Monday, August 17, 2009

South America 2009 - Day 11 (8/17/2009) - Valparaíso and Viña del Mar

The main item on the itinerary today was a tour to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. The Turis Tour van picked us up at the hostel around 9:00, after I had time to grab a quick biscuit with jam for breakfast. The van made a couple of stops to pick up 4 other people on the way to the agency center, where we boarded the tour bus. We had plenty of space to spread out on the bus, as there were only 16 of us on the tour.

We first headed to Viña del Mar, where we stopped at Quinta Vergara, which houses an amphitheater which is the site of the Viña del Mar International Song Festival (Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar), possibly the most important musical event in Latin America. We made a couple of more stops in Viña, including one at a small beach, before heading down the coast to Valparaíso next door. Though the two cities are next to each other, Valparaíso is more of a port city while Viña del Mar is more of a beach city (though the stretch of rocky beach is not very long). We drove through Valparaíso, with the only stop at the port across from Plaza Sotomayor, where we had lunch at a restaurant nearby. I ordered a three-course combination from the tourist menu (seafood cream soup, shrimp and palm crepes, and a tropical fruit crepe) while Greg had another filet steak. After lunch, and a milkshake, the bus took us up the coast a little more before heading back to Santiago.

Back in Santiago, we were dropped off down the street from our hostel, around 5:45. After chilling out at the hostel for a while, we headed out to dinner around 9 with a couple of others from the hostel - Nora and Christina, (the South Park girls) and Jason (a Canadian who had lived in the U.S., but has been living/traveling outside the States for the last two years, and will most likely become an expatriate). We walked to a nearby Chilean restaurant recommended by one of the hostel clerks. I had the Pastel de Choclo, which was a casserole-like corn dish with meat, onions, olives, and eggs (also a recommendation) - it was very good. I also two more excellent glasses of juice - this time mango and honeydew. After eating, we walked back to the hostel around 11:15, happy to have missed the rain that fell while we were in the restaurant.

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.