Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
Trip End Aug 07, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We arrived in Valparaiso from Santiago at 1pm after a very short trip for us just an hour and a half. Once we checked into the hostel we went for a walk to see the city, after about an hour it started to spill rain so we went back to the hostel for shelter ate dinner and had a nice bottle of wine.

On Wednesday we got up early hoping to enjoy a day without rain but no such luck. The 21st of May is a Chilean holiday in celebration of the naval battle of Iquique, so when we went down to the main square where all of the different branches of the military were out in full uniform ready to parade. It took a while to get started as they were waiting on the president to arrive, we stood around looking at them for a few hours then got some food and went back to the hostel. When we got back we were talking to 2 girls from Australia who had witnessed guards using water canons and tear gas on protesters just outside our hostel. Thankfully we didn't see any of that where we had been but later when we left the hostel to go to the bus station we could still feel the effects of the tear gas in the air. That night we sat around the living room area and chatted to the 2 Ozzies over some more Chilean wine. The owner of the hostel who is also a music composer came out to us with his guitar and sang us 2 local songs which was really nice.

The next day we packed up our bags and wondered the city once more before catching our bus at 5.15pm to Calama. The weather was still cloudy and rainy so it was hard to see much from the sights but we gave it a go. We went up in one of the city lifts, the city is on different levels so they built lifts in the late19th early 20th century to make it easier for people to get home, we then walked down the steps and wondered around the shops for a while before returning to the hostel for our bags.
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