Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Valparaíso, and the end of a trip

We enjoyed our day in Valparaíso, but are sad that it marks our last full day in Chile before returning home.

A stroll down to Plaza Sotomayor with Morgan saw us join about 30 others for a three hour guided walking tour offered by the T4T team. That's 'Tours4Tips' - you just give them some money at the end. The guides all wore 'where's Wally' t-shirts.  They were led by Priscilla, aided by Ignatio and Philippe. Very good they were too. We spent an informative few hours walking around, hopping on and off buses, visiting the prison with a capacity for 300 inmates, where at one time the Pinochet regime kept 1200 political prisoners behind bars, and generally enjoying a morning in the bright sunshine that is symptomatic of Chile's unpredictable weather.

Anthony was also on the tour, and we had the pleasure of his company afterwards for lunch in a sandwich shop. The Chacarero and Barros Luco sandwiches were excellent. We hope to see you again one day, Anthony.

On return to Luna Sonrisa, Sue invested some time in checking in for tomorrow's flights, and perhaps more importantly sorting out collection arrangements for our hire car. The Puerto Montt company has no office at Santiago airport, so we have a rendezvous with someone at a petrol station, from where hopefully we'll get a lift to the airport before he takes the car back to Puerto Montt. Thanks go to the Luna Sonrisa staff who helped sort this out.

This faffing delayed a planned visit to one of the houses of the political figure and poet, Pablo Neruda, which was then shelved in favour of another walk around town. It's an eyecatching place, thanks to the variety of brightly painted buildings and the 'graffiti', otherwise and perhaps more correctly known as street art.

We took a funicular to a good viewpoint above the port, on the way down chatting at length to an interpretation and translation student, Andreas, born in Germany but taken to Chile at the age of one by his Chilean mother. He is excited by plans to visit his father in southern Germany in the next few weeks, especially at the prospect of seeing snow.

A fine meal at La Bruschetta marked our final repast in Chile.

Today's pictures are all taken around Valparaíso:
Hotel Reine Victoria, one of many fine old buildings
The prison, now used as a base for small artisan businesses
Priscilla explains 'graffiti'
A view of the port
Our street - Templeman (2)
Pannacotta - my last dessert...

Tomorrow we will try to find Santiago airport, where we will no doubt bump into Chris and Wanda again before a 13 hour flight to Paris, then onward to reach sunny Manchester on Thursday afternoon. 

It has been a great trip. We hope you have enjoyed reading about it. An index, and a few 'Hints and Tips', should follow in due course, as well as a slideshow at Hazel Grove Civic Centre are 8 pm on Wednesday 27 April next year.


AlanR said...

Its been a brilliant trip Martin. See you Sunday for some proper hiking. Ha

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Alan. We also look forward to Sunday, if not to getting our new boots (bought for this trip) properly wet for the first time. On a 'proper hike' (unlike 'dry as a desert' Patagonia and Chile!)

Nightbird said...

Thanks for keeping me amused over the last 5 weeks. Safe trip home. Look forward to catching up with you both in Sunday.

Gayle said...

I've been very quiet on the comments (partly because I've been mainly reading your posts off-line but with no excuse for the rest of the time) but I have been reading and have thoroughly enjoyed your trip.

I do hope we're around for your SWOG presentation - I've put the date in my diary.

Sir Hugh said...

A very interesting and diverse trip. Breakfast wont be the same for a while. All the best for Christmas and New Year.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks everyone. The overnight cattle truck to Paris wasn't too comfortable, but the sun is shining and we are nearly home. Hope to see you all soon.