Valparaiso: how a poet with a pig’s head really makes us want to learn Spanish
We had planned to make Valparaiso just a day trip from Santiago to test Now Voyager’s reliability until we learned that our hotel in Santiago was actually costing twice what we thought (Gee, they don’t post prices in US Dollars, but Pesos?). KR said, “I’m done with Santiago anyway, let’s just go to Valparaiso and start the trip from there.” Oh well, so much for the series of “safe” test rides in and around Santiago…
Valparaiso is about 120 kilometers (80 miles) west of Santiago, though the Casablanca valley which grows some of Chile’s best wines. The road is freeway-like, which is the reason that its a tollway. We leave relatively early Sunday, make one stop for coffee, and pull into Valparaiso shortly before noon. I’m happy, but still skeptical, that we had no overheating problems with Now Voyager, although admittedly this has not been much of a test.
As is our habit, we don’t have the foggiest idea of where we’re staying. Our itinerary planning intelligence is spot on as we approach Valparaiso, KR says, “It won’t be hard to find something, I don’t think there’s much there…” So much for our one guide book.
The first pleasant surprise about Valparaiso comes almost immediately: the first Starbucks I visit in almost 30 days. We get a latte and ID some alternatives for a hotel. After being burned by stupidity in Santiago, we’re focused on budget B&B’s. KR pinpoints one called “The Yellow House” located somewhere in the hills. I put the address into the Garmin and it says “no such street.” How difficult could a yellow house be to spot, so off we go to the complete other side of town.
Almost six miles later, after winding up several Valparaiso streets that make Puerto Vallarta’s streets look well-maintained, we find The Yellow House nestled in the hills immediately above the harbor. Great views, nice people, good price. We move in and for the next 36 hours explore Valparaiso.
The situation as of 6:30PM on Monday, January 24th in Valparaiso
This has been a really good stop. No problems with NV, rather just a fun time playing tourists. We plan on heading north along the coast tomorrow shooting for La Serena as our next destination. While we are still not sure of NV’s health, we are set to venture north with our newly found good karma. My hip is still hurting, but I’m able to hop along when required. We plan on “eating in” tonight as we get ready for what feels like the start of our trip tomorrow.
That’s it for now. We’re going to have our first “night in” since we have kitchen privileges: A $2 bottle of white and some roasted chicken. I’ll get out the Garmin and KR the Frommer’s and we’ll do some planning Walti style…