Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Looking Back

SAm13 was an interesting time: more travel by bus than previous trips to SAm, finally visited Rio, enjoyed revisiting Santiago, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, and Valparaiso, and topped it off with a wonderful two week cruise through the Chilean fjords! In addition to Rio, we also visited Salta and Cordoba, Argentina, for the first time--all interesting cities. We've seen some beautiful places and had some very interesting experiences whether traveling by motorcycle, air, sea,or bus. As long as the countries stay politically stable, I think tourism will continue to grow on the South American continent.
SPOT did a good job of tracking us through most of our journey though I was disappointed at the lack of hits during the cruise; the narrow fjords and extreme southern latitude apparently was the cause of poor coverage.
We traveled approximately 21,600 miles by plane, car, bus, and ship on this journey. We have no plans to return to South America in the ner future--it has been a good run.
Future travel plans? China/Tibet and Hong Kong are planned for September/October 2013. Next year will be more motorcycle touring: back to Spain for another moto tour in March, then east to west across Russia in the summer/fall. The ride across southern Siberia will be an interesting and challenging one; I guess we shoud tackle that one while we can!
Thanks for coming along; until next time......

Graffiti Art in Valparaiso

Valparaiso is a cultural center of Chile and one aspect of that is the prominence of graffiti art. It is everywhere: on homes, buildings big and small, on stairways, along main streets and unpaved alleys. It is colorful, intriguing, political, and religious as you will see in the following photos.

On our second night in Valpo, we took the recommendation of our apartment's owner and had dinner just up the steep street at Espiritu Santo. The meal was fabulous and we met a very nice, young Frenchman, our waiter, Julian. He was supporting his graffiti artistry by working in the restaurant and giving tours around the city to see some of this amazing art. After lunch the next day we met him and a Canadian couple to set off on what turned out to be a four hour walking tour which included bus and elevator rides. Enjoy..........


Monday, August 12, 2013


Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the last port of call on our cruise of the Chilean fjords and the final stop on SAm 13. We docked in the busy harbor before lunch and after eating were off to explore this fascinating city. We had a brief introduction to this colorful place built on 42 cerros (hills) last year on a day trip from Santiago. We had booked a wine tasting tour, but it was cancelled as not enough people signed for the excursion.

The main commercial area of the city is built on the flat land near the ocean; the residential areas are scattered among the many hills. Several ascensores (funicular railways), countless caleras (stairways), and steep, narrow streets give access to the living quarters of most of the population. We joined the hill climbers by renting a small apartment for three nights on Cerro Bellavista, but this would have to wait one day as we slept one more night on the ship.

Sightseeing boats
Harbor water taxi
Stairway leading to our apartment
Homes near our apartment
Lots of color!
La Sebastiana--one of Pablo Neruda's (1971 Nobel Prize in Literature) homes. This museum was just a few hundred yards from our apartment.
View of the harbor from La Sebastiana (Le Boréal is in the center of the photo)

The shiny glass building in the following photos was built inside the walls of a much older building that was damaged by an earthquake. By law, the old building could not be torn down and because of the valuable real estate it occupied, the new structure was built inside the old!

Reflections in the new building through the windows of the old
Need to make a call?
Painted corrugated siding
Contrast in windows
A real organ grinder!
Entrance to Ascensore Concepción--the oldest in Valparaiso (1883)