Lovely lovely Valpo

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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lovely, lovely Valpo! This place is only around 100km west of Santiago on the coast but has a completely different feel. A major port made significant by passing travellers on their way to California in the Gold Rush, Valpo has its own unique character. Rising away from the port across 42 different steep "ceros" (hills), it is an artistic sensation - virtually every house for miles is painted in an array of bright colours, with murals small and large covering every wall and depicting the history and political tension of the last hundred years.
You can take (very) long and steep steps up each cero or (our preferred method) take extremely old and rickety funiculars up to each peak.
We did a fabulous walking tour of this place accompanied all the way by a black dog that apparently follows every walking tour they do as part of its daily routine! There is apparently 1 stray dog for every 5 people in Chile and the locals feed them and give them jackets in the winter and little kennels to sleep in. 
We met an Irish girl, Elaine, on the tour and two local guys she was staying with, Ducon and Camilo who showed us a night out Chilean style (starting at 11pm with pisco sours and finishing at 5am). We introduced the karaoke bar to Tracie's sweet tones and Bob's Romeo and Juliette Dire Straits rendition. We're not sure they were ready for it!
We recovered the next day with the heart-busting "chorrillana" - a shared plate of chips, piled with fried onions, scrambled egg, sausage, meat and cheese. Wowser!

 Definitely a highlight of the trip so far.
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Mike on

Wow, what a cool place! From your photos and descriptions it seems quite similar to Lisbon; built on hills, steep streets and lots of colourful graffiti. Ace.

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