A legacy fulfilled!

Trip Start Mar 16, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The intention had always been to visit Valpo (as the locals call it) but the next bus was heading to Viņa del mar and seeing as we didn't want to hang around in Santiago any longer, and the beach resort had been somewhere we would visit sooner or later, we just decided to make that the sooner rather than the later. It took a long time for the clouds to clear at this "garden town" beach resort and after two hours in the city we'd pretty much decided to get on a train as soon as we'd taken our first glimpse of the Pacific. We walked along the beach front and the appeal became obvious. This is Chile's answer to Miami, with high-rise, unspecial, blocks of apartments, golden sands and wide roads - not at all what I had expected but Viņa del Mar had it's charm which was really tough to see through it's clouds, smog, wind and flippant approach to architecture, which dominates and ruins what could/should be a wonderful place to spend a day. But in spite of it all, I had built myself up for a day at the sea and so I rolled up my linen trousers and taking my flip-flops in hand paced out towards the sea. If there is anything I have inherited from my mother it is an irresistible need to paddle in the sea and so that's just what I did. If nothing else was to come from this journey I can say that I have fulfilled an important legacy, and to be honest very little else was to come from this leg of the journey. Viņa del Mar had provided all it was capable of that day so we thanked her for her hospitality and made new plans. We grabbed our bags from the place we had been storing them and got on the train to Valparaiso.

In my head I had imagined this would be another epic journey and the trip so far was already clocking up travelling hours fast. But instead this turned out to be a short, comfortable ride. The train between the two cities can best be compared to a London Underground train (of coures Tom felt it was more like his home town of Melbourne), making only 5 or 6 stops it soon comes over ground just outside of Viņa del Mar hugging the line of the bay and arriving at Valparaiso in under 30 minutes. This was a very pleasant surprise after a day of lugging heavy backpacks around central Chile and having been informed that the train was a complicated and unpleasant procedure. The trains are all brand new, clean and efficient and the line which maps the curve of the coast line offers amazing veiws, especially during our well timed sunset journey, until finally we arrived in, what would become, our final Chilean destination - The UNESCO world heritage site, VALPARAISO.
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