Overcast and cool Valparaiso is a gritty colorful city with forty-six hills. Driving in it, especially the hills, is daunting with narrow twisty roads and no where to pullover to let those with a penchant for riding close to get on with their day. Fortunately I had enough data left to message our host to help us locate precisely her house with a loft. After parking our not large car in a tiny parking area with just enough room to fit in and close the gate, we lugged our things down the steps and into the tiny residence.
Amelia’s is oh so cozy yet spotless and comfortable. She even had a bottle of vino tinto waiting for Bill, a liter of agua mineral chilling in the fridge for me, and a wooden dish filled with peanuts, almond, walnuts, as well as dried apricots and raisins. The wifi speed topped the chart at 60!! Costa Rica offers just a small fraction of that! The view from the bedroom in the loft is just as wonderful of the city and ocean as in her pictures.
She has many flowers growing just outside her residences and the walkway is lined with colorful benches and painted tires. We wandered down the steep passage on to the flat city area.
We happened upon another phone store where we were given more information about how to get more data and hope it works! One has to buy a SIM card at the store but get more data, minutes, etc. only at three grocery stores. Very inefficient and frustrating! While Santiago seems very clean, Valparaiso doesn’t have as much pride in that regard. Over time we found that the data works well for social media sites but is useless to check email, search Google, etc. Rather frustrating and inconvenient.
Our first foray into town was to the water but not quite over to the docks, which we did the next day. On the way back we passed through some parks.
After an expensive breakfast of moist scrambled eggs with bits of bacon served with tasteless white toast, the next day we meandered up and down the hill with the best street art. At the beginning we noticed a garbage truck with several workers and a faithful following behind. The poor thing probably finds his job rewarding from time to time. One man even gave it a warm hug.
Bill bought himself a belt from a local leather worker.
Some of the street artwork is garish and unseemly while others I found soothing. It was quite a mix. The stairs painted as piano keys were fun though silent as one walks up and down them.
For lunch we ended up splitting an empañado with pino, a meat mixture of local interest. The sky was overcast until early afternoon when we arrived at the port after descending via a steeeeep ascensor. The oldest one was having repairs so we took another one nearby.
After about five miles of walking we rested back at Amelia’s for a bit and then trekked back down the hill to a Peruvian restaurant. Bill dined on Lomito Saltado and I shrimp risotto. The portions were generous enough to save some for breakfast which we reheated in the microwave.