A Travellerspoint blog

Valparaíso Day 3

A very simple boring day. I caught a small cold on the plane and went back to bed after breakfast. We finally got going around 2pm and just went wandering.
Tomorrow we have aspirations to get going earlier and go north for the day and explore a few other towns.



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Valparaíso day 1

As per the last entry we got up late. We did a great panadería and bought a nice dark loaf (similar to what Ueli would buy) and had a simple breakfast of bread, butter and jam and coffee.
Next we walked down the road and had lunch just a soup and salad. Then onto our 3hr waking tour. It was FANTASTIC! Our guide, Yasna spoke perfect English and gave a fantastic tour.
After we went grocery shopping then back to the hostal with the escort of a nice German Shepherd street dog, we gave him a tip of a couple of mini sausages. And we happily spent the night chatting and everything with a couple of guests and Alex and some cheese, bread and wine.

Some local art from our wanderings




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Another day started with a yummy breakfast. Not that we don't make nice breakfasts at home, but these breakfasts are just different and fun.
We go to a bakery for fresh bread, and they open late but we bump into Cath and Imo who we meet on the W Trek.
We finish packing and we get a cab to the airport where our only issues are that Brian had to check his bag and there's no wifi or place to plug in our phones, these are really not big problems.
Finally arrive in Santiago and after getting Brian's bag the stress begins to get to Valparaiso. Brian was hoping that there would be direct shuttles or to even take a cab. I knew we had to take two buses. We went to an info counter anyway and reconfirmed what I knew. Brian was a bit upset that we didn't try to get a cab as we had met 2 others going to Valparaiso as well. But I think it cost $3400CP to the station and then $12300 (but we forgot to get our change ugh!) So much cheaper than taking a cab. To get to Valparaiso and we had 7 minutes at the main station to transfer. We did learn that Santiago is huge and busy and we will probably be OK not spending much if any time there.
On the bus, I end up chatting with my seat mate, Fernando most of the way, mostly English but I try some Español. I just don't remember any words! I can remember some grammar but I have no vocabulary to build a sentence.
We get to Valparaiso and get a cab, it should only be $5000-6000CP but it's more like $8000CP, we did get stuck in traffic and he did use a meter but Fernando and our inn keeper said it's normally less. Our inn keeper, Alex, said this is a big reason why Uber is becoming so popular, it's so much easier for tourists at the very least. But often drivers don't know where they're going and this can be very annoying for the passenger.
We go out down the road and find a lovely spot to have dinner (ViaVia) and we didn't bring much money with us and we just squeaked in under budget, but a had delicious dinner indeed! Veggie soup, croquettes and a veggie filled crêpe and two hoegarden beers.
The hostal is on a big hill, like everywhere in Valparaiso and has a lovely view of the bay at night. There are also two resident orange kittens! And we have a huge room.
It's now 10:45am and we're still in bed on Saturday, guess we needed a sleep in, I think I caught a cough on the plane, hopefully it doesn't evolve into much.
Sorry, no photos yet.

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Punta Arenas and Penguins!

A nice easy day. We slept in, made breakfast sandwiches (ham, cheese, tomatoes, avocado), tea and an apple. Got organized and started walking towards the port where we were catching a boat at 4 to go to penguin island! It was a long walk and we detoured into a shopping mall and got a bite. We ended up walking all the way to the museo nao Victoria, where one of Magellan's boats had been restored as well as The Beagle (in progress) and Shakelton's James Card and one other. We walked around pretty quickly bc we weren't sure how to get back to the ferry. But we got lucky and there was a taxi there and $4 and a lot less stress later we were at the port.
Next stop Isla de Magallanes aka Penguin island! One nesting island for Magellanic penguins! They are as cute as you can imagine, they waddle and fall down trying to climb up the beach. They look at humans in a curious way, they are not intimidated but don't want to get too close. The park had done a good job to keep humans under control. Humans can only visit every second day and only for an hour at a time.
Brian and I got super lucky and spotted a couple of chicks hiding under a parent's wing. They were itty bitty teeny tiny grey fluffs that would have blown away like a cotton ball if they ventured outside of their burrows. I pointed one out to a guide from our boat and she seemed in awe and surprised.
Back in Punta Arenas Brian found us another delightful dinner at La Luna - steak with red pepper sauce, green salad and more yummy bread with Pico de Gallo and aioli! Yum!




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Back to Punta Arenas

Warm shower, warm bed, soooo nice after 3 nights camping.
The hostal that we found was lovely, the inn keeper super friendly. We got up at 8:30, well I woke up at 6:30 and did some travel planning. But we had a nice long quiet breakfast - toast, cheese, ham, cereal, tea, coffee. When the inn keeper came I started packing and Brian was chatting to her and got some info on what to do in Punta Arenas. We left our bags and went into town to get our bus tickets and then got our bags and a fun snack for the bus trip and hopped on. It's a pretty dull ride, vast open grass land with sheep.
But every so often there is wildlife spotting! We saw a fox, ñandu, flamingoes and some other interesting birds. The flamingoes were an unexpected surprise!
We got a bit of an upgrade at the hostal in Punta Arenas, we got our own bathroom with mini tub = laundry! The inn keeper said she could do laundry for about $10, she also said we could switch to a room with a shared bathroom and get breakfast in return. So we kept the upgrade, saved the laundry money and went grocery shopping instead. If you know me, this was an awesome trade off! We got eggs, cheese, ham, yogurt, apples, bread... And a bottle bubbly and snacks :D
Again the laundry was going to be $5000CP and the groceries ended up being just over $14,000CP, so we didn't save but we have lots of clean socks and had a great time planning for the next few days.
After appero, Brian found a place to eat dinner, it was just starting to get dark out, so about 10pm and we went to this place called Jekus. It serves traditional Chilean food and we splurged. They serve bread not with butter but with mayo and Pico de Gallo, thankfully the buns were very small. We had crab tartar with avocado, conger ceviche, this coleslaw salad with lots of apple and the best dish was this traditional seafood soup - loaded with mussels, fish, squid and some veggies and served pipping hot. We had a glass of wine each too and when we got up to leave that's when gravity set in and we felt like beached whales.

The inn and room is like so many places we've stayed at, a house quickly converted into an inn. Our room: everything is painted white and at first glance it's a nice clean room. Laying in bed I see that all the walls are bending in some way, you see all the seams, there's no cover on the bare lightbulb in the ceiling, there are nail nicks all over, there's a good size water leak stain in the ceiling, the tiling around the tub is hilarious and not grouted, there are no hooks for towels and when the radiator is on it makes the baseboards click in a weird way.
But there's a skylight which is awesome because I can watch the clouds, I can hear birds chirping, we can control the heat, there is hot water and having a private bath is so very nice!




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