Thinking of one

Trip Start Sep 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Elena's Apartment,
Jose Manuel Balmaceda, Renaca

Flag of Chile  , Valparaíso,
Friday, December 16, 2011

Will add our adventures when we get back to Santiago.
Mean while here are some photos.

Thursday we were off to Vina del Mar (pronounced Vinya Del Mar). 2 and half hour ride by bus. 4 hours to try and find the apartment unsuccessfully. We had the street name but it turned out not the right suburb and couldn't make contact with the owner. We ended up at a pokey hostel that had nice people but a scary room, at least it had a bed for each of us and a decent free breakfast. In the morning Andrew was finally able to sort things out with the apartment  owner and AirBnB and by lunchtime we were at the apartment in Renaca (pronounced "Renyuca") with a 10 min.  walk from the beach.

Saturday explored the beach and ate empanadas, Campbell and I had "mariscos" or shellfish ones with mussels and other seafood goodies. Yummo!

Andrew and walked further along the waterfront on Sunday afternoon. The waterfront apartments that were built up along the hills reminded us of scenes you would expect to find in resort towns along the Mediterranean coastline as opposed to the resort towns we saw in the US and our Gold Coast-esque ones. We spotted a huge sand dune that I dragged the kids up yesterday. It was huge and I was determined to get up there. 

Campbell gave up first, my little (who is proving to be getting not so little) trooper, Samuel reached the top of the dune first. It was hard going as dunes are, the sand was hot and loose and for every step you took you slid down two. But I made it with my running shoes full of sand and Hannah finally got up there after a little protest. We were also joined by a spirit guide who picked us up along the waterfront walk, a lovely healthy looking German Shepard cross who Samuel called "Spud" so I thought we should officially call him by his Spanish name "Papas" (that's the Spanish word for potatoes). On my way down he guided me through the scrubby bit back to the main track down. We also spotted seals on rocks. Campbell met up with some kids that he met at church and they spent the late afternoon talking about Chile and Australia.

Tuesday the kids and I took the bus to  Valparaiso. Valparaiso is an old port that was established in xxxx. In the 1970s they moved the parliament building to Valparaiso  from Santiago, which the politicians are regretting. Renaca is about eight kms north of Vina Del Mar and then Valparaiso is about 6 or 7 kms. Valparaiso is the area, vina Del Mar has its own business district as well. The main business area of Valparaiso is OK but the historic and colorful homes up in the hills and the steep long stairs and streets that take you up to those hills is worth the trip into Valparaiso. Another one of those scenes you would imagine to find in France or Spain.

Yesterday  I took Andrew up the hills of Valparaiso. He was equally impressed.

Friday we headed back to Santiago, and half an hour out of Santiago the sun came out. We had 3 overcast and cool days in Renaca which was a shame but at least it didn't rain.
Leaving a place is always sad because there are always attachments and sadness because we will probably never return but it is counter balanced with an anticipation of the next part of the adventure.
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