We had initially intended to rent a car to drive to this port city, but on the day we went everything was booked out. A shame, but the bus was cheaper and most certainly easier. There was a girl we ran into at the party the night before that had studied in Valparaiso and was willing to show us around. What we soon found out was that she had zero cash, and was expecting us to pick up the tab for her entire day. I hate being made to pay for things I don’t want. And had I known this would be the arrangement, there is no way she would have been a part of our outing. I thought that I would peak my beak into McDonald’s on the way to see what they had. It was not my day though, as they were only serving Big Macs…
Once arrived we set straight to walking and one of our first stops was lunch. We went to this flair filled restaurant famous for having invented the steak, egg and onion juice atop a mountain of papas fritas dish. We had already eaten more fries than any other such span of time in my life, but it was famous and we couldn’t miss it. To wash it all down I got the specialty drink, which I was disappointed to discover was white wine with ice cream and grenadine. It tasted about as disgusting as you would expect. I’m not usually one to leave food on the table, especially if I’m the one who paid for it, but I didn’t even drink half of it.
Neil and I picked up and the tab and then we moved our adventure towards the hills. This city is similar to San Fransisco in that its on the ocean and has this topography. In order to get up into the hills we had to take an ancient funicular. Here’s the view from above.
These hills were incredibly cool. We spent a good while walking around and enjoying the multi colored houses, originally built from old shipping containers and the street art that blanketed every surface. Here are some examples of each. The Cinque Terra in Italy had some similarities, but this was really quite unique. I’m not surprised that this too was inscribed on the UNESCO list.
That was it for our day here, so following our leader we got on a bus bound for Santiago. We had already bought our tickets but didn’t make a reservation, so we lost our seats to some others. We decided to get off the bus and and just catch the next one, only to find out that she lost the tickets. So that meant buying three more. At this point I was ready to kill her, because she kept demanding money for things like drinks and the bathroom, without showing the slightest amount of gratitude. I know that if I’m on some stranger’s dime, I will approach death to avoid imposing. She also asked if we wanted to try a corn cake, slyly adding one for herself to the order. She also said that she would meet us later that night to pay us back, but later messaged to exclaim that she was tired. I look forward to never seeing her again.
Scattered around this part of the world are a number of little shrines. These are often placed near where someone died, generally from traffic accidents. I think that they start as memorials, but people start to ask the spirits for favors. If their prayers are answered, they put a little plaque up in thanks. Some were quite popular.