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Day 4 - Valparaiso

Valparaiso, Chile

We got up pretty late this morning and managed to make it to free breakfast before it closed. Simple stuff - eggs, toast, sausages. The plan of attack today was to head for Valparaiso (the seaside city close to our seaside town of Vina Del Mar).

Valparaiso it incredibly hilly and as a result there are multiple Funicular's around. We managed to catch a ride on 2. Parking was a nightmare as expected so we took our little 1.6L Nissan up the ridiculously steep slopes and found parking amongst the rats nest of streets in one of the Cerra's (hills). In fact it was such an insane twisted mess getting to our spot we had to take a picture of the cross street and mark down the names of hostels in the area if we had any hope of finding the car again.

We hiked down the streets and stumbled upon a very nice cafe overlooking a plaza in the city. The houses all around Valparaiso are painted in a multitude of colours making the hillside quite beautiful to look at.

Unfortunately many of the buildings are also pretty delapitated so what you see a lot of is rust on the corrugated metal walls and roofs. A street band was starting up "check uno, dos, tres, quattro, quattro, cinco, cinco, uno, uno". You could hear em clear up the valley.

After a nice jaunt down a large number of stairs we found ourselves in downtown Valparaiso. We made quick work of getting to the Plaza of Heroes and took some snaps of the Chilean Armada building and the statue of las heroes. We toured around and found a funicular up to a viewpoint.

The funicular was a little scary - it was about 100 years old.

Now I know where the reports come from.
And James, this is for you...

More touring about found us in yet another plaza where, I swear to god or whatever non-god you might believe or not believe in, there was a guy who looked a little like a postal worker walking through the plaza. This isn't the shocking part of course, no it was the 5-6 dogs previously frolicking in the fountain - can you guess what they did? Yep, they chased the hell out of him barking and snarling.

Ok so we find our way to yet another funicular which I might add is WAY more vertical than the one we took earlier and got up most of the way to the car and drove it back down to find some food. We ended up at the other end of town at a grocery called "Santa Isabel" with a canteen sorta thing upstairs. We had a chicken leg, spicy mashed potatoes, a tamale (yum!) and some sort of veggie platter with tuna and a coke for...$7 CDN. mmmm now that's value!

We left Valparaiso earlier than expected and went hunting for the Wineries in Casablanca. We failed miserably. Don't ask me why it was horrible. Regardless we'll do better tomorrow I hope. On the way back we snapped a pick of the "flower clock"

We also checked out the beach in Vina Del Mar when we got back. Holy packed batman. It's a weeknight and they're packing the beaches. The view was nice at least. South Americans, most of them are in good shape ;)

We ate at 10:30pm tonight - a little earlier now and it was ok. The Paella was quite good and I had some kind of Eel which tastes like fish. Tomorrow it's wine time!

permalink written by  yungwesl on January 8, 2009 from Valparaiso, Chile
from the travel blog: Sandy and Wes in South America
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