Published: August 17th 2011August 16th 2011
Armada de Chile
scene of the El Gato scandal!
Monday August 15th
Arrived in Valparaiso yesterday after lunch. It was a really comfortable 90 min bus ride from Santiago.
By the way, the Pooey didn’t even last until the end of the night. I GOT the power!! :-) Thanks Deb and Jodes for the support!
We have booked in to a delightful B&B called Harrington’s- the owners, Veronique and Olivier are French and are very helpful. I think Veronique might be a fan of Marie Antoinette - we eat the most delicious home made cake with our breakfast every morning!!
Valparaiso is a Unesco World Heritage site with lots of charm and considered the cultural capital of Chile – not sure about that though! The dogs and cats have no self control at all!
The streets are extremely irregular and appear to be stacked one upon the other all over the hills. The steep footpaths are a good workout though and yesterday we walked for around 4hrs as soon as we got here. Today of course , we have found all sorts of short cuts that could have saved us heaps of times getting from one place to another.
There are so many stray cats and dogs here
as there were in Santiago. On the grounds of the Armada de Chile in the town square Shane brings our attention to no less than around 10 cats of all different colours making a hell of a noise, and then I spot 1 cat who isn’t moving at all. In fact one of the cats has this cats head pinned down, and they’re all having a crack at her!! The Navy Guards simply hold their posts at the gate, and ignore it.
Shane says- We have named this incident ‘Rape of El Gato’ (rape of the cat).
We chose a restaurant to eat at last night and the girl out the front said they didn’t open until 7 so we called back at 7 and they were still sitting about folding their napkins at 7.15 with people waiting outside to get in. So we ate at Normas Restaurant instead!
Today we revisited the Cemetery. Usually I quite like cemeteries- and Shane induges me and trails along. The cemetery here though is quite oppressive and has a very heavy feel to it, so even though we have come back today, we have lasted about 20 minutes.
bus passes to Mendoza, Argentina for Wednesday morning. It’s a 360km trip over the Andes Mountains that take over 8 hrs.
We also met an Aussie bloke today on our wander who has lived here with his family for the past six months teaching English. His 2 gorgeous young girls both already speak fluent Spanish, and delighted in telling us that we should probably only have a piece of toast for breakfast on the morning we take the bus because we will probably throw up most of the way! Very reassuring, and brings back very vivid memories of the bus ride from hell in Laos a few of years back where I literally had my head in Shane’s lap for 6 hrs! And no, he wasn’t getting lucky!
Shane says- never bloody DO. Lol
We keep running across the most “stunning” engraved leather wristbands with names on them in the peddlers markets and tourist areas. Seriously, they are the trashiest things I have seen so far. Our names appear not to be listed anywhere, but apparently there a lot of people called “Six To” out there- pronounced ‘Sixtoe’.
Shane says- If you see some of the people
around here you would understand why Sharl’s and I are loving this nickname. It literally has been cracking us up, even after three days. Hey Sixto, get me another beer will you. Lol
Sharls says: He wont be laughing so hard when we all start calling HIM Sixto! mwahaha
Not to let a good opportunity go by, and of course heeding my earlier lesson in Santiago about how I need to learn the value of a dollar when travelling, I have decided to purchase said wristband for husbands 40th birthday – I mean I wouldn’t want to spend too much money, would I? It has cost a whopping 1000 pesos- about $2! I crack myself up sometimes!!
Churros!!! They are like long, deep fried Spanish donuts- they are covered in caramel sauce and icing sugar, and they are my new favourite food! There’s nothing , and I mean nothing, like walking down the street with your shirt covered in icing sugar and your mouth covered in caramel ...mmmmmm!
Shane says- And it’s been happening quite a lot this shirt covered in icing sugar and mouth covered in caramel. She is bloody good on the tooth this trip.
The beer was cold, the bed was warm, there didnt seem to be any better place t be!
Sharls says: If he doesn’t stop saying I’m “good on the tooth”, he isn’t going to have any teeth left! This started at the beginning of our trip.- how insulting!!! You don’t hear me saying that if he drinks any more, he’ll drown! AND at this point I will point out that after the shoe incident, I have been keeping an eye on the grog bill. Since Santiago, he has drunk $21 more alcohol than I. At this rate those Sketchers are going to look really cheap!
Tuesday 16th Aug
We have decided to stay in Valpo one more night and just catch the train to Vina Del Mar for the day. Its where the people come for their long weekends and holidays, right on the beach.
So glad we did. We can only compare it to the Gold Coast for the most part - lots of outdated high rise buildings, traffic, and generally just grubby and crowded. We walk until we hit the beach which is a little cold today, but it’s much nicer than the main city area. Unfortunately, there appear to be many high rise buildings that are deserted. We can see all their
The street grafitti is amazing
shit piled inside but windows are open or broken and the wind and rain just blow on in!
Well if you walk for long enough you’re going to come to a McDonalds no matter where you are, and we ran in to one for lunch before heading back to the station and home again.
Back in Valpo once again., we hear the ear piercing yelping of a dog and I look around expecting to see some poor dog hit by a car. She probably wishes she had been – instead there are no less than a dozen dogs hounding this poor female dog. The dogs in this place are disgusting! They roam around in gangs apparently just raping and pillaging, and chasing cars and bike riders.
One more dinner out and we head to Mendoza in Argentina. This has been a lovely stay, but the journey must continue :-)
There are more photos below