1 quick day in Valparaiso

Trip Start Jan 11, 2011
Trip End Aug 05, 2011

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

A day trip to Valparaiso. Its only a 10 minute bus drive from Vinar del Mar. I had heard good things about it but had not actually got round to reading up on it. So Russ, Romz and me got off the bus not really knowing what to expect and without a guide book or map. Off we go along the streets.

First thing we came across was this huge market which was first full of junk people were trying to make a few pesos off. Then it was just tons and tons of fruit and veg. Pretty amazing, putting the french markets to shame!!!!

After buying some fruit ourselves (too tempting!!), we continued to walk down the streets. There was a lot of antique kind of shops as if the whole town was still living in the 50's.

We weren't too sure where to head towards as we hadn't brought any map or guide so we decided to go to the port. Coastal town, can't go wrong!!??! As we were alking along this main road, we heard this big rattle noise and shouting coming from behind. We turned round to see a bus driving down at slow speed surrounded by 50 or so men. They were running along side the bus looking pretty aggressive. A couple who were walking behind us straight away told us to stand against the fence and hold on to our bags!!! Oh s...!! I felt pretty scared. As the bus was appraoching we could see that there was also people hanging out the bus and that the men arround it were holding big pieces of wood and picking up rocks. They ran passed us. I kept my head down but couldn't ignore the words GRINGOS being shouted out. Within 3 mins they were well ahead of us. Phew!!! We waited for a few minutes, pretty relieved. The couple explained that there was a football game on that day between Valparaiso and their big rival Santiago. The bus had came from Santiago for the game and because of the rivalry when the bus enters the town some of the fans run along side the bus to make noise and provent it from behind attacked by Valparaiso fans!! How lovely!!!

We finally got to the port in one piece and walked round there for a while then headed back into town. Doesn't take much haha there were quite a few locals cheering for Valparaiso so we got quite into the game and what was going to be a quiet beer turned into an afternoon drinking season with the local oldies. We even got treated to some chilian poetry by a very sweet old man before he was taken back home by the bar owner.

When the locals started talking about taking us to a kareokee, we decided it was time to leave and head back to Vina.

Conclusion: Thrilling and random day!! Next time I won't forget the guide book at the risk of ending up in a bar !!!!!

What we could have seen is the cultural capital of the world and UNESCO world heritage site with some strong bohemian influences. Lesson learnt!!! (I think)
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