Casino Night and trip to Quintay

Trip Start Jan 30, 2008
Trip End May 03, 2008

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Where I stayed
Hotel Del Mar

Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Last night I went to the Hotel del Mar in Vina del Mar. The Hotel del Mar is a famous casino in Chile. My roommate Lauren and I got dressed up and went there to try our hand at Blackjack. I was under the impression that the minimum bet was 3,000 pesos ($6), which was already a bit more than I'd like to be risking. To our dismay, the minimum goes up at night, and even more on the weekends. So on a Saturday night, it is 7,000 pesos ($14). I had only 6,000 on me at the time and had to borrow 1,000 from my roommate in order to play. An hour or so later, I walked out of the casino with 101,000 pesos in my pocket. Must of been my lucky night. I think I'll put the money towards the trip I'm planning next weekend to Pucon.

Today I was invited to join my friend Elizabeth on a trip to Quintay, a kind of out of the way beach town south of Valparaiso. We took the metro to Valparaiso and then discovered that the bus from Valparaiso to Quintay was done for the day. We asked around and found out that we could go by colectivo. A colectivo is a taxi that runs on a set route much like busses do, for only slightly more money. We waited around for one to come by and then piled in with a couple other Chileans for the 45 minute drive to Quintay. After that there was a 20 or so minute walk down a dirt path to get to the beach. The trip was well worth it. The beach was beautiful and not nearly as crowded as the beaches in Vina. It felt much more local and "tranquilo." The bus heading back to Valparaiso did not show up as promised, but while waiting, we befriended a  Chilean who had just come back from studying abroad in Sweden. He and his mother were also trying to get back to Valparaiso, and we chatted with them for quite a while. We got in some good Spanish practice. We finally found out that there was a van that acted as a bus to and from Valpo and were lucky enough to get a spot in it for our way back. It was a great adventure of a day.
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