I hope you're all good and it's not too cold or Christmas obsessed in England. Wardrobes sound like they are coming on Vic! Mum you sound incredibly busy, but lots of nice things! Hope you have a lovely holiday Grandad and Maggie!
So, on Thursday after I left her Eva met up with Maxi- one of our Chilean friends and they went to the apartment of two of the other guys we'd been out with the night before. Some of them had been partying since we left them the night before- they'd literally gone back to the apartment and carried on drinking and dancing! She messaged me and said I should join them, so they arranged for Nico, who was finishing work, to come and meet me at the hostel and take me there. He met me and we got the metro and then got a taxi to the apartment. It was really great to go outside of the main city and tourist areas and actually see where the Chileans live and one of their houses! It was a big apartment block and as soon as the taxi dropped us off we could hear the music and see them on the balcony! The apartment was quite basic, but much like any student flat in England! There was about a dozen of us and they were drinking beer and pisco and we danced a lot! Then at about 11-12, we all left to go to a club. Maxi drove a few of us to his apartment, which was a bit smarter and more modern, to drop off his car and we got a taxi to the chocolate club! We nearly didn't get in because it was so late, but we bumped into the lead singer of the band playing outside and he got us in two for one! It was a huge club- this is what you saw in the pics on Facebook Vic! We saw the end of one band and then the main band come on- I couldn't really tell you what sort of music it was, but lots of instruments and dancing more like we do at home! We left about 4 and come back to our hostel- Eva was flying to the Easter Islands at 8.30 but she packed her stuff and went back to stay with Nico (the Chilean she'd got friendly with the other night), so we said our farewells!
Friday: I got up and had breakfast before checking out and making my way to the bus terminal. I got a bus to Valparaiso at lunchtime and slept for most of the 3 hour journey! I got a taxi to my hostel and dumped my stuff before going out to explore. Valparaiso is a city that was once the biggest port in South America before the Panama Canal was built, so it has a lot of history. There is still a small port- lots of MSC containers Jake! But the city has been built up on all the cliffs and so there is the most unique style buildings that look like one story from one side but are actually 3-4 stories down the cliff faces. There are just little lanes and staircases that wind there way around and it is certainly the most colourful, vibrant, artistic and full of character place I have visited! There is graffiti everywhere- but mostly very good graffiti. Everything is painted bright colours and it just has a quirky nature! I had a reasonably early night!
Saturday: I had to check out of the hostel because they didn't have a spare bed that night. But I left my bag and went to do the free walking tour at 10. Again it was very interesting and we walked around for about 3-4 hours finding out about the history and culture and the significance of some of the buildings! It included a ride on one of the many elevators that go up and down the cliffs around the city- really old fashioned wooden boxes that are still regularly used to save the locals walking up and down the cliffs. Valparaiso is now a UNESCO world heritage site, so everything is protected. We also had a ride on the old tram that still goes around the centre of the city!
I went for lunch- I haven't eaten alone much to be honest, but I'm getting used to it. I had a lovely 3 course meal, including salmon for the main!
I checked into my next hostel, which was better than the first :) I went to explore the huge cemetery that lies in the centre of the city. Lots of very grand family crypts, but so many dead people puts your life into perspective. Back at the hostel I got chatting to an Italian guy in my dorm, then when he went out and I was speaking to an Argentinian guy and then a Polish guy! The Polish guy was funny and up for a party so he went out and bought a bottle of vodka and we put on some music and sat chatting. The Italian guy joined us and we also spoke with a couple from Mozambique in our dorm. It got to about 12.30 and the Italian and polish guys headed out to a club, but I retired to bed.
I had breakfast at the hostel and caught up on the adventures of the others last night! I then got one of the shuttle buses to the main bus terminal. All around the main bus terminal was a huge market- a bit like a boot sale with loads of people selling their stuff on sheets on the floor! I had a mooch around- again it's nice to be immersed in the local community and have a nosey! Lots of the old men were sat round on tables playing chess or cards. I got a bus back to Santiago at 12.
I got the metro to the hostel where I was staying before and checked in- I'm in the same room and same bed :p I then headed out for a mooch as it has been a lovely sunny day here. I walked to the main market and had dinner on one of the stalls- a nice seafood risotto. I walked around a bit more- you never know what your going to come across- musicians, artists, protests, etc. Being a Sunday the streets are relatively dead, seriously there is less traffic here than in Ipswich, and lots of shops shut. At the national history museum there was some young people doing traditional dancing so I watched that and then had a look around the museum- it's free on a Sunday which was handy!