Published: July 2nd 2012July 2nd 2012
Today's challenge was the language barrier, as hardly any Chilean's speak english. Sometimes I can pick up on times and other words as it is very similar to Italian which I studied in school. Dad and I almost missed the bus to Valparaiso due to a time misunderstanding. Valparaiso is one of Chile's 5 world heritage sites with incredible architecture, palaces and seafood! As it is placed right on the pacific ocean. For my birthday lunch we had fresh salmon and tuna, Chilean red wine and one of the most popular drinks in Chile called a pisco sour. Little did we realise how potent with alcohol this was... Dad and I are both cheap drunks and could barely finish our two drinks! The afternoon was filled with laughs roaming the almost vertically steep streets of Valparaiso. The locals use funicular elevators to get around the streets and I don't blame them as it is bloody hard work.
We also visited Vina Del Mar in which we got a photograph with one of the original Moai's from Easter Island. The population of Vina Del Mar is currently 300,000 in the winter months and this escalates to 1.2 million in summer! It seemed even more touristy than Santiago. The beaches still have nothing on Australia's though. We explored another little coastal town called Renaca. The French and Italian influence on the buildings in all of these cities was obvious (due to their colonization) and it almost felt as though we were in Nice in the south of France. On the way back the other tourists on the bus sung Happy Birthday to me in Spanish, Portuguese then English, and one of the Brazilian ladies bought me a little Valparaiso notebook as a gift because I wasn't with my friends on my birthday. How thoughtful.
This was a huge day- I fell asleep on the bus on the way back to Santiago, bought a hot choccie then went straight to sleep. Our body clocks are still out and we have been awake since 3.30am drinking cinnamon tea because there is nothing else to do :)