The beauty of the land and seascape surrounding the house of Neruda in Isla Negra is calling to my soul like a siren. I hear the music of the sea and am lured to crash myself upon the rocky shore. The essence of the sea’s affair with the land is taking root in my being.
In Chile, nearly everyone is passionate about Neruda. His poetry and other writings stir the Chilean heart and captures what is often difficult to express. While I am certain that as my Spanish improves, I too will embrace Nerudaism, for the moment, I am more passionate about the environment in which he penned his thoughts. I want a place under the sun like Neruda’s.
It is not so much the house that will not leave my thoughts alone. Although I do admire the artistic freedoms employed in the display of stunning mastheads in the living room, and the intricate masonry creations, for this Irish-American lass, it is the sea, the sun and the rocky shore that holds attraction.
When we first moved to chile, I had written that I would be hard-pressed to say where I would want to live if given a choice, for all of Chile and its diversity of coast, mountains, valleys and desert intrigue me. I have been enthralled with every place that I have visited. However, the coastal area of Viña and points north and south, have taken hold of my imagination. I hope to one day call it home, and for now will dream of the possibilities.
La Casa Neruda in Isla Negra is open to the public. One may walk the grounds for free, and a 30 minute tour of the house is given for the price of about $6 per adult. Photography of the interior is not permitted, but the grounds and coast will be a feast for any camera bug. The museum’s store offers diverse publications on or written by Neruda, as well as other artsy-touristy items.
As an added feature, there is a wonderful, moderately priced restaurant with an outdoor dining balcony.Patrons can enjoy a delicious meal and drink as Neruda would have, with the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, the perfume of flowers floating in the air, and the warm sun caressing the shoulders.Truly a bit of Neruda Heaven on Earth!