I still have sand in my shoes....

Trip Start Jun 26, 2008
Trip End Jun 2009

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, November 9, 2008

The four of us were very excited about getting to the sea again, but first it was a long night: stopping in the dark at the summit of the Andes for boarder crossing. On the Chilean side all our bags were x-rayed and sniffed by the drug, food and weapons dogs. These were a lovely retriever, excitable black lab and a collie that at least provided some entertainment while we waited.

On arriving at our bed and breakfast at 6 am we were disappointed to find it more expensive and less attractive than we had hoped. It was a beautifully sunny day and we walked miles of beautiful coastline seeing all the city beaches out to Cochoa where we spotted some sea lions We found a buzzing cafe with wonderful huge salads and fresh fruit juices ( Chilean avocados are the best in the world!!!!) and watched the sun set over the lovely long Renaca beach.

Next day was overcast so we headed to Valparaiso and enjoyed wandering the windy and steep streets, the colourful eclectic buildings and graffiti. Found a restaurant in a lovely colonial building with gorgeous views and fresh fish. The best feature of our b&b was a lovely dinning room with views if the bay and that night we made the most of the lovely view of the bay  and Enjoyed more of those famous avocados with the wine Gareth had won off Kingsley in a bet.

After an admin morning (traveling is not all play after all!) we headed up the coast to Concon. Concon consists of 6 beaches and the taxi driver conned us by taking us to the furthest most horrid one. We rapidly jumped in a bus back to one of the nicer ones where we enjoyed watching the pelicans over lunch. Big portions of fish and stunning coastline meant that walking most of the way back to Vina was a wonderful way to finish the afternoon. That night we treated ourselves to a movie and loved the fact that "the Quantum of Solace" was filmed in Chile.

After 6 weeks of traveling together it was sadly nearly time to say goodbye to the Taylors. We have to rush to get our last tours and adventures while they have more time to take in some of the places we will miss....
On our last day in VDM ended with an argument with the B&B owner who went back on his discount offer - bad news for his is that our rating of his crap lodging just got worse...! We then  lugged our backpacks to the bus station storage office and walked for ages trying to find a walking path into the huge park on our map, discovered that it was a different park to the botanical gardens which were the other side if town, gave up and spent our afternoon on the beach.

After our farewell to our trusty traveling companions (how am I going to manage a whole Spanish sentence without Alanna?) we wandered town, lost track of time, could not find a taxi and had to sprint to the bus station for  yet another night bus.
Footnote:  We will miss traveling with the Kiwi contingency...Our stomachs have grown a bit due to all the wonderful eating and drinking in recent weeks with them, however our wallets have shrunk so it will be back to beans on toast and no more bets!!
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