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Delicious Decay

Valparaiso, Chile

The bus journey to Valparaiso wasn't long, only about two hours, and we arrived at Hostel El Yoyo in the afternoon. Everyone at the hostel seemed to be recovering from a heavy night, so we took it easy as well. I blogged. And we bought oven empanadas from the supermarket. Joanne, especially, was really really sick of empanadas now.

The next day we headed out to see the town. It's quite a pretty place, but it has a wonderful decay about it, kind of like Venice; it's obviously well past its heyday and falling apart a bit, but it's holding up well and falling apart beautifully. I'm a sucker for places with hills and Valparaiso had loads of them. Most of them have old funiculars, still functioning, to take people up and down. Everywhere there is graffiti, but most of it is very artistic: either neat stencils or else very well done murals, some of which may be sponsored and official, but there is no obvious divide.

It was our intention to go up one of the hills and we chose Cerro Concepción. We spent a while walking around looking for the funicular to take us up the hill but, by the time we realised how high we were, we were already at the top, and we did finally find the funicular, but from the top. The area had obviously at one point been very upmarket, but it still retained a certain amount of wealth, though all now for tourists it seemed. Most of the restaurants and bars there were out of our price range, but we did find a lovely place with a reasonable set lunch, which was delicious. Then we took the funicular down the hill.

That night, the others in the hostel seemed to have recovered and we joined in their night of extreme drunkenness. Max, who was on the desk, seemed to have as part of his job description to get drunk with the guests. Other than that we got chatting to an English couple, Tess and Liam, although Liam insisted he was Irish. He may have had Irish parents, but he certainly didn't sound Irish. Also drinking was an Australian guy, Brad. Tess and Liam are travelling indefinitely, working where they can, and they have covered much of the same ground we have, taking 14 months to do what we did in eight. Not fair!

permalink written by  The Happy Couple on September 14, 2009 from Valparaiso, Chile
from the travel blog: Michael's Round-the-World honeymoon
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