As a brand-new movie about Pablo Neruda gets a UK release, we see two of the Pacific-facing residences where the poet found inspiration: beachside Isla Negra and the crazy port of Valparaso
If we march up and down all the stairs of Valparaso well have walked all round “the worlds”. Poet Pablo Neruda was alluding to the cosmopolitan verve of Chiles second metropolitan, leader port and most romantic and likeable metropolis. He might also ought to have referring to the exercising you get hiking around Valpo as neighbourhoods dub it. Spread over 42 mountains, its manors, homes, shanties and steep, cobbled roads are a sea-facing sprawl. When you get lost and red-hot, its a aid to stumble on one of the four ascensores funicular elevates which cut out some of the climbing.
Id been to Valpo before, to devour ceviche and enjoy fine wines from the nearby Casablanca valley, but this time I chiefly wanted to explore the ties between the city and Chiles Nobel prize-winning poet. A brand-new cinema, Neruda, starring Luis Gnecco and Gael Garca Bernal, goes on general UK release on 7 April. That and a new direct flight this year from Heathrow to Santiago international airport( an hour or so from Valparaso) is bound to revive those who are interested in Chiles second city.
I inaugurated my mini-pilgrimage 84 km south of Valparaso, at Isla Negra. This is not an island at all, but a exquisite beach place where, in 1944, Neruda started improving a residence where he had been able to work on his masterpiece, Canto General, and throw parties. It took two designers, with their demanding patron admonishing, around 20 times to terminated the members of this house. Neruda wandered around Chile and overseas as senator and contributing communist party member. He was also exiled for several years in Buenos Aires and Mexico. But, as Neruda threw it: The home preserved growing, like people, like trees.