Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Ascending and Descending Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile, Wednesday, 16 March 2005 9:12am

Another pleasant day wandering around the city.

We started out with a trip to some of the old cemetaries on the neighboring hills. They're filled with amazing, monumental tombs. Many of them are in the process of falling apart. Concrete crumbling and losing the battle to ivy. Some of them are still in use, though. I saw a crypt that had inscriptions ranging from the early 1900s to the 1990s, and there was a funeral in progress in the Cemetario de Dissidentes (the section for non-Catholics).

Dave wanted to see Pablo Neruda's house La Sebastiana, so we hiked over there. It has a spectacular location on top of a hill, with panoramic views of the city and the bay that Neruda treasured (according to the guide). It's filled with interesting and quirky artifacts from the poet-senator-diplomat's life. Dave got the recipe for his signature cocktail.

The house is in the middle of the "Museum with an open ceiling", a district full of murals. It was fun to walk through.

After the hills, we did a long flat walk across the city, visiting various plazas along the way. We stopped for lunch at a sidewalk restaurant and had some empanadas and tasty stuffed squash.

We ended up at the hills on the other side of the downtown plain. We took Ascensor Los Lecheros up to a mirador that afforded some great views. It was fun to try to find our hotel in the distance. We decided to descend and make our way back to the hotel, but took a detour to look at the brick Iglesia San Francisco.

We had some drinks at the hotel and decided to head out in search of some live music. The place that Jenny had read about turned out to be closed on Tuesdays, so we found a neat bar/restaurant called Baraka in the plaza down the hill from our hotel. It was tasty fusion food, with Mexican and Peruvian influences. The Pisco Sours were very well mixed.

Sadly, they had no desserts, so we walked up to our hotel and had hot chocolate and kuchen on the terrace.

We need to figure out what we're doing today. We're supposed to leave for Santiago at some point, but when? Do we want to spend the day here or there?

Valparaiso is the first place on this trip where I feel like I haven't spent enough time.