– This is kind of between Villa Guarelo and Nercon and overlooks the bay. Lots of big, nice looking houses in here. They just get snapped up as soon as they are posted!
Socovesa– This is like the lower section of Alto Gamboa, which also overlooks the water and is close to our friends at the Palafito Waiwen. This area has more of a cookie cutter feel to it but they are actual houses, not cabanas without insulation like we have now. Easy access to transportation here as well.
Alto Gamboa– Continuing up the hill is Alto Gamboa. We looked at one new house here with a gorgeous view of the water, but the guy was a bit weird…he drove us up there and then after we baulked at his price hike (was advertised for 100.000 less on the internet, a $152USD difference), he basically kicked us out and told us to get a cab. Nice guy! haha.
For us, living south of Castro is ideal, since we don’t have a car yet. There are frequent busses and colectivos (these are like little cabs you share with other people. I’ll be going more in-depth about these in an upcoming post) . North of the city is really pretty, but transportation is way less for some reason. We looked at a few houses north of town and we also found the internet was not set up yet in most of them.
Someday we will build our own house on our own land somewhere in Chile. For now, even with our tiny kitchen and cabbage patch kid-sized bath tub, we are thankful. We have a roof over our heads, wood for the stove, and a fence so Bruno can’t run wild with the street dogs. This is the house Sebastian and I spent our first wedding anniversary in, it’s Bruno’s first home, and we will never forget these little things. It will be fun to look back on one day and laugh, maybe as I’m loading the dishwasher or taking a real bath.