The drive from Mendoza to Valparaiso was absolutely stunning. Definitely one that should be done during the day. You may consider it to be a waste of a day to sit on a bus, but when you can look at the Andes and the steep roads and the landscape... It makes sense. Admittedly, we were a bit tired, so napped for an hour or so. But managed to wake up for the good parts.
The day travel meant we didn't see much of Valparaiso on arrival. We just wandered the streets, looked at some cool bars, had dinner, got our German friend Sophia drunk and moved on.
The following day we visited the streets properly and wandered around looking at street art, eating biscuits that were served out of a mans front door and learning some more about the the extremely hilly city. We also met an interesting Swiss bloke from our hostel who was keen on seeing all 34 elevators (in case you don't feel like walking up the hills). He had some definite quirks and asked to join us for dinner, which is a question/request he would probably regret later... We had copious wine and were all settling in for a good night. It was at this point that we realised it was St Patrick's Day so we decided to hit up the only Irish Bar in town after dinner. They were selling tickets on the door but had reached capacity and wouldn't let us in. I managed to get in "for two minutes" to use the bathroom. When about a minute later I was joined in the queue by Kim and Justine who had managed to talk their way in. And Martin was at the bar getting beers. Justine told them that her Irish heritage meant she should be allowed in. And she wanted to celebrate with her kind just in case there was another potato famine on the horizon.
We got drinks and made friends with a group of Americans/Irish/Chileans that were taking up a corner of the bar. Basically, we made a beeline for the English speakers. It was a brilliant night with lots of chat and laughs. Then at 3am, the bar closed and we decided to move on. The group we were with made plans to go back to someone's Airbnb to continue on. So, we did. Kim and I jumped in the first taxi and Justine and Martin in the second. Kim and I arrived at an apartment with three or four others and continued to drink. It was around 20 minutes later when I started to wonder where Justine had got to. So I connected my phone to wifi to wait and see if I heard from her. While Kim tried on a morph suit and I was shown a guys marijuana collection that he kept in jars (he was very proud), I got a Facebook message from a random name. It was Justine. Messaging me from a taxi drivers Facebook. Long story short. The two groups of people we were hanging out with in the bar didn't actually know each other. So while Kim and I ended up at one place, Justine ended up in a town 14kms away where she listened to the Jungle Book soundtrack with a gay man. I finally managed to figure out where Kim and I were and Justine came and picked us up at 5am. Needless to say. Was an enjoyable night for all.
After a big sleep in, we saw some more sights and Chilean food is great for a hangover. We are now on our way to Santiago. Justine, Popeye and I. Popeye is Kim's new nickname. Check the photos... She was bitten on the eye last night. And while we are trying to be sympathetic. It's the funniest thing we've ever seen...