As you may have seen from the news Valparaiso was affected by a significant fire. Over 500 homes destroyed and more than 10,000 people evacuated. We have been outside of the danger zone but have been able to capture some photos of the smoke and also of volunteers getting ready to assist. (See photo)
I totally love Valparaiso. Full of colour, character and grunge.
Most of the cities houses are built on the steep hills that look over the port. These houses are accessed by a spaghetti of steep, windy and in many case extremely narrow streets and alley-ways. This does not phase bus and taxi drivers who hoon down at a rate of knots.
Apart from relaxing (our unit is flash compared to our normal accommodation) most of our time has been spent exploring these many alleys and stairways. Some of the hills are climbed using 'asensores', lifts which take you up the hills. Feel free to google this city and get a sense of what we are eperienencing. We will definitely be back here again!!
Lesson 1 Learn more Spanish 9/4/14
Well after awesome time in Santiago exploring the city and spending time with some friends we are heading off to Valparaiso north of Santiago for a week or so. This town is very colourful with a bohemian edge. Although we have enjoyed Santiago we are keen for a new adventure And an escape from the smog. Check some photos of Valparaiso on google!!
I know I have spoken about this in a previous blog but I am completey amazed by Santiago's 'street dogs'. In places like the Northern Territory in Australia there are many street dogs (camp dogs) but they are often undernourished and mangey. These Argentinian animals on the other hand look quite healthy and are either soaking up the sun in a park or trotting along with big doggy grin looking like they are off on important business.. And their are literarily hundreds of them. See attached photo.
Had our fist full day in Santiago today and visited Cerro Santa Lucia. This is a hill in the centre of the city that houses nice gardens, castle walls, a church and has awesome views of the city. It was once was the site of a hermitage then a convent and then a military bastion.
Guarding this park is a host of 'street dogs' that inhabit many parts of the city and seem like they have their own territory or 'patch'. I have not found these dogs threatening at all but they do occasionally bark at passes by that they do not like. What I found strange is the fact that these dogs are not 'mangey' at all like other feral dogs I have seen. They seem well fed and content sunning themselves in the sun or rolling around in the grass, like Melbourne pidgeons that are fat from the spoils of the city.
Coming back from our outing we decided to take the subway. This was not unlike taking the Melbourne City loop and fairs were paid on a BIP card (like our MYKI) but you don't have to touch off. This was reasonably cheap and cost around $4.50 for all of us.
Tomorrow we leave our accommodation for another backpackers and will visit a few museums and parks. Until then buenos noches!!
I really admire the way in which Geraldine can sleep like this!! I can only sleep while lying down which basically means i am stuffed on a 13hour flight
Last sleep in Geelong last night. We are off to Melbourne with folks for tea tonight then on board flight bound for Chile at 5.30am Wednesday morning.
There is an air of excitement and anxiety throughout the family, knowing that this will be a trip full of challenge, excitement and wonder. Anybody who has ever been to Chile feel free to pass on your tips.
My current thoughts:
--no work for a year :)
--have I leant enough Spanish ?
--will 6 pairs of jocks be enough?
--will our money last?
--will our house still be standing when we get back.
-- no work for a year!! Oh I already said that.
Finally booked in for our yellow fever vaccination. Fair bit of tracking down for a doctor registered to deliver the jab!! Apparently these guys don't grow on tress!!