Villa Alemana, Vina del Mar, Valparaiso

Sunday morning; I got up and made my way to the bus station to board a bus to Villa Alemana (a town near the coast) where I was meeting my friends Otto and Richard whom I met in Rio. I was picked up from the bus stop and taken to their cute log cabin looking house where I was greeted by their dogs Lola and Roger. I was cooked a delicious lunch involving liquidised corn with basil and minced meat and roasted veggies – it was delicious! That afternoon they took me to Valparaiso for a tour around the seaside port city. Possibly the most colourful place I have ever been (see further down for photos). The houses are multi coloured with huge walls of street art all over the city and as the city is on hills there are amazing views along the coastline once you get high enough. That evening, we stopped off at a take away place and picked up “Completos” – a Chilean version of a hot dog with avocado, tomato and garlic mayo – yum! 
  

The following day as Richard got up early to go work, I had a lie in! Otto was working from home so I took the opportunity to have a “rest day”, relax, read my book and research my next destination online and make some bookings. Late that afternoon we went to the house of Maria & her mother Maria who are friends of Richard and Otto. Here, I helped decorate the cup cakes they had made and we sat down to their version of afternoon tea (lovely fruit teas with cupcakes…possibly the unhealthiest dinner I’ve ever had but yummy all the same!). We then went for a walk along the coast of Vina del Mar.
On Sunday I took the metro back to the seaside town of Vina de Mar for more of an explore and to read by book in the sunshine by the coast. Unfortunately, the local gypsies had other ideas and would not leave me alone..despite them trying to read my palm in Spanish and me repeatedly telling them (in Spanish), I did not speak Spanish, I did not understand and I had only cards no money. They kept chasing me along the coastline, eventually giving up and then one chapter into my book later the process was repeated with a different gypsy. In the end I escaped to a seaside cafe where they couldn’t bother me…I think I have probably received enough gypsy curses to last a lifetime but still….

That evening I said a fond farewell to Richard and Otto and got back on the metro to Valparaiso. I was meeting up with Shauna, Kim and Melissa (the girls I had met in Mendoza on our bike riding wine tour) in a really nice hostel called Planeta Lindo. I arrived at about 11pm, grabbed an empanada for supper and was greeted by them with a glass of red wine. The following morning I took a long walk around the city exploring the copious street art, taking in the views and enjoying the hot weather. The city really is an array of colour and so arty with little side streets selling handmade clothes, and lots of little cake shops. Back at the hostel, (which had amazing views), I enjoyed some sunbathing and reading whilst myself, Kim and Shauna prepared a Belgium Beer stew and a 2L bottle of wine- it was delicious!

  

The following day I boarded a bus back to Santiago with Shauna where I stayed the night before starting my next adventure at 6am the following day……
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