29.02.2012 - 29.02.2012
View Argentina / Chile 2012 on LutzAndBobo's travel map.
Having left Santiago it's now time to visit the world heritage site Valparaiso. The ca takes us there in no time, although the navigation e stimate 3 hours because of some inconsistencies in the chilenean map coverage, i.e., if a street is recorded from two directions, could be motorway, you're often being asked to take huge diversions into the mountains to reach your destination, and then only the satellite images reveal the problem, if the overlay works, which it doesn't do either. You might wonder why this is important since there should be road signs, or similar, but unfortunately not, not even the airport is indicated, or the road into Santiago, and if you ask, people are kind but not necessarily informed. Anyway, after some hills, larger valleys, Casablanca is one of the most recent wine yards for whites, we pass a forest, and a long motorway serpentine, winding down until after an abrupt right turn the motorway ends in Av Argentina, an we're in the middle of Valparaiso, passing a kilometre long fruit market, and hundreds of mini busses which carry shoppers from each to everywhere in town.
Public transport is actually interesting here, those minivans, holding 30-40 people, standing, and their goods, are very efficient since they are everywhere and stop at every corner, or in between, go up and down the hills, and leave the older elevator systems to the tourists. They have the white wheels of cars of the fifties, and are prettily maintained from the outside, blinking and shiny, and speedy, going through the serpentines.
We drive down to the harbour, to search the road which brings us up the hill to our hotel. Via Alemania is indicated, together with via francia, which we take, no knowing that this means a drive across all hills and valleys from valpo since Via Alemania seems to connect all valleys. After 15 min we reach our destination, half above the town, probably 200 m, cllimbing another 68 steps to reach the doorway of the little hotel, which is more a small mansion house, 9 rooms, and we have a balcony overlooking the town.
Since we arrive late the afternoon winds have already started, that heavy that the balcony is not of much use, and in the shadow anyway. We decide to go for dinner to Cerro Concepcion, constantly crossing the road side, imagining getting killed by thrown at us trees, or worse, one of the many wires, which because of the more frequent earthquakes, are all overground. Would be a strange incidence, since we're more in fear of human violence, since the hotelier had already marked the no-go areas down by the harbour, but very close to on of the major squares. Since, we're not brave we end up in a little pizzeria, since our preferred and researched restaurant (pasta e vino) is full, and the hotel recommendation looks like a tourist trap with no guests.
The pizza is ok, and the wine nothing special, but I serves the purpose after this long day. The winds have calmed when heading back, and we fall to bed easily.