A Travellerspoint blog

Valparaíso

A City Falling Down A Hill

An hour and a half bus journey from Santiago took me to a city called Valparaíso. Flat land occupies mabye only a sixth of the total size of the city and as a result it is composed of ramshackle houses erected where possible on the surrounding hillsides. Amazing graffiti adorns nearly every building making exploring the narrow, winding paths through the city an experience that while tiring, never gets boring. A novel method of transport in the city is given in the form of about 10 funiculars which zip up and down the hills with many having done so for over a century now.

The first evening I spent in Valpo. I met a couple of girls who were taking a year to travel South America. One of which was an ex lib-dem councillor for Islington, London who ran a campaign supporting rights for the porn industry. You do meet some characters out here.

The second day I headed to a nearby town called Viña del Mar with a girl called Shana; someone else I met in the hostel. Viña del Mar was a pretty standard beach town and even had the extremely British addition of the name of the town spelt out in flowers above a clock which was also made of flowers. We got bored of this pretty quickly and despite meeting a dog which followed us for half a kilometer before getting distracted by people with food, we decided to head back and explore a bit more of Valpo. I spent the evening half pissed watching crazy spanish game shows with the hostel owners not having a clue what was going on.

Next, to La Serena....P8150353.jpgP8150360.jpgP8160368.jpgP8160376.jpgP8160371.jpgP8160365.jpgP8160370.jpg

Posted by Monsk 18:32 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Santiago

It´s not often you go somewhere on your summer hols and it´s colder than England

I landed in Santiago yesterday morning following 2 9 hour flights from Heathrow surrounded by Americans and sat next to one who had just been out in Iraq teaching English to Air Traffic Controllers. It was like something from a low budget Hollywood film. In the first flight, however, I managed to watch 4 films and I will presently give you a brief review of each. New Shrek film: Quality, Ghost Writer: Yawn, Date Night: Ridiculous, Some other shit film: shit. I then had a 4 hour wait in Dalls airport and another 9 hour flight down to Santiago.

Found myself a hostel in an area of the city called Bellavista: dead during the day but loads of bars open up at night playing host to Chileans, travellers, local drunks and friendly stray dogs. Anyway, I then headed out into town to meet up with Lore; someone I´d arranged to meet up with via the website CouchSurfing. We wandered around town, had a Completo (a hot dog smothered in tomatoes, avocado and enough mayannaise to enduce heart problems in a horse) and then went to a local drinking hole where we had a local favourite, the Terremoto. Meaning earthquake, the drink was a punch made with some orange fruit and topped with pineapple ice cream; lovely stuff.

Later on I headed back to the hostel, met some Americans, had a few drinks and went to see what the local nightlife had to offer. After a few freezing road-side beers laughing at the local drunks getting down and dirty to the music blaring from the bars we went to a club. Initiallly security didn´t want to let us in, explaining to me the reason in thick Chilean spanish. Not having a clue what he had just said me figured we´d try buying a beer and walking straight through, and it worked. The Chilean kids are hilarious with their dancing being a cross of salsa and sexual harrassment.

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Posted by Monsk 08:02 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

So I Suppose It Starts Here

Leeds to London

So this is my attempt at keeping everyone updated as I travel for the coming 7 weeks through bits of South America. The whole notion of writing a blog came to me when I was trying to think of anything to do to get out of writing my literature review, so we'll see how long I can maintain my enthusiasm.

This, my first ever blog post is being composed rather loosely on a train heading to London from sunny (definitely not sunny) Yorkshire. Tomorrow I'll be moving into a new house (not that you care) and on Wednesday I will begin my 22 hour journey from Blighty to Santiago, Chile with a stop off in Dallas. My travel plans are as follows: travel north up Chile for a couple of weeks, meet Helen in the South of Bolivia, head up to La Paz where we will meet Chris and Sanjay, and then spend a month making our way through Peru. Something like that anyway.

I'll try and learn how to add some photos to the page but the number I upload will depend significantly on how shit the internet is at whatever internet cafe I'm in at the time.

'Til next time kids; stay safe.

Posted by Monsk 05:44 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged train_travel Comments (0)

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