Kel: We headed for Valparaiso, the bohemian culture capital of Chile. It was a gorgeous little city that was very rough around the edges. There seemed to be more stray dogs than people at times. Anyway, an industrial port, set on about 13 hills (cerros) with lots of cobbled streets, multicoloured buildings and some wicked graffiti art on some of the buildings.
Our hostel was lovely. Very clean, nice beds, but it felt like it was being run by nuns or something. V serious ... shhh. It suited us fine to be honest though cause we just felt a bit burnt out. It sounds really bad but after staying at each place for 1/2 days max for weeks on end and we just wanted to stop and recoup for a while. So we read loads, chilled out, slept, ate, wandered round and basically took it easy for 3 days.
It was busy over the Easter weekend with lots of locals from Santiago coming down. On the subject of Easter, we saw a small procession in Santiago with a man carrying a huge wooden cross through the streets and about 20 people singing behind him, and in Valparaiso we watched another group of about 50 walking and singing through the streets.... and not one chocolate easter egg in sight. Quite different to a typical UK version eh.
We left very early one morning on a bus for Mendoza, Argentina. On the way to the bus station we passed a great fruit and veg market with lots of working horses and carts parked up all around. Felt like we stepped back in time again. Wished we had our camera to hand but it was an amazing sight. Onwards to Argentina.