It was time to visit Chile and its Pacific coast. We had been living in and loving the lake district of Argentina including the wonderful town of San Martin de los Andes. But as wonderful as the lakes of Argentina are, we were in need of a "Pacific Ocean" fix. It was as easy as getting on one of the convenient and comfortable long-distance buses for the haul over the spectacular Andes and down to the coastline of Central Chile. Before we knew it we were in Chile!
"Syncopated, dilapidated, colorful and poetic, Valparaíso is a wonderful mess. Pablo Neruda, who drew much inspiration from this hard-working port town, said it best: 'Valparaíso, how absurd you are…you haven't combed your hair, you've never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.'
But Neruda wasn't the only artist to fall for Valparaíso's unexpected charms. Poets, painters and would-be philosophers have long been drawn to Chile's most unusual city. Along with the ever-shifting port population of sailors, dockworkers and prostitutes, they've endowed gritty and gloriously spontaneous Valparaíso with an edgy air of 'anything goes.' Add to this the spectacular faded beauty of its chaotic cerros (hills), some of the best street art in Latin America, a maze of steep, sinuous streets, alleys and escaleras (stairways) piled high with crumbling mansions, and it's clear why some visitors are spending more time here than in Santiago." source: Lonely Planet introduction to Valparaiso
The interesting and unusual Menorá de la Paz (peace menorah) as seen on the wall of the synagogue in Valparaiso.
During our visit to Valpo we were able to enjoy the amazing avant-garde art exhibit in the plaza which were all of nudes! Just wait until you see my album to this posting with a large representation of the paintings. Consider yourself forewarned because this public art festival was VERY original and often quite startling!
LINK TO STREET ART POSTING
I remember hearing many years ago that a picture is worth a thousand words. Those words definitely contributed to and inspired me in the creation of MEXICO AND BEYOND: LAURA'S PHOTO JOURNEY. The following link takes you to my photograph album for VALPARAISO.
The magnificent Andes as seen from our bus window on our way home to
SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES, ARGENTINA . Gracias, Valpo, for the fun visit and thanks to you for joining me! Laura