Party Town, Chile

Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
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Trip End Mar 27, 2013


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Flag of Chile  , Valparaiso Region,
Friday, December 14, 2012

Valparaiso, or Valpo for short, is a 1.5 hour bus ride outside of Santiago (cost $7,800pesos) right on the ocean, the city has a navel base and a huge port, which, in it's heyday made Valporaiso a pretty important town in Chile. Much of the ports industry has died for one reason or another and now there is an extremely poor population that surrounds this city. On the plus side, Valpo has a thriving art population and receives many tourists (national and abroad) for its beaches. We were drawn to this artsy, bohemian town for a few short days before beginning a volunteer job at a farm nearby.

We get in and head straight to the cheapest hostel that we know of. This ends up being an exhausting walk! The few blocks from the ocean are flat, and then every street makes a drastic uphill climb immediately afterward. Makes for a nice cityscape but so difficult with 30lbs on your back. Something Valpo is known for is its' ascensors, basically an outdoor elevator to get you up those nasty hills. Once upon a time, the city had over 20 ascensors. Now many fell in to disrepair and, unfortunately, only 6 are operating today. At one point we did indulge and paid the 200 pesos (about 40cents usd) to ride one of these Victorian aged contraptions.
We chill out at the hostel for an hour or so and plan what we want to see over the next few days. Pablo Neruda had a house here and it is now a museum. As it is late in the afternoon, we decide to go to the museum, but climbed hills for an hour and didn't find it. We find the open mural museum and wander through this looking at all the art painted on the sides of buildings and houses. Tucked away somewhere in all of this we find a little art gallery / apartment / cafe where we get our new favorite juice : blueberry and orange. mmm.
We decide to stay in for the night to get some rest so that we can tackle all the hills tomorrow. Too bad we are woken up by assholes having sex in the bed next to us (despite Kendra trying to interrupt twice), and then again by more of these idiots screaming drunken nonsense from 4am- 6am (despite ongoing attempts to shut them up). Yay for sharing a room with boys. Still tired, the next morning we actually find Neruda's house and take the self guided audio tour. It was actually a really good tour, and we snuck a photo or two in :) We spend the rest of the day visiting some of the different neighborhoods in Valparaiso, basically just being tourists, and falling in like with the city.
At night we decide its best to try to socialize with some of our hostel mates (not the assholes from last night), and we get invited to a rooftop party. The party was mostly locals, except our group from the hostel, but it was a hip hop party. So excited! All New York and California classics, that nobody else at the party seemed to know. Naturally, this meant we had to rap battle everything right in front of the dj booth... It was like our lives were an embarrassing Miley Cyrus song, "... and a JayZ song was on, and I put my hands up, they're playing my song...", except this wasn't a "party in the USA."
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