Our next stop in Chile was Valparaiso, and as the name suggests, it really is a little bit of paradise.
What Brighton is to London, Valpo (as the locals call it) is to Santiago. 1.5 hours away, by the sea, full of colour, full of art and culture, and full of wonderful places to eat and drink. Our friend Philip said this is his favourite place, so much so he’s getting married there next month, so we had high expectations and were not disappointed.
We found an Airbnb which was by far the cheapest option, probably because it said the bed was 1.5 size, bigger than a single but smaller than a double. Katie being the size she is, we thought no problem. Upon arrival however, it turned out to be just a regular single. Oh well, the flat more than made up for it, being on the 20th floor of an apartment block right by the sea, with the most adorable 9 month old cat called Maya who I think Katie will forever love.
Valpo is made for walking, even though it’s set amongst 14 hills, each with their own style and community. Little funiculars are dotted around making the ascents more bearable, although the stairs are littered with art so taking them is by far a more rewarding experience. Needless to say our first day was spent walking the hills, taking two funiculars and soaking in the sun.
We spent the evening chatting to our hosts, Claudia and Daniela, a couple from Valpo, who offered us homemade beer (by them in their flat!).
Our second day was very quiet, as Katie wanted to partake in her new favourite hobby: going to the doctors. Her first set of antibiotics finished without any results to her ankle so back she went for more, so we spent the day on the beautiful terrace doing life admin before hitting the local brewery for dinner, recommended by Philip and Ale.
Another day of walking followed which took us to Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda’s house up on the hill. A wonderful view, but sadly the entry fee was waaay beyond our budget so we admired the scenery very well and had lunch on his bench…
Stopping off for an ice cream, we were surprised to find and taste a very new flavour for us: toasted flour. I mean, it doesn’t sound great, but actually tastes very good, and a bit like weetabix!
We then finally found Katie some jeans after trying on approximately 78 pairs (wisely the only pair she brought away for 8 months were ones with huge holes so needless to say they died) and bought various other bits and bobs before a quiet evening resting the invalid’s foot again. Valpo’s hills probably aren’t the best for her…
Our final day we spent again with Philip who had to be in town for business so he took us to all his favourite spots, including a fabulous lunch spot, the Fauna, where we had quinotto (a quinoa risotto very popular in South America where quinoa grows in abundance!) and got incredibly sun burnt.
We had time for a quick boat ride around the bay before packing our bags and heading to the bus terminal for our 13 hour bus ride to Puerto Varas, the gateway to Patagonia!
Bye for now x