Day One Hundred & Five (17th Dec) – Valparaiso

21 12 2010

How can we best describe Valparaiso without it sounding like a cliché or coming across like an estate agent? The city of 300,000 is something similar to a colourful version of Camden Town. A hodge-podge of  small and medium sized homes randomly strung across the hillsides of Valparaiso. All are painted bright colours in a somewhat vain attempt to disguise the fact the building should have been torn down years ago. Narrow winding streets and alleyways snaking between the buildings. That said there is a defiant abundance of charm and character – could do with a bit of a clean though.

We spent most of the day walking the streets of Valparaiso and slowly but surly it’s charm began to win us over. After a while you start not to notice the dirt or piles of litter, but it’s hard to ignore the dogs on every street corner. This it should be said is a fairly common sight in most South American towns. At first the dogs are cute. They’re very playful, clearly missing a home and human company. They will often follow tourists around the streets for as long as they can, in the hope of some attention or a bit of food.

We found a great restaurant up on Cerro Conception, with panoramic views of the city. We had a slap up lunch on the veranda, but had to leave before Jen burnt to a crisp. We returned in the evening for live music. It was the Chilean version of Shirley Bassey on the mic, she must have been a right diva in her day.

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