So while waiting for the slave cylinder to arrive we decided to visit the surrounds of Santiago and headed off to Valparaiso. (We are just really hoping that the part arrives by tomorrow….. as everyone here says give it a few days extra usually as it is Chilean time!!!!)
We caught a bus to Valparaiso (quite interresting to feel how others travel). While on the bus it is so easy to block out the surroundings. One can sleep, read, watch TV or even play on your computer. I found that I didn’t even notice the scenery around me which is so different to travelling on the bike where you are acutely aware of everything around you.
Valparaiso is known as the cultural capital of Chile. I took the lead and started us on a walking tour. The city is shaped in a U around the harbour. There is a flat area around the harbour and then just hills everywhere with brightly coloured houses all over.
It is famous for the ascensores which are really big elevators. We tried 3 of them and they were all being renovated which meant that we had to climb up very very steep staircases (we really missed the motorbike). We started walking through the most rundown areas (Tin and wood houses balancing precariously on the slopes with dogs and dog pooh everywhere). At this stage Andrew was really wondering why on earth I wanted to visit this place.
We then headed to the area called Cerro Bellavista and I thought I was in heaven. All the street lamps and cement benches were covered in mosaics and every wall had a mural on it.
Quite something…. the camera was snapping away. The views were also incredible. We went and visited the poet Pablo Neruda’s home and I felt like I was home. The walls and floors were covered in the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen. He collected beautiful objects from all over the world and then game them a home in his house. Quite something.
We then walked around a bit more and found a really lovely hotel, then walked down to the harbour area and had delicious hotdogs and caught a taxi home as we couldn’t face the steep hills yet again.