Monday, February 01, 2010

South America Trip - Santiago's Surroundings

Our 3rd day in Chile was spent on the coast in Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar. In Valpo we headed to the bay and got swindled by a boat tour operator. Actually, we got a 40 person boat all to ourselves for an hour for $15! It was a terrific view of the bay and city landscape, which is built up on the coastal hills.
Erin's highlight was seeing a couple of seals while driving around.
For lunch Carissa and I pounded a Chorillana, which is a Chilean specialty. Basically it is a heap of french fries topped with egg, onion, and meat. Awesome!
Valparaiso was a colorful city, with painted buildings and lots of random murals.
In the afternoon we visited one of the houses of a Chilean poet named Pablo. This house had one of the best views of the city.
Later in the evening we made our way to Vina Del Mar, another coastal city. This one seemed like more of a vacation spot with lots of big resorts. We hung out by the ocean, walked around, and watched a nice sunset.

On our final day in the Santiago area we caught a bus into the Andes mountains. We found a private reservation and spent the afternoon hiking.
There was a nice waterfall but the rest of the hike was basically a desert.

After the waterfall hike we got really ambitious and marched up a rather steep and sandy incline. The heat and sun were punishing but we peaked at a beautiful flat pasture with stunning views of the valley.

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