Saturday, December 5, 2009

Valpariso- how I love thee

This place is cool!

So- I left Santiago because it seemed to be less exciting than it´s neighboring city Valpariso, and boy was I right! I came in on bus- and it had to be the nicest bus I have ever been on- seriously. I paid 5 dollars for it, and it had big cushy seats and then the man who came around and collected money came around again and handed out pillows. I thought that for sure he would come around a third time and collect money for the pillows, but he never did.

I had one little trip up trying to find my hostel here, and took the wrong bus into the hills of Valpariso- and had to take a shared taxi back- but thanks to the generous help from the locals here- despite my near inability to communicate- I was fine.

I have to say- one way in which the whole foot thing has been a mixed blessing is that I don´t know what I would have done here if I ´hadn´t spent those two weeks in Spain learnign a little spanish- I don´t know what I was thinking when I planned on having any time at all in south America before my spanish immersion. It has been incredibly useful to know... all 4 words of spanish that I know.. haha.

Anyways, yesterday I came into town and it was sort of rainy and foggy and I explorted the sort of commercial area of town accidentally- and I sort of didn´t get why it was so special. So, I went back to the hostel, feeling a little out of place, and like I didn´t know how to appriciate south america, and feeling a little generally stupid about being here. I went to bed at about seven because that was as long as I could stay awake, and then woke up for a few odd hours in the middle of the night, and then slept till twelve. I am like a psycho.

But today, it was sunny, and I actually explored the right areas- and discovered that this is one of the coolest places ever. It is maybe my favorit city that I visited. As soon as I got out of the commercial area, all the buildings were brightly covered on ther rollign hills of the city. There are murals and street art EVERYWHERE- and we all know how I love that. It is kind of like San Francisco (high praise in my opinion)- except it is sort of like the mission took over all of San Francisco-- in all ecconomic spectrums. I LOVE IT! And there are views down the colorful streets out to the ocean, and beach and palm trees, and a huge harbor with all kinds of ships. I would love to come back here and stay for a while.

Also- there are these little ¨funiculars¨ which are thse little rides built into the back of many of the hills here- no cars pass that way- its just like a little pully system for passengers to get up a hill without having to go up the mess of streets on the other side. You pay like 20 cents to go up or down one- and there are lots of them.
It is really cool.

I also feel really safe here, though many old women have warned me against pick pocketers when they find out that I am a turista. So I guess that is a serious issue.

Anyways. I have to catch the bus back to Santiago-- little pillows here I come!
And tomorrow I go to Rapa Nui-- Easter Island!


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