Saturday, 19 June 2010

It's been a while...


...I know. But for a variety if reasons, chief among them laziness and boredom of blogging, I just haven't got around to writing anything.

Anyway, I've actually been up to quite a lot recently. Activities include:

-Visiting lots of properties in various places from Santiago all the way down to Lago Ranco. By the end of next week, my revamped website will be up and running with a dedicated property listing database. It's going to look awesome. Check it out in a week or so at www.chileinvestments.com

-Dog walking. Every day. Usually at the Hotel Casa de Campo but also in Pichilemu, Bucalemu, Curacautin, Lago Ranco and Parques Forestal and Bicentenario in Santiago. The hounds are getting as good a tour of the country as I am.

-I finally sold my house in Valparaiso. It took 11 months of dealing with the buyer's bank(s), getting a piece of missing paperwork from the previous owner- who now lives in Mexico- and some serious breath holding but the escritura is now signed and sealed. Such a relief. Although I'm incredibly sad to see the house go- I had some great times there and it was an amazing place to live. Happily, it's been sold to someone who will take good care of the property...a guy I bumped into by accident in the Peruvian restaurant here in Santa Cruz!

-We finished the first phase of the project to build mediaguas in Poblacion, having raised about us$40,000. We managed to buy enough materials to build almost 90 shelters which, along with the few more provided by the local council, covered about 94% of the emergency needs of the people in the village. And we got them all built before the first rains.

We also finally signed the escritura for our NGO, which means we'll be able to accept donations from official sources and move forward with our project to rebuild the village of Poblacion and undertake other projects in the area. That's pretty exciting. Check out www.savingpoblacion.org for more details.

-We had Allie's leaving party. That was pretty fun and ended up with the usual singing until 4 in the morning after a glass or two of vino. Living in Santa Cruz has a huge plus- most of our friends are winemakers so we never have to buy a bottle!

I'm really sad to see Allie leave, it's not fun when one of your best friends leaves and the zoo misses her too. I now have to re-learn how to cook. Dammit. Hope to see her again soon...

-And now the World Cup has started. Don't believe anyone that tells you Chile is 'football mad'. A country that was really interested in the World Cup would ensure that every single game was available on terrestrial tv, not just offered by one cable company that only a small percentage of the population has. Shamefully, only 33 of the 64 games are being shown live here on a universally available channel. Pathetic. I've had to watch the missing games online. For the next World Cup in Brazil, get it together, Chile.

Apart from my gripes about the lack of games on telly, this has been a pretty poor WC so far. Defence, it would appear, is the new black. And it's getting really rather tedious. And don't get me started on how bad England have been. £6 million, Mr Capello. £6 million. Rubbish.

Anyway, here are some photos from my life over the past few weeks:

Allie's leaving party...

Winemakers who brought wine!

Grant...

Cesar and Andrea...




I'm a little scared to find out what's on this camera...oh, that's the other English Matt in Santa Cruz, by the way, photographer Matt Wilson


And then the singing started...


Dog walking!

In Santa Cruz...


In Pichilemu...


In Bucalemu...

In Curacautin (and Bella's first experience of snow- very confusing...)





Valpo house...chau...

3 hectares of Punta de Lobos, Pichilemu with approved plans for a luxury surf lodge? Interested? Get in touch via Chile Investments...


900 hectares of valley bordering Apalta, with 39 hectares of vineyard and more than 120 hectares+ more suitable for planting...


An incredible fishing lodge on Lago Ranco, with 150m of river frontage just 100 metres from the river mouth...



And this is just an unbelievable property...1200 hectares, views to 3 volcanoes...planning permission for a 200 bed eco-hotel...mini-village with a farm and horses...a truly incredible place.





That's about it for now. Sorry for taking so long to post!