A Day at the Beach

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Thursday, December 3, 2009

We caught the local bus from Valparaiso along to Vina del Mar for a visit to the beach. I was a little disappointed with Vina del Mar because I'd read that it's a holiday resort for people from Santiago and it really wasn't what I pictured. It's very bland and plain with tall apartment buildings and not real character - a real contrast from Valparaiso which is so colourful and quirky. Of course the fact that we walked miles before managing to find somewhere to eat probably didn't help my impressions of the city. There were some nice parts, however. There's a gorgeous little fort/castle-type thing built into the sea wall and a hotel and restaurant that is designed so it looks as if a boat has merged in with the beachfront. We also went to the city centre and into the Teatro Municipal which was a beautiful building. There was a group of disabled children putting on a free performance which was quite nice to see.

Once we finally found the shopping mall with a big food court and got some food (I had a chicken burger, chips and beer as my combo meal - not bad!) we decided to go down to the beach so Kate could catch some sun before heading back to the UK (not much chance of getting a tan there!). The beach was nice enough although the water was absolutely freezing so I only paddled a little before reteating to read my book.

Later, back in Valparaiso we went out for dinner where I got the biggest steak sandwich I have ever seen! Once I got rid of all the yucky mayonnaise that they'd added it was pretty tasty and I was quite impressed that I nearly finished it all, leaving only some of the bread. The restaurant had an unusual design - we were down in the basement which was decorated with tree branches all over the walls. Very strange but quite cool at the same time. There was certainly no need for dessert after all that steak so we decided just to head back to the hostel and pack up for our bus back to Santiago in the morning.
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