Sunday, April 29, 2012

Isla Negra

Pablo Neruda is arguably Chile's most well-known poet. He was a diplomat and a politician, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. We visited his favourite house (of three), Casa de Isla Negra, situated in a small coastal town about 100km west of Santiago.

Neruda is known for his quirky collections of ships' beakheads, shells, coloured glasses, globes and compasses, ships in bottles, butterflies, you name it! Neruda loved all things to do with the sea and he built his house to resemble a ship, with low ceilings, creaking wooden floors and narrow passageways. He received ships' bells as gifts, and even bought his own boat - which never saw the sea! Instead, Neruda would enjoy a drink in his boat in his garden while looking out over the ocean.

The house overlooks the sea and we went for a stroll along the beach in front of the house. From here we could see the house and the graves of Neruda and his third (and favourite) wife Matilde, built to resemble ... a ship!

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