Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More of Valpo

More Photos of Valparaiso (hereafter Valpo) for viewing. It really is not possible to capture this city in photos. That is why there are so many artists here. I have been trying to figure out where this city reminds me of - I would have to describe it as an amalgem of San Francisco, Seattle, Fremont, and Cinque Terra, mixed with psychodelic mushrooms...The graffiti is everywhere and cool, the houses are colorful, it is sometimes very clean and other times filthy.
In general, Valpo is much more mellow than La Paz or Lima. I am captured by this city of about 2 million people. It is a port town that was in its heyday before the Canal was completed. The Cerros or hills were populated by various foreigners - Germans, Americans, Yugoslaves, and they each brought their own touches.
The Chileans are much different from Peruvians or Bolivians. They are more European, slur their Spanish, and are very talkative and helpful,even though most do not speak English readily. There is much less selling here and very few tourists are evident. It has been about two weeks since I have met another person from the US.
I spent the day walking around and still want to explore again tomorrow before I head off to Buenos Aires for the weekend and then to Colombia. Chile is a bit expensive - I am paying 10,000 pesos for my room and breakfast (about $17.) Meals are around $5 or so. Colombia will be about half that.
A bit about a couple of the photos - the food one (the hot dog) is a picture of the Completo I had today - it is a popular snack in Chile. I watched the bus driver down three of these at a rest stop on my 24 hour ride to Santiago. It is a hot dog, layered with tomato, avocado and topped with mayo - real healthy, no? Another one is of an Ascensor (elevator) that is used to go up the steep cerros around Valpo. I have ridden several of these now. Not sure how safe they are...
All for now,