Sunday, 5 July 2009

Amy Clegg, 18 June 2009

I love meeting people when I travel. And I love the different types of people you meet when you are travelling.

At breakfast on the 16th I met a the Clegg family. Mick and his three sons Mike, Steve and Shaun. This Mancunian dad and his sons were doing a city holiday of South America for two weeks taking in Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio.

They had similar feelings about Santiago as I did, i.e. they weren´t loving it. So I suggested they join me on a trip to Valparaiso, I was going to stay over for one night, but they could easily come along for the day and return to Santiago the same evening.

At 8am the Clegg Family including their adopted daughter aka me made their way to the bus station for a day trip to the Seaside.

Well, Valparaiso was hardlt a seaside destination, it was just a cool city (Santiago´s capital of Boheme) by the sea.

After two hours on the bus chatting to Mick about motivation, Mayans and the power of positive thinking (he´s a football coach at Man Utd) we arrived in Valparaiso.

We walked down to the harbour and looked out over the Pacific Ocean. It wasn´t pretty, it was grey and cloudy (so glad I had my new coat) but we found somewhere for a cuppa and from here we watched the seals in the sea.

We then made our way through the multicoloured streets of Valparaiso. There isn´t a great deal to do in Valparaiso, but there is a lot to see! A hell of a lot to see so we wandered around with our eyes open taking in the scenes around us.

The city is built on a hillside and there are thousands of houses all in different colours crammed on the hill. The city itself is a mix of old school Spanish style buildings and modern tower blocks.

We walked around the plazas and sat and had a traditional Chileno lunch of Shepherd´s Pie and Spinach Tart served with soup and salad. It wasn´t the best lunch I´ve ever eaten, it wasn´t particularly inspiring, but it was traditional.

After lunch we headed up the hillside. It was a steep hillside but it was great for exploring. There was loads of cool grafitti on the buildings and it did feel very bohemian. Again there were loads of stray dogs roaming but I had four men to protect me so I didn´t feel so scared.

As evening fell the boys headed back to the bus station to head back to Santiago.

I went down to the sea front to enjoy the incredible sunset. It really was an amzing sunset, possibly one of my favourites on this trip!

After the sun was set, I headed up to my hostel, I had had a great day exploring but I hadn´t been that impressed with Valparaiso and I kind of wished I had gone back to Santiago that evening with the Cleggs. But I stayed anyway and found some cool people to hang out with.

The reason I stayed in Valparaiso was because I jsut wanted to wander around some more, and I knew that a day wouldn´t have been enough time for me to explore.

I needn´t have bothered staying. The following morning (18th) I woke up to the sound of rain. Not just spitting rain, but torrential rain. Hideous horrible rain.

I ended up spenidng the entire morning in my hostel watching a film and then playing jenga with the others in the hostel. I was so disappointed and at lunchtime I decided to make a dash for the bus terminal and head back to Santiago to meet up with Pippa and Harri. I got absolutely drenched on the way to the bus terminal. It was horrendous! I was soaked to the bone. To dry off a bit I popped into a department store and bought a hairdryer (I had decided that the cold weather was going to require a hair dryer).

As I sat on the bus I thought about the wasted day. I had done nothing in Valparaiso that day, but I was kind of relieved that I hadn´t been stuck in Santiago in the rain. For the whole bus journey back to Santaigo it rained. It was horrendous. And then I had to continue through the rain as I made my way back to my hostel to collect my bag.

Valparaiso verdict: nice place, better than Santiago, but i should have just gone for the day!

No comments:

Post a Comment