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Chasing guanacos in Chile

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Our visit to Valparaíso was short but plentiful and ended in drunken pisco frenzy. Oh yes, we have discovered the local spirit called pisco that comes in all strengths and flavours, the most popular of which is pisco sour that is flavoured with lemon. And oh yes, we have also discovered that it is that sort of spirit that makes you a bit crazy. Well you all know what absinthe does to your head – the pisco does it even better.

We sat down for a 3 course lunch in a place overlooking beautiful Valparaíso when the waiter explained the tradition of starting your meal with a glass of pisco sour. Well that aperitif made sure there wasn’t a lack of conversation during that lunch...

Our first pisco sour


When browsing the shelves of spirits in the supermarket that afternoon we suddenly found ourselves in a jungle of pisco. There were pisco bottles of all kinds of different flavours, strengths and shapes. After a long while of studying the bottles we settled for one that seemed good for us, but to this day I don’t know if it was a good or bad choice. All I know is that since drinking some of that stuff I have never touched a pisco bottle again.

Valparaíso – the cultural capital of Chile – is a colourful city with a bohemian swing to it. It used to be a leading merchant port until it had a destructive earthquake in 1906 and the Panama Canal was built in 1914 and boats didn’t have to round Cape Horn anymore. The town lies by the sea and is built on huge hills that slope down towards the ocean. The hills are stacked with houses of different colours and shapes in-between which there are steep footpaths and stairways covered with stone cobbles. When you’re too tired to walk up those hideously endless stairs you can jump on one of the nostalgic elevators built between 1883 and 1916 that take you up a hill in a jiffy. It is quite a ride.

This is where the elevator runs

Walking up those lovely stairs



Here´s some glimpses into the amazing street art they have here:





We didn’t have too much time to spend in Valparaíso but enough to discover that it would be nice to return to some day. Its colours, electrifying street art, cosy cafés and comfy restaurants would sure require some more exploring.

At the moment we are relaxing in Santiago which is much nicer than we had expected. It is homey somehow and not so huge and dirty that you would expect from a city in South America with a population of 4.7 million. We’re eating tofu empanadas and watching cable TV here in Barrio Brazil, a quiet bohemian part of town. Two days ago we took my parents to the airport and they flew back to Finland. So now we are just two again. Suddenly it is awfully quite. The day before they left we studied the list of wines we had sampled during the 2.5 weeks they were here. We were dumbfounded when we noticed how many different wines we had had time to wash down during that short period of time: 30 wines! And those were only the ones we had written down. No wonder I’m no longer so excited when selecting a new one to taste. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but should we have a brake in tasting wines? Yeah, right. Good joke.

Well anyhow, after waving goodbye to my parents we rambled on around the airport for hours to figure out where we should go next. Should we fly south, west, east or north? Should we go where it is cold (yeah, right), or should we go where it is warm (yes please)? After ages of contemplating and running from one desk to another it was settled: we are going to Easter Island in a couple of days. It is going to be a blast.





Posted by AnnaMickus 15:35 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

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