Today we visited the port of Valparaiso, which is the port about 2 hours outside of Santiago, the capital of Chile. It was also time to “bunker” the ship, fill up the fuel tanks.
As I had no tour booked for the day so it was up to me to explore the place by myself.
The port is a fairly busy one and we had to be shuttled to the other end of the bay before we could exit the actual port. As usual there were local tourism staff to provide advice and directions. First stop for me was a refurbished Inclinator for a trip to the top of one of the hills that surround the port. The city is quite hilly, so there are a number of these spread throughout the town, but a large number of them are out of service and need to be restored.
The view from the top was not bad, you could see the entire bay and surrounds. There is a lot of Street Art around the place as well, all of the cities we have seen to date have had a lot of these, plus a lot of graffiti, Valparaiso, is no different
After the Inclinator, which cost 100 Peso each way, I went back down to the bay and started my wandering around the town. I headed up a wide avenue towards some sort of monument that I could see in the distance. On the way towards it, I noticed that Valparaiso has electric buses.
Around the base of what I realised was a sculpture instead of a monument, was a market, which I decided to explore. The first part of the market was clothing and second-hand goods, it then transitioned into a fresh fruit and vegetable market.
The colours, size, freshness and variety of the produce was awesome.
In the middle of the market there was a local fish stall, they will clean, gut and fillet it for you, it was a busy stall.
During my wander around the town I noticed that are some very interesting buildings in varying states of repair, I am sure that if there was more money around a lot of the older buildings would be restored, but …..
After the market, I head south towards the other end of the bay, via the back streets. There are a number of public squares with various purposes, but they are all busy.
After wandering for about 30 or 40 mins I came across the main square, Sotomayor Square, where there is an impressive monument to the Heroes and Martyrs of Chile’s Independence.
Was surprised to find the Melbourne Café in the middle of Valparaiso
Every couple of blocks or so there was another piece of Street Art or two. They brightened up the place.
I eventually made it to the end of the bay and to another Inclinator, this one is being restored, a shame as I wanted to get up to the top. Oh well guess I will have to climb!
It is a fairly steep climb but well worth it, and not just for the cardio 🙂
At the top, is the Navy Operations Building, as usual and as it should be, the Navy has the best pieces of land in the town! More interesting buildings and architecture.
All the walking and climbing was making me hungry, so I went looking for a place to have lunch and found the Postal Café. There was a roof top balcony out the back with an amazing vantage point to take photos of Valparaiso.
Time to head back to the ship, but first I need to walk back down the steep incline, not sure if the locals get points for painting each house a different and brighter colour scheme than their neighbours but it does make the walk more interesting
I walked back along on the waterfront, to the other end of the bay, from very close to the Mariner to the complete opposite end of the port. I think I walked around 18Kms today, glad that I had the day to myself as I doubt I would have seen Valparaiso in the same way if I had been on a tour.
Time to leave, an interesting port, next port is Puerto Montt after a Sea Day, need the time to relax!