A great day in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar

Grafitti in Valparaiso

Grafitti in Valparaiso

On Saturday I took a leisurely stroll around Valparaiso and happened to stumble upon a free concert taking place in a square. It was a group called Pachamama de Valparaiso, and I really enjoyed their performance. Later that evening I hooked up with Albert, a friend I had met while staying at the hostel in Santiago. We went to one of the strangest restaurants I’ve yet seen. I looked like a mad artist had been let loose inside, as the walls and tables were completely covered in crazy graffiti. There was so much happening in there that it was tough to focus the eyes on anything, but it was really quite unique and not entirely unpleasant. The menu was simple like I’m used to back home, served in large helpings. Cruised around to a few different local bars after that, but the elections were the next day, so places ended up closing a little earlier than I wanted. Sunday was spent on the beach at Vina del Mar, as everything was still closed.

Fast forward to Monday night, where Albert and I, along with another guy from the Santiago hostel, Locke, headed out for a few drinks. We ended up chatting with a group of locals at the table next to us, and they were kind enough to invite us out for a boat ride the next day. At the harbour on Tuesday, we hit the high seas with Pablo and Antonio, spending a few hours during midday out on the waves, and enjoying a nice lunch. When we returned to land, Pablo insisted on showing us around the back streets of Valparaiso, and I certainly wasn’t one to refuse.

Acapulco Beach in Viña del Mar

Acapulco Beach in Viña del Mar

After a tour around the neighbourhood, where it seemed like Pablo knew nearly every passerby who crossed our path, we took Antonio’s car and drove to Olmue, a short distance inland. Here we relaxed at the home of a friend of Antonio’s for several days, playing by the pool, and enjoying each other’s company. These are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Albert had to return to Santiago, but I’ve stayed here with my new friends for the past few days and had a great time socializing and learning more about the area and its people.